Michael Casey: Loons Poisoned by Lead

Associated Press:

06_11_snapshots_loon_family.jpg
More than year after New Hampshire passed one of the nation’s toughest bans on using lead fishing tackle, loons are still dying from ingesting fishing weights and lures.

The 2016 law prohibits the sale and use of lead tackle in the state as part of an effort to revive the state’s loon population. But Loon Preservation Committee senior biologist Harry Vogel says eight loons have died this year from lead poisoning, up from two last year.

”The day this law was passed, we knew we would continue to see lead-poisoned loons,” Vogel said. “As long as Grandpa’s old tackle box is in the dusty corner of the garage, some people will just put lead tackle on the line and continue to fish. The hope is that it will become less and less common over time.”

From necropsy studies, I've estimated that between 100 and 200 Minnesota loons die each year due to lead poisoning.