Lead Tackle

LPC

This summer, the state is paying anglers to give up their lead fishing tackle, in an effort to protect loons from lead poisoning. 

Loons are a threatened species that’s iconic in New England. They can eat lead sinkers or jigs inside fish, or they might ingest bits of lead among the pebbles they swallow to help digest food.

“The smallest little split shot that you can imagine, if it’s ingested by a loon, is going to kill that bird within two to four weeks,” says Harry Vogel, the executive director of the Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough.

Courtesy: New Hampshire Fish and Game

  A loon has been found dead in Alton Bay with a piece of lead fishing tackle in its gizzard.

According to the Loon Preservation Committee, every year between seven and eleven loons are killed by lead fishing tackle. The one found in Alton Bay is this year’s first.

“The majority of the lead deaths we get are in July and August, and that corresponds exactly with peak lake use and peak fishing,” says Harry Vogel, Senior Biologist with the Committee.