Outdoors blog

Lead tackle restricted at 13 lakes

Four loons that nested in Eastern Washington or hatched in the region’s waters died last year from poisoning caused by ingesting lead sinkers or jigs.Photo courtesy of Daniel Poleschook Jr. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Poleschook Jr. / The Spokesman-Review)
Four loons that nested in Eastern Washington or hatched in the region’s waters died last year from poisoning caused by ingesting lead sinkers or jigs.Photo courtesy of Daniel Poleschook Jr. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Poleschook Jr. / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHING -- Starting Sunday, the use of lead fishing tackle will be restricted in northern Washington at 13 lakes frequented by nesting common loons.

After a year of discussion and public meetings, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to prohibit the use of lead weights and jigs that measure 1½ inches or less along the longest axis at 12 lakes.

The lakes in Eastern Washington include:

  • Ferry County: Ferry and Swan;
  • Okanogan County:  Bonaparte, Blue and Lost;
  • Pend Oreille County: Big Meadow, South Skookum and Yocum;
  • Stevens County:  Pierre Lake.

In addition, the commission banned the use of flies containing lead at Long Lake in Ferry County.

The restrictions are designed to protect loons from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers.

Information on loons and lead tackle has been compiled on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's website.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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