Ban on lead fishing tackle should be opposed

Published Saturday, September 4, 2010
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On Aug. 23, the Environmental Protection Agency was petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and four other organizations to ban all lead in fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This includes sinkers, jigs, weighted fly line, and components that contain lead such as brass and ballast in a wide variety of lures, including spinners, stick baits and more.

On Aug. 27, the EPA denied the petition for ammunition but maintained the petition to ban lead fishing tackle. Supporters of hunting and the shooting sports have been successful in having ammunition excluded from this ban.

The petition was presented with the aim of reducing bird deaths caused by the ingestion of lead sinkers and jig heads; however, a study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that less than one percent of all waterfowl and other birds such as eagles are killed by lead sinker ingestion.

Here are four reasons for opposing the ban:

1.) The data does not support a federal ban on lead sinkers used for fishing. In general, bird populations, including loons and other waterfowl species, are subject to much more substantial threats such as habitat loss through shoreline development. Any lead restrictions need to be based on sound science that supports the appropriate action for a particular water body or species.

2.) Depending on the alternative metal and current prevailing raw material costs, non-lead fishing tackle products can cost from six to 15 times more than lead products. Non-lead products may not be as available and most do not perform as well. Mandatory transitioning to non-lead fishing tackle would require significant changes from both the industry and anglers.

3.) A federal ban of the use of lead in fishing tackle will have a significant negative impact on recreational anglers and fisheries resources, but a negligible impact on waterfowl populations.

4.) America's 60 million anglers generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for over one million people. Anglers are encouraged to support voluntary angler education programs for the use of lead sinkers and should urge state and federal fish and wildlife agencies to do the same.

How you can help? The EPA has opened a petition for public comment. Officially submit your comments opposing this ban using the EPA's comment page at Comments are due by Sept. 15.

The coordinates

It often works to everyone's advantage when boat captains supply information. Many captains are fearful that information passed along will reveal secret spots soon lost to an onslaught of anxious fishermen.

The information is out there for all. It just makes sense to use it. I take advantage of every parcel provided, many will attest to the fact that I need all the help I can get. Wally Phinney of Sea Wolf Charters has provided the following updated information. He is willing to share these waypoints for all to enjoy. My thanks, Wally, you make things easier for everyone. Thanks also to Bob Martore of the SCDNR Marine Resources division for supplying the files.


1 buoy marks reef, bearing 123o / 5.8 nm from Port Royal channel buoy '14' - water depth 45'

Reef Structure - Latitude - Longitude -


(1) Reef Buoy 32 07.160 080 29.323-Beaufort 45' Reef(2) 200 Concrete reef balls 32 07.199 080 29.334- (3) Army tanks and APCs 32 07.148 080 29.288

(4) Army tanks and APCs 32 07.107 080 29.200- (5) Army tanks and APCs 32 07.168 080 29.129- (6) Army tanks and APCs 32 07.202 080 29.193

(7) Army tanks and APCs 32 07.161 080 29.242- (8) Concrete Zs 32 07.162 080 29.346- (9) Concrete Zs 32 07.156 080 29.339

(10) 106' Fuel barge 32 07.160 080 29.388- (11) Concrete culvert pipe 32 07.120 080 29.340- (12) Broad River bridge rubble 32 07.158 080 29.431

(13) Broad River bridge rubble 32 07.146 080 29.330- (14) Broad River bridge rubble 32 07.014 080 29.330- (15) 100' Deck barge 32 07.195 080 29.280

(16) Army APC's 32 07.215 080 29.350- (17) Army APC's 32 07.230 080 29.288- (18) Army APC's 32 07.212 080 29.286-(19) Army APC's 32 07.202 080 29.275

(20) Army APC's 32 07.244 080 29.302- (21) Army APC's 32 07.211 080 29.295

Sea Island Fly Fishers meeting set

The Sea Island Fly Fishers' next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bay Street Outfitters in Beaufort. This is the first meeting since May. Members will have the opportunity to catch up on summer fishing tales and to hear a new speaker.

Al Segars from the SCDNR will present a program on human impact on coastal wildlife. Segars is an excellent speaker and those attending will benefit from his wide experience. The public is invited for a social hour and the program. Persons interested in fly fishing, especially saltwater, are encouraged to attend.

The October program will be a casting clinic, which will provide an excellent presentation to getting started and a rewarding slant to a new approach to fishing. Fore further details, call Jack Baggette at 843-522-8911.

Please keep your thermos clean

Anglers are often placed in unique situations. Many times, we are forced to share a drink from a thermos that has seen better days. I can recall many trips when the alternative would have been far better than the course of action.

For those who have a thermos that looks as if it was run over by a trash truck hauling fertilizer to the landfill, please consider your fellow man.

For the sake of all those unknown and unnamed biological gestations that may be harboring somewhere in the depths of your thermos, and to those who may be tempted to share the contents of same, have mercy.

Clean the thing if you plan on sharing with others. It's not as hard as you may think. I have found the perfect technique which requires little to no effort on your part.

Fill the thermos with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, leave the cap off and let soak for an hour (longer, if necessary). No muss no fuss. Your health and that of others whom you may wish to share will be grateful for your actions.

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