April 30, 2009
Discussion Topic: On Plastic Baits And Sick Trout
By Dave Hurteau
Last spring, in his March column, F&S Fishing Editor John Merwin reported that plastic baits pose potential environmental and health hazards, that fish are eating plastic baits and dying, and that a switch (mandatory or otherwise) to biodegradable baits could be in our future.
Here’s the latest, from Maine’s The Republican Journal:
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife strongly encourages anglers to protect Maine’s fish by changing from soft plastic lures to biodegradable ones.
A discarded soft plastic lure consumed by a brook trout from the bottom of a freshwater shoal likely remains in that fish’s stomach for the rest of its life and may cause health issues such as ulcers and weight loss. . . .
“We strongly encourage anglers to voluntarily purchase biodegradable and food-based lures rather than soft plastic ones,” said [IF&W Pathologist Dr. Russ] Danner.
“Also, we are asking anglers not to discard plastic lures into any waters . . . .”
So how about you? Would you consider making the switch?