One of the biggest threats facing loons today is lead poisoning from swallowing lead fishing tackle.
Lead is a neurotoxin that is very harmful to all living things. Toxic lead fishing tackle can accumulate in the environment, where it is responsible for the deaths of millions of birds and other wildlife.
This neurotoxin attacks the nervous system and can lead to blindness, decreased reproductivity, seizures, and death. Lead poisoning causes tremendous suffering, as loons (and eagles, swans, and other wildlife) deteriorate slowly and painfully over the course of one to three weeks.
Fishing tackle is the sole cause for at least 50% of loon mortality in some areas.
The solution is simple. Don’t use lead fishing tackle!!
For more information on lead-tackle alternatives, lead-tackle exchange programs, and other related issues, please check out the following resources from the Wolfe Lake Association in Westport, Ontario: