As environmentalist extremists and their political allies attempt to ban the use of soft plastic baits in Maine, their counterparts in New Hampshire want to ban lead jigs.
They claim that doing so will protect loons from ingesting them and dying of lead poisoning. But no evidence exists that the birds swallow jigs.
“The ban proposed by SB 89 is unjustified,” says Keep America Fishing.
“The impact on loons and other waterfowl is the most often cited reason for bans on lead fishing tackle, yet New Hampshire loon populations are currently increasing throughout the state.
“Waterfowl populations in New Hampshire are subject to more substantial threats such as habitat loss, water acidification and domestic and wild predators. Any lead restrictions need to be based on scientific data that supports the appropriate action for a particular water body or species.”
And Dick Smith, conservation director of the New Hampshire Bass Federation says this:
“In 2006 and then again in 2012 the loon people pushed for legislation to ban your bass fishing jigs. So far we have defeated their efforts, but now here they are back again this year with a very similar legislative bill in SB 89.
“We have to continue to fight for our freedom or risk losing it.
“The New Hampshire Lakes Association, the Audubon Society, and the Loon Preservation Committee all have lobbyists who have been working very hard for many months to try to get state senators to co-sponsor their bill to ban our traditional jigs, which would wipe out our tube lures as well since they have a leadhead jig inside.
“These lobbyists persuaded eight senators to sign on to the bill. That is 33 percent of the entire Senate. So the deck is stacked against us in the Senate. As was the case last year, our best shot to defeat this bill is in the House of Representatives.
“While we do not have lobbyists working for us and we are outnumbered by lakes people, we have the facts and rightness on our side. And we each have a VOICE that we ALL need to make sure our legislators hear. We have to make the effort.”
A public hearing on SB 89 is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Legislative Office Building, Room101, in Concord, N.H.
To learn more go here.