Letter: New Law Is No Threat to Anglers
To the Editor:
I will try one more time to explain why a bill recently passed by the Legislature doesn’t amount to “going after New Hampshire fishermen,” as claimed by Joseph Krasnecky in his July 20 letter.
After 2016, you may still fish, just not with lead jigs weighing 1 ounce or less. I spoke with a Massachusetts fisherman last summer who was here for a bass tournament. All Massachusetts anglers made the change to non-lead fishing jigs of 1 ounce in 2012, and he thought it was a non-issue. He felt they were doing what was right for the environment, and they were still catching fish. He said the cost to make the change was minor. I do not understand the argument that we are burdening New Hampshire fishermen. This change will benefit the environment as well. We have taken lead out of paint, shotgun pellets, gas, brake pads and more because lead is toxic.
Krasnecky’s letter alludes to loon hunting by the Inuit. We have no influence over that, but we do control what happens in New Hampshire. Lead jigs have been killing adult loons in the state. Krasnecky is correct in saying the loon population is much higher than it was decades ago, but that is because of efforts made to save this amazing species. They are still on the threatened species list here. The death of one loon of breeding age is a great threat to what is still a tentative recovery of the bird. The Loon Preservation Committee has been studying New Hampshire loons since 1975. Its research has shown that lead fishing tackle is responsible for 49 percent of all documented adult loon mortality, the single largest cause of death for adult loons. Krasnecky’s claim that it is not the primary cause of loon mortality is correct only in regard to loon chicks. Collisions with motorized boats is the primary cause of loon chick death.
Please continue to enjoy fishing. Let us also try to minimize our impact on other species that do not have the ability to vote and whose lives depend on fishing.