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
- Betsy McCaughey: Congress should take the lead on Iraq - 2
- Another View - Rick Santorum: When Israel needs our help, we have to be there - 0
- Thomas Sowell: Liberal urban police policies won't quell riots - 0
- Another View -- Frank Guinta: I am uniquely qualified to represent NH in Congress - 11
- Deroy Murdock: The indictment of Rick Perry is bizarre and unfounded - 0
- Another View - Marc Champion: A strong terror policy would cure Obama's golf woes - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: Obama confuses the TV world with the real one - 2
- George Will: In defense of the defenders - 0
- Roger Simon: Is Ferguson the future? - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NHIAA Boys' Soccer Preview: Talent to boot - 0
- Last call at home for Fisher Cats tonight - 0
- Jessica Goldman was on the move - 0
- Band camp gets Memorial musicians in rhythm a week early - 0
- Drew Cline: Small sleights of hand in Republican primaries around NH - 0
- Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you - 0
- Portman's good point: A leadership deficit all around - 0
- Scott and Genevieve Kelley - 0
- Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Shaheen takes on illegal immigration - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Reports: Market Basket doomsday plan would shutter 61 of 71 stores if deal not struck soon
GOP for legal pot? Hemignway's high help