The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to ban lead fishing jigs or sinkers that weigh less than an ounce.
The bill had a hard fight to get to this point. Last year it was scuttled in the House after passing unanimously out of the Senate. A big reason for that was opposition from the Fish and Game commission, an appointed body that many see as supportive of sportsmen. That’s why Republican John Burt from Goffstown voted against the bill.
“Fish and Game has told me that this bill will not save one loon, not one!” he told the assembled representatives.
But opponents disagree. Data collected by the loon preservation committee finds that a quarter of all loons dead loons recovered by researchers over the last 2 decades died after swallowing of jigs that this bill would ban. And in the end 224 representatives voted with with Democrat Jon Manley, of Bennington.
“There is no doubt that lead is an accumulating toxin in our food web. There is no doubt that lead kills loons and other birds,” Manley said after sharing that a nesting pair of loons live very close to his lake house.
Once signed into law the bill would give tackle stores until 2016 to sell their non-compliant lead tackle. Lead core line, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, spoons, poppers, plugs, or flies are not affected by this bill.