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Going Fishing? Get the Lead Out!


Background
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 and death.

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 loons.


Activity:
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.

Write:
Bullet Weights®
P.O. Box 187
Alda, Nebraska 68810

OR

E-mail your order form to Bullet Weights. (In the blank for "Company" or "Message," please write "Journey North Student Offer.")


Extension:
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!

 

 
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