Home » Opinion » Editorials
Protecting loons: Who bears the cost?
The fishermen don't mean to kill the birds. They are only trying to catch fish, usually bass. They weight their lines with sinkers and jigs made of lead, as they've always done. Loons eat the lead and don't last long after that.
That is why the Loon Preservation Committee and other environmental groups want to ban the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and jigs that weigh less than one ounce. The state has restricted lead sinkers, but not jigs, and loons are still dying.
Angler organizations say banning the lead products will cost fishermen tons of money. They say, too, that loon populations are rising, so there is no problem. But there is a problem.
Loon populations, declining for a long time, have risen in recent years. That is not because lead suddenly stopped being a threat. It is because the state and volunteer organizations like the Loon Preservation Committee have worked very hard to rebuild the populations. One fishing season in which a lot of loons happen to swallow lead can wipe out years' worth of work by the state and volunteer groups.
Lead sinkers and jigs are cheap - for anglers. They are very expensive for loons. The birds used to bear all of that cost, but preservationists and Fish and Game have eased the burden. Together they pay a heavy cost so that fishermen can save a little money on weights and jigs. It seems to make more sense to have the fishermen pay a little more for tackle rather than have so many people working so hard to keep that cheap lead out of the mouths of these cherished birds.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Congress approves arming Syrian rebels, funding government - 2
- Obama vows U.S. will not fight ground war - 1
- Suicide car bomber kills 3 foreign troops in Afghan capital; Taliban claims responsibility - 0
- U.S. hits Islamic State south of Baghdad in first strike under new Obama orders - 0
- Britain cautious after another hostage beheading - 0
- Top Republicans back Obama's plan to fight ISIS - 1
- Obama to expand airstrikes to Syria, vows to destroy Islamic State 'wherever they exist' - 43
- Gov. Hassan orders flags to half-staff to mark 9/11 anniversary - 1
- U.S. expands attacks on Islamic State - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Scots spurn independence, vote to stay in the United Kingdom - 0
- Roger Brown's First and 10: Answers forthcoming - 0
- NHMS chief Gappens is on board with the Chase changes - 0
- Another View -- Ben Rose: How NH's John Stark helped defeat the British at Saratoga - 1
- Celebrating Claremont: A 250th birthday party - 0
- Trashed lunches: Brownies, broccoli and bucks - 7
- Hampstead's Suess ready for Whelen Modified race - 0
- College Football: Big Green kick off season vs. Cent. Connecticut - 0
- Son says shooting of mom during DEA raid was a mistake - 14
Supporters eager for Hillary's return to NH
Manchester family heartbroken after finding lost kitten was adopted from shelter, family refuses to return it