One of our guest speakers (invited by CLA Directors Austin Sweezey and Kevin Orser) at the upcoming AGM on Saturday, July 13th (10:00am) is