Thank you for visiting the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website. NH Fish and Game



New Version of Lead Jig Law Takes Effect June 1

Scott Decker: (603) 271-2501
Lt. Heidi Murphy: (603) 271-3127

May 16, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. -- On June 1, 2016, a new law takes effect that redefines what a lead jig is for the purposes of taking fish in the freshwaters of New Hampshire. All lead jigs less than or equal to one ounce will be prohibited.  It is well documented that lead, when ingested, is toxic to loons and other water birds.  Changing lead sinkers and jigs to a non-toxic alternative is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the law.  Visit for alternatives to lead tackle.


A new guide has been made available to assist anglers in identifying which current fishing tackle will be illegal as of June 1, 2016.  This guide may be found on the Fish and Game website at:


The statute excludes certain fishing related items such as lead core line, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, spoons, poppers, plugs, or flies. For any additional questions please contact Fish and Game at (603) 271-3127.


RSA 211:13-b is a State Law and may be enforced by various Law Enforcement agencies (see text below).  If someone is suspected of using an illegal sinker or jig, your tackle may be confiscated and tested for lead content. The penalty is a violation with a fine up to $250, far exceeding the price of a non-toxic alternative.


RSA 211:13-b Lead Fishing Sinkers and Jigs; Use Prohibited.


I.  No person shall use any lead sinker or lead jig for the taking of fish in any fresh water, except as otherwise specifically permitted in this title.

II.  A person using any such lead sinker or jig shall be guilty of a violation. Notwithstanding RSA 651:2, the penalty for a violation of this section shall not exceed $250.

III.  The prohibition under this section shall apply to interstate waters pursuant to RSA 211:4 and 211:5.

IV.  For purposes of this section, "lead sinker'' means any sinker made from lead that weighs one ounce or less, and "lead jig'' means a lead weighted hook that weighs one ounce or less. Prohibited fishing tackle shall include lead sinkers with a total weight of one ounce or less and lead jigs with a total weight of one ounce or less, regardless of whether they are painted, coated, or covered by some other substance or by attached skirts. Lead sinkers and lead jigs shall not include lead fishing related items including but not limited to lead core line, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, spoons, poppers, plugs, or flies.

For more information, visit

Back to the newsroom