NH HOUSE TAKES UP LEAD FISHING TACKLE BILL

by Christian Mower on April 24, 2012

“LOONS OR LEAD FISHING JIGS – IT’S THAT SIMPLE AND IT’S NOW UP TO YOU.”

THAT’S THE CALL TO ACTION FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE LAKES ASSOC. – TOM O’BRIEN – WHO’S GROUP SAYS IT’S DEDICATED TO PROTECTING NEW HAMPSHIRE’S LAKES AND THEIR WATERSHEDS.

O’BRIEN IS URGING HIS GROUP MEMBERS TO CALL OR EMAIL MEMBERS OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE FISH AND GAME AND MARINE RESOURCES COMMITTEE AND URGE THEM TO RESTRICT THE USE OF LEAD WEIGHTED JIGS BY FISHERMEN – AN ISSUE HE SAYS WILL DETERMINE WHETHER THE STATE CAN SUSTAIN A HEALTHY POPULATION OF LOONS.

THE COMMITTEE WAS SCHEDULED TO HOLD A HEARING ON THE ISSUE TUESDAY TO CONSIDER SENATE BILL 224, ALREADY PASSED BY THE SENATE.

O’BRIEN SAYS “EXTENSIVE PEER-REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH… SUPPORTS THE FOLLOWING UNEQUIVOCAL POSITION: LOONS ARE DYING FROM INGESTING LEAD INTRODUCED FROM FISHING.”

DICK SMITH REPRESENTS THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BASS FEDERATION. MEMBERS OF HIS FISHING GROUP HAVE MET WITH THE LAKES GROUP TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE, BUT THE TWO GROUPS DISAGREE ABOUT WHAT THE FACTS ARE.

SMITH SAYS HIS GROUP HELPED CRAFT A LAW THAT’S BEEN IN PLACE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE THAT BANS SMALL SINKERS AND JIGS BECAUSE THE SCIENCE SHOWS LOONS PICK THEM UP, BUT HE SAYS THERE’S NO SCIENCE THAT SHOWS THE LARGER JIGS HAVE ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE OVERALL LOON POPULATION.

SMITH URGES MEMBERS OF HIS GROUP TO CONTACT THEIR REPRESENTATIVES ABOUT THE BILL – HE SAYS A TYPICAL ANGLER HAS ABOUT 135 JIGS THAT WOULD BE COSTLY TO REPLACE – AND REQUIRING THEIR REPLACEMENT WOULD HURT THE ECONOMY.