The Lead Tackle Buy-Back Program is part of a regional effort to reduce the exposure of loons to toxic lead fishing tackle. Each year, loons throughout the Northeast die of lead poisoning when they accidentally swallow lead sinkers or jigs that are still attached to a fish they eat, or scoop them up with stones for their gizzard.
“It is tragic to see loons fall victim to a death that is so preventable,” said Dr. Nina Schoch, Executive Director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. “The number of loons that die due to lead poisoning has been increasing in recent years, but having more anglers using non-toxic tackle exclusively can reverse this trend.”
Anglers who turn in 1 ounce or more of lead tackle will receive a $10 voucher for new non-toxic tackle. This program will continue until all 1,100 vouchers are claimed, or November 1, whichever comes first.
“It’s a great time to clean out your tackle box and use this program to replace old lead tackle with new non-toxic sinkers and jigs,” said Jennifer Denny, Education Coordinator for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation. “Together we can remove lead fishing tackle from circulation, and protect loons and other Adirondack wildlife.”
The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation is a 501(c)3 non-profit that conducts scientific research and engaging educational programming to inspire passion for and promote the conservation of Adirondack loons as an environmental sentinel. This project is funded through a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Bouchard Barge 120 Buzzards Bay Oil Spill Trustees.
The Adirondack Loon Center at 75 Main in Saranac Lake is open from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. every day.