State regulators draw
a bead on fishing lead
California fishermen might need to swap out the content of their tackle boxes, depending on the progress of a proposed state regulation targeting what some consider chemically hazardous weights and sinkers.
Lead products that anglers cast into lakes and streams are particularly harmful to wildlife, according to a California Department of Toxic Substances Control draft document. It estimates “hundreds of tons” of fishing products end up in the environment.
The draft has spurred protests from organizations such as the California Sportfishing League, whose leaders say the proposed change is a solution in search of a problem.
Concerns mirror last year’s debate over legislation banning lead ammunition in California by 2019. While proponents argued that lead bullets pose a risk to wildlife and can be replaced with other, less toxic types of ammunition, critics warned of the cost to both manufacturers and hunters.
“We knew when they were coming after lead ammo that lead tackle was going to be next,” said Jim Martin, West Coast director for the Recreational Fishing Alliance.
“He’s been a force in the state Capitol.”