Did you know that New Hampshire and Maine have passed laws imposing limits on the use of lead tackle for fishing?
According to a recent issue of American Sportfishing, the first of those laws will take effect on Jan. 1, when it becomes illegal to use lead sinkers less than one ounce and jigs measuring less than one inch in New Hampshire's lakes and ponds.
In July, Governor Angus King signed into law a bill that will make it illegal in Maine, beginning in 2002, to sell lead-containing sinkers that weigh 1/2 ounce or less.
At least four other states - Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Vermont - have had the topic of lead bans discussed in their state legislatures.
At the federal level, lead tackle is currently banned in Yellowstone National Park and lead sinkers are prohibited on three U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges - Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Reserve (NWR) near Lima, Mont., National Elk NWR near Jackson, Wyo., and Seney NWR near Seney, Mich.
The summer the US F&WS moved to create lead-free areas at 13 additional wildlife refuges in nine states where loons and anglers co-exits. Those regulations won't become final until later this fall and will not go into effect for another two years.
For information, call the American Sportfishing Association at (703) 519-9691 or go the website www.asafishing.org.