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Discussion Topic: ASA Calls for Action Against Proposed Washington Lead Ban

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November 19, 2009

Discussion Topic: ASA Calls for Action Against Proposed Washington Lead Ban

By Dave Hurteau

From an American Sportfishing Association press release:
Without evidence that lead fishing tackle is posing a threat to loon populations, a proposed ban in Washington State is completely unwarranted!

Please send a letter to the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission demanding that they reject a proposed rule that would ban the use of lead fishing tackle. The proposal is based on the assumptions that lead fishing tackle poses a threat to loon populations and that many alternatives to lead are widely available for approximately the same price – neither of which is true. . . .

A study of common loons by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife found “no evidence of a declining population or a substantial change in distribution” in the state, and loon populations are stable or increasing throughout their range. Advocates for the proposed ban are using as evidence a finding that says over the past 13 years, nine loons are found to have died from ingesting lead fishing tackle. 

Comments (11)

Top Rated
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from 60256 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

For how many years have lead tackle, and even lead bullets (for waterfowl) been used? Why is this such a big deal now? Extensive studies have been done, and it's been proven that the lead has no major effect on the ecosystem or the injestee of the lead. For stupid.......

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Lead is dead....We can whine about it, site scientific evidence to the contrary, and generally complain all we want to, but lead is going to be banned nationwide.

Banned in ALL fishing tackle, banned in ALL shotshells (slugs too), banned in ALL bullets (including the lowly .22 rimfire).

It's just a matter of when it happens. It sucks, but that's what I see coming down the pike.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Where do the politicians think that lead comes from? This isn't something a mad scientist whipped up in the laboratory. Yet somehow the wildlife has lived with it for eons.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

it's just like CA. scientific evidence showed no link to declining wildlife but it still got banned. anyone know why they quit making bismuth for shotgun shells? whatever alternative they find for lead will be banned as well.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Alright finally, SAVE THE ANIMALS FROM THE EVIL HUNTERS

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

SS, I hope that was sarcasm.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pacific Hunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The fact that lead is harmful or fatal to wildlife, especially scavengers and waterfowl, is not hypothetical. The question is as to whether the amount introduced from hunting/fishing is significant enough to cause mortality. I don't see why we outdoor enthusiasts don't substitute a less harmful substance when possible and reduce the amounts wildlife are exposed too as a precautionary measure instead of just claiming there is no proof and continuing with something that may be harming wildlife inadvertently. A ban is extreme but we have not shown enough perogative without it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Sorry to pop your bubble, Nate, but lead has not been around everywhere for eons. Like mercury it can occur naturally in its pure state in a few very limited natural environments. But these environments have typically been very ill-effected by its presence. Virtually all our lead is mined as some kind of lead ore (e.g. galena) and refined. It is, and always has been, bad news for any ecosystem where it's present. Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting for close to twenty years now. Not only were birds of prey and scavengers picking up the nasty stuff from crippled birds, but the ducks and geese themselves were dying in large numbers in many places where hunting was very concentrated. When I was a kid (forty years ago) I literally picked up a hen and drake mallard from a drainage ditch in then remote Western Montana. Neither bird could walk or even hold its head up. Not a mark on either one of them. Fish & Game determined they were dying of lead poisoning. I loved my lead shot but I wouldn't want to see even a lousy seagull die like that. Lead bullets were banned in California because it was suspected that endangerd California condors would pick up lead when scavanging on deer carcasses. Not an unreasonable expectation - in a few areas anyway (but not the whole bloody state!). If you ever saw one (go to the Grand Canyon and you probably will), you'd want to do whatever you could to help this magnificent bird recover. However, I think a statewide ban was absurd. Both sides just talked trash and common sense went out the window.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

science spoke on the lead crises and it showed that lead ammunition could not have caused the condor to decline. it wasn't trash talk.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Lead didn't cause the condor decline. Shooting them indiscriminately caused that. Then DDT came along and just about finished em off. What I was saying is that the use of lead bullets could and undoubtedly would make it harder to restore the species. It is not unreasonable to assume that a condor would feed on a dead deer that had died from hunting wounds. Or possibly even kill it. All it takes is a mere bullet fragment or shotgun pellet ingested by the bird and they're done for. Unlike mammals, birds do not simply let a piece of lead pass through their digestive system overnight. It goes into their gizzard and stays there until it's ground up and completely dissolved. We think lead is bad news for us but it's ten times deadlier for birds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The reason we don't simply switch to something other than lead is that pb is cheap, the other stuff costs a ton or has inferior ballistics.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Well, changing to steel shot took some time to master, but I have found that once I figured it out, I have been able to shoot as good or better than I did with steel. I'm more careful with my shots these days both because of the ballistics and price. Can't say that is a bad thing. As far as I can tell, steel shot hasn't harmed any of my guns either. Teodoro, check the metals markets prices. Scrap steel goes for almost nothing. Lead fetches a pretty good price. Doesn't seem logical that steel shot shells should be so much more expensive than lead. It's the demand not the cost of materials that makes steel shells more expensive.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from 60256 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

