CONCORD, NH — The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC), New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG), and two local fishing retailers are teaming up to address continuing loon deaths by buying back certain lead (Pb) fishing tackle known to poison loons — and banned by a state law that went into effect on June 1, 2016.
From June 2 through Labor Day (September 3), or until the initial 200 certificates are claimed, anglers can exchange one ounce or more of banned tackle (jigs and sinkers) for a $10 gift certificate redeemable at the participating shops: AJ’s Tackle (Meredith, NH) and The Tackle Shack (Newbury, NH).
Current law bans the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and jigs with a total weight of one ounce or less. Only banned tackle is eligible for exchange as part of the buy-back program. One exchange is permitted per customer.
The tackle buy back is a pilot program that builds upon ongoing educational outreach by LPC and NHFG. LPC and NHFG are part of a region-wide initiative called Fish Lead Free (www.fishleadfree.org), which is dedicated to providing resources for anglers across New England to help them make the switch to lead-free tackle.
“We are pleased to partner with these shops and offer an additional incentive to anglers stepping up to do the right thing for loons by moving to non-lead alternatives like steel, tungsten, tin, bismuth, and other materials,” said Harry Vogel, Senior Biologist and Executive Director at LPC.
In addition to the tackle buy back, collection receptacles at all New Hampshire Fish and Game offices, The Loon Center in Moultonborough, and the NH Lakes Association office in Concord provide places for proper disposal of lead fishing tackle.
The Loon Preservation Committee (www.loon.org) works to protect loons throughout the state as part of its mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater 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 the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources.