Members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) have introduced legislation to keep the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning lead fishing tackle and ammunition.
“It’s always important to find a common-sense balance between protecting the rights of hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and protecting our environment and wildlife habitats for future generations,” said Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas.
“There is no credible scientific evidence that demonstrates traditional ammunition and fishing tackle pose any threat to human health or wildlife population and this legislation is needed to permanently address this issue once and for all. I’m pleased to join this bipartisan effort and to work to stop the TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) petition, which is the most recent in a long string of attacks on our cherished hunting and fishing heritage.”
Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportmen’s Foundation, added, “This issue is about protecting America’s sportsmen as a federal ban on lead ammunition and fishing gear would negatively impact industry and wildlife conservation funding by driving up costs and serving as a disincentive for Americans to get outdoors.”
I’m with the CSC on this, but I also encourage anglers to stop using lead, especially lead weights, voluntarily. Tungsten costs a bit more than lead, but it is far superior as a worm weight --- smaller, harder, and more sensitive.
Some water birds, including loons, have died from ingesting lead shot and weights, although no evidence exists that their use harms populations overall. Nevertheless, lead is a toxic metal and the less of it we deposit in our fisheries, the better.