Fish Lead Free: Getting Out on the Ice!

Fish Lead Free: Getting Out on the Ice!

It was a sluggish begin to ice fishing time in Maine this 12 months, but in February the ice fishing situations ended up stacked so I determined to be a part of in the pleasurable and was out on the ice educating anglers about the rewards of guide-free of charge fishing. Why?  Mainly because lead poisoning in loons is a single of the  major causes of death for recovered loon mortalities all through the condition. As a consequence, Maine state law bans the use and sale of lead sinkers and unpainted guide jig heads weighing 1 ounce or a lot less or measuring 2.5 inches extended or considerably less.

Maine Audubon's Laura Williams at Chaffin Pond
Maine Audubon’s Laura Williams at Trout Unrestricted Sebago Chapter’s ice fishing occasion on Chaffin Pond on February 18.

But what I identified surprised me. The selection of anglers unaware that a lead tackle law exists in Maine was staggering. It can be challenging to hold up with the different fishing rules through the point out but the direct tackle constraints apply statewide and sadly look to be not that very well acknowledged. With numerous anglers both obtaining their tackle from out of state resources or employing older deal with handed down to them, it is fairly straightforward to close up with these illegal dimensions in your deal with box.  (Strategies on cleaning out your tackle box in this article!)

The biggest issue of the weekend I got was: What does the paint on a lead jig do? In truth, not a lot moreover earning it appear to be like a safer solution and adding a flash of shade to entice fish. The truth is, this paint can chip off very easily though bouncing all-around together lake bottoms or in your tackle box. Guide-totally free jig heads appear unpainted or painted so if you’re wanting for that flash of shade you can even now get it.

Amongst the two functions this weekend, I was capable to obtain 135 items of guide deal with from anglers. Despite the fact that the total excess weight of these products doesn’t feel like a lot at 1.7 lbs, 26.9 ounces, the most striking quantity to me is the 135 pieces of modest guide deal with. That is 135 much less items of direct that could conclusion up in our lakes and ponds lessening the chances of these modest direct tackle pieces ending up in a loon’s tummy. 

It was terrific to spouse with some other companies in the condition to unfold the phrase about fishing lead-cost-free last weekend during Maine’s no cost fishing weekend. These ice-fishing activities are a great position to satisfy anglers, acquire lead deal with, and distribute lead-free tackle and information. Thanks to Trout Limitless Sebago for internet hosting their ice fishing function on Chaffin Pond in Windham. And thanks to Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Hooked on Fishing not on Medicines application together with Solid and Simply call Guides Expert services LLC for hosting a free of charge ice fishing clinic on Reduced Mousam in Shapleigh.

Remember to provide your previous guide tackle with you if you are likely to any of Maine’s three Sportsman Exhibits in March. Locate me at the Maine Audubon booth and you can swap out your direct for some guide-cost-free possibilities!


Jap Maine Sportsmen’s Show
University of Maine Industry Home, Orono
March 10, 11, 12

Presque Isle Fish and Game Club Sportsman’s Show
College of Maine Gentile Creating, Presque Isle
March 25-26

Point out of Maine Sportsman’s Display
Civic Centre, Augusta
March 31- April 2