For how many years have lead tackle, and even lead bullets (for waterfowl) been used? Why is this such a big deal now? Extensive studies have been done, and it's been proven that the lead has no major effect on the ecosystem or the injestee of the lead. For stupid.......

Nate

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Lead is dead....We can whine about it, site scientific evidence to the contrary, and generally complain all we want to, but lead is going to be banned nationwide.

Banned in ALL fishing tackle, banned in ALL shotshells (slugs too), banned in ALL bullets (including the lowly .22 rimfire).

It's just a matter of when it happens. It sucks, but that's what I see coming down the pike.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

it's just like CA. scientific evidence showed no link to declining wildlife but it still got banned. anyone know why they quit making bismuth for shotgun shells? whatever alternative they find for lead will be banned as well.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

SS, I hope that was sarcasm.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Where do the politicians think that lead comes from? This isn't something a mad scientist whipped up in the laboratory. Yet somehow the wildlife has lived with it for eons.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pacific Hunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The fact that lead is harmful or fatal to wildlife, especially scavengers and waterfowl, is not hypothetical. The question is as to whether the amount introduced from hunting/fishing is significant enough to cause mortality. I don't see why we outdoor enthusiasts don't substitute a less harmful substance when possible and reduce the amounts wildlife are exposed too as a precautionary measure instead of just claiming there is no proof and continuing with something that may be harming wildlife inadvertently. A ban is extreme but we have not shown enough perogative without it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Sorry to pop your bubble, Nate, but lead has not been around everywhere for eons. Like mercury it can occur naturally in its pure state in a few very limited natural environments. But these environments have typically been very ill-effected by its presence. Virtually all our lead is mined as some kind of lead ore (e.g. galena) and refined. It is, and always has been, bad news for any ecosystem where it's present. Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting for close to twenty years now. Not only were birds of prey and scavengers picking up the nasty stuff from crippled birds, but the ducks and geese themselves were dying in large numbers in many places where hunting was very concentrated. When I was a kid (forty years ago) I literally picked up a hen and drake mallard from a drainage ditch in then remote Western Montana. Neither bird could walk or even hold its head up. Not a mark on either one of them. Fish & Game determined they were dying of lead poisoning. I loved my lead shot but I wouldn't want to see even a lousy seagull die like that. Lead bullets were banned in California because it was suspected that endangerd California condors would pick up lead when scavanging on deer carcasses. Not an unreasonable expectation - in a few areas anyway (but not the whole bloody state!). If you ever saw one (go to the Grand Canyon and you probably will), you'd want to do whatever you could to help this magnificent bird recover. However, I think a statewide ban was absurd. Both sides just talked trash and common sense went out the window.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

science spoke on the lead crises and it showed that lead ammunition could not have caused the condor to decline. it wasn't trash talk.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Lead didn't cause the condor decline. Shooting them indiscriminately caused that. Then DDT came along and just about finished em off. What I was saying is that the use of lead bullets could and undoubtedly would make it harder to restore the species. It is not unreasonable to assume that a condor would feed on a dead deer that had died from hunting wounds. Or possibly even kill it. All it takes is a mere bullet fragment or shotgun pellet ingested by the bird and they're done for. Unlike mammals, birds do not simply let a piece of lead pass through their digestive system overnight. It goes into their gizzard and stays there until it's ground up and completely dissolved. We think lead is bad news for us but it's ten times deadlier for birds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

The reason we don't simply switch to something other than lead is that pb is cheap, the other stuff costs a ton or has inferior ballistics.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

Well, changing to steel shot took some time to master, but I have found that once I figured it out, I have been able to shoot as good or better than I did with steel. I'm more careful with my shots these days both because of the ballistics and price. Can't say that is a bad thing. As far as I can tell, steel shot hasn't harmed any of my guns either. Teodoro, check the metals markets prices. Scrap steel goes for almost nothing. Lead fetches a pretty good price. Doesn't seem logical that steel shot shells should be so much more expensive than lead. It's the demand not the cost of materials that makes steel shells more expensive.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ss wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Alright finally, SAVE THE ANIMALS FROM THE EVIL HUNTERS

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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