Going Fishing? Get the Lead Out!
Lead sinkers and lead shot can be just as hazardous to loons as mercury.
How? Loons eat their prey whole, and do not cast pellets of the indigestible
materials. Their glandular stomach starts dissolving the fish, which then
passes into their muscular stomach (the gizzard). Powerful muscles, aided
by small pieces of grit, grind and liquify the scales and bones like mother
nature's blender. To make the gizzard work, loons pick up and swallow small
stones and grit from the bottom of their lake. Because lead sinkers look
exactly like small stones, loons sometimes pick them up as well. Like the
stones loons swallow, lead sinkers remain in the gizzard. The sinkers eventually
get ground down and dissolve. This process sends the lead slowly but continuously
into the loon's bloodstream. The result? Lead poisoning, sickness, suffering
The good news is that some states and provinces are banning lead sinkers as fishing
gear. In January 2000, New Hampshire became the first U.S. state to do so. YOU
can help save loons from lead poisoning! Bullet Weights is a company that wants
anglers to use steel sinkers, and they're doing something about it. Besides sending
free samples to adults who fish, this company will send steel sinkers and information
to the first 500 student anglers who email or write them. Use the sinkers when
fishing yourself, or give them to an angler. Either way, you'll help protect
How Can We Help?
Help get the lead out! Write or email Bullet Weights® for
your steel sinker samples and information today! IMPORTANT: You must
mention Journey North to receive samples and information.
P.O. Box 187
Alda, Nebraska 68810
E-mail your order form to Bullet
Weights. (In the blank for "Company" or "Message," please
write "Journey North Student Offer.")
Lead isn't the only heavy metal lurking to damage loons and water
supplies. See Journey North's lesson on mercury and discuss your
answers to the questions!
Remember: Lead and mercury aren't good for ANY living things. A world safer
for loons is a world safer for us all!