Love Our Lakes: Pointers for Good Lake Stewardship

Loons and Leads Don't Mix

We all enjoy the presence of the loons on our lakes. But most of us don’t realize that largest cause of mature loon death is ingestion of lead from fishing sinkers and tackle. Many anglers use lead weights (sinkers) and jigs to get their fishing lines to sink. These weights may come off of the line or be left if a hook gets snagged. Loons and other water birds swallow grit and small stones to help their digestive process. If they swallow a lead sinker they end up with lead poisoning. Once started, there is no way to rescue a loon from lead poisoning. There are inexpensive alternatives to lead. Maine law has banned the sale of lead-based sinkers weighing 1/2 ounce or less. You can help by purging your tackle box of any lead weights. The Washington Lakes Watershed Association will exchange lead weights with non-lead replacements at no charge to help protect our lakes and loons. Call us at 207-845-2661. And spread the word to your fishing buddies. Love Our Lakes by protecting our loons from lead poisoning.