In case you missed it, preservationists and their political allies in New Hampshire are pushing for a broader lead ban as part of an ongoing campaign to restrict recreational fishing. They profess that their objective is to protect loons. It is not, as no evidence indicates that loon populations are at risk because the birds ingest lead fishing tackle.
This is part of the same offensive that includes an attempt to ban the use of plastic baits in Maine, as well as implement “marine protected areas” in the nation’s coastal waters, where fishing would not be allowed. Some also are using concerns about the spread of invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels --- real threats--- as means to force restrictions on access to inland waters.
Recreational fishing is under assault, no doubt about it. And you can either help defend it or stick your head in the sand until it’s too late.
New Hampshire Senate Bill 89 would ban the use of any lead sinker or jig weighing 1 ounce or less. That would make use of just about any small fishing lure illegal in state waters.
Keep America Fishing makes these points:
- This bill would expand an already restrictive policy on the use of lead jigs with no scientific data to back up such a ban.
- The ban would have a significant negative impact on the state’s economy and fisheries conservation, but a negligible impact on the waterfowl populations it seeks to protect. In fact, New Hampshire’s loon population is increasing.
- This ban is more restrictive than the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s levels for lead in paint, children’s toys, plumbing fixtures and non-toxic shot for waterfowl hunting.
- Technology does not permit manufacturers to supply alternative metals 100 percent free of lead so the practical impact of the legislation is to ban all sinkers and jigs less one ounce or less.
- This size range represents the most commonly used sinkers.
And it adds, “By banning lead completely the state is effectively banning fishing!
“Join us by signing the petition and protect recreational fishing by stopping this overly restrictive and unrealistic ban on fishing tackle!”