Loons mistake lead fishing tackle for food and scrabble for their crop. Here’s what’s happening and how to stop it.
We’ve known about it for a long time, and still it shows its ugly head. Lead fishing tackle kills waterfowl. Many states have banned it, we stopped shooting it out of our shotguns, but the fact remains waterfowl are still dying because of it.
Harry Vogel, Canadian executive director and senior biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee, recently came across the border into New Hampshire. He found in a study that roughly half of all loon deaths from 1989-2012 were a direct result of lead poisoning by fishing tackle.
Watch the video below:
Loons and other waterfowl usually ingest the lead by mistaking it for gravel on the bottom or eating fish that have ingested it. Vogel found that the population of loons in New Hampshire declined during that time by some 43 percent.
Obviously, the best way to prevent this from happening is by completely banning the use of lead-based products. Some may cite the expense of tungsten or steel as a replacement, but the expense of dead wildlife is greater.
Fishermen that care are everywhere, and this information needs to be spread!