2022 Loon Death Prompts Lead Fishing Tackle Ban and Lead Fishing Tackle Buyback Program Reminder – NH Fish and Game Department


Harry Vogel, Loonie Preservation Committee: (603) 476-5666
Mark Beauchesne, NH Fish and Game Department: (603) 271-3211
June 17, 2022

Concord, NH – The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) would like to remind anglers of a ban on the sale and use in freshwater of lead sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less for all fishing. state freshwater. The Loon Preservation Committee recently recorded its first lead-poisoned loon of the year.

In 2021, a total of seven adult loons and one immature loon in New Hampshire were confirmed to have died of lead poisoning after ingesting lead sinkers and jigs weighing up to 0.17 ounces. These loons have been discovered on lakes or ponds in Antrim, Enfield, Errol, Pittsburgh, Stark, Sunapee, Sutton and Tamworth. An eighth adult loon also died from ingesting lead material in New Hampshire, but this loon was captured during the fall migration period and therefore may not have belonged to the New Hampshire breeding population. Hampshire.

To solve this problem and help anglers get rid of lead sinkers and jigs they can no longer use, LPC and NHFG have partnered with nine local tackle retailers to offer a tackle buyback program in lead. By the end of the year, or until the initial 2,000 certificates for this season are claimed, anglers can redeem one ounce or more of prohibited lead tackle (jigs and sinkers) for a gift certificate $10 redeemable at these participating stores: The Tackle Shack (Meredith NH), LL Cote (Errol NH), Pawtuckaway Trading Post (Raymond NH), Squam Boat Livery, Inc. (Holderness NH), Rocky’s Ace Hardware (New London, NH), Newfound Sales & Trading Post (Bristol, NH), Pinnacle Sports (West Lebanon, NH), The Loon Center (Moultonborough, NH) and The Tackle Shack (Newbury, NH). Only prohibited tackle (lead sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less) are eligible for exchange under the buy-back program, but additional tackle outside this size range may be returned. One exchange transaction is allowed per customer. Full details of the buyout and participating stores are available at www.loonsafe.org. The list will be updated as new retailers join the program. In addition to the $10 voucher, at the end of the year, Program Participants who donated the largest and second largest quantities of qualifying materials at each participating outlet will receive cash prizes of $100 and $50, respectively.

The LPC and NHFG work in conjunction with many other organizations to educate anglers about the effects of lead poisoning on loons. Fish Lead Free is a region-wide, multi-partner initiative dedicated to providing resources to anglers across New England to help them switch to lead-free gear. Safe alternatives to lead, steel, tungsten, tin, bismuth and other materials are effective and available. Get more tips and tactics for fishing without a lead at www.wildnh.com/fishing/get-the-lead-out.html.

Collection receptacles for old lead items can be found at all New Hampshire Fish and Game offices, many transfer stations, and other locations throughout the state. An interactive map of disposal sites is available at https://loon.org/loonsafe/shops-and-disposal-sites/ .

The Loonie Preservation Committee (www.loon.org) works to protect loons statewide as part of its mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire, monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of quality of the environment and to promote a better understanding of loons and the natural world.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (www.wildnh.com) works in partnership with the public to conserve, manage and protect the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats; inform and educate the public about these resources; and provide opportunities for the public to use and enjoy these resources.


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