Preventing the Use of Lead in Fish Tackle

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota would join a growing list of states and regions in protecting wildlife health by banning the use of lead in fishing tackle, an idea proposed by a group of Girl Scouts who attend Sunrise Middle School in White Bear Lake. The legislation is being carried by Senator Chick Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) and Representative Peter Fischer (DFL-Maplewood).

“We are proud of the abundant natural resources and long tradition of outdoor recreation in Minnesota, but we have to take steps to protect it, and preventing the use of lead in fishing would be a great step,” said Senator Wiger. “I want to thank these student leaders for their passion and commitment to putting their ideas in action and advocating for this important bill at the legislature.”

Lead is a toxic metal that, in sufficient quantities, has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds. Found in most fishing jigs and sinkers, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles.  There are alternatives to traditional lead tackle. Anglers can now use sinkers and jigs made from materials such as tin, bismuth, steel, and tungsten-nickel alloy — and they are available at established sporting goods retailers and on the Internet.

“I’m proud of the work that these students are doing to take the lead on protecting our state’s fish and our state’s water, and it’s on us to follow their lead,” said Representative Fischer. “Let’s get to work and move this legislation forward this year.”

The legislation (HF3825/SF3892) is currently awaiting action.

Photo of State Senator Chuck Wiger with Representative Peter Fischer and a group of Girl Scouts. Everyone is smiling.
PHOTO from left to right :Sen. Chuck Wiger and Girl Scouts Adlin Shimek, Cami Bachmeier, and Lily Rosenthal. Dawn Tanner is from the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization, and Rep. Peter Fischer, chair of the Legislative Water Commission. The girls are students at Sunrise Middle School in White Bear Lake.
Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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