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Severn Sound Environmental Association

Severn Sound Environmental Association > Programs & Projects > Pollution Prevention > Take a little lead out

Lead Fishing Tackle Education Program

Did you know?

  • A loon can die of lead poisoning after swallowing just one lead fishing sinker or jig.
  • Lead fishing tackle is still widely available in stores and continues to be used by anglers of all ages.
  • Non-toxic fishing tackle must be used in Canada’s National Parks and National Wildlife Areas.

Lead is toxic to wildlife and people. Fishing sinkers and jigs sometimes come off the line, or the hook and line become so entangled that the line breaks or has to be cut. Environment Canada estimates that as much as 500 tonnes of lead sinkers and jigs are accidentally lost in Canada's lakes, rivers and streams each year, threatening loons and other wildlife with lead poisoning.

Fortunately, the risk of lead poisoning to waterfowl and the deposition of lead into waterways is significantly reduced when people voluntarily switch to non-toxic tackle products. Environmentally-friendly tackle alternatives are usually labeled as ‘non-toxic' or ‘lead-free', whereas lead tackle does not always specify the contents on the package.

For more information contact:

Michelle Hudolin, Wetlands & Habitat Biologist
705-527-5166 ext. 202 

You can help sustain healthy waterways and wildlife for the future: ask your tackle shop to stock non-toxic tackle, and use non-toxic tackle everywhere you fish. Take a Little Lead Out!

Online Resource

Lead fishing sinkers and jigs in Canada: Review of their use patterns and toxic impacts on wildlife (Environment Canada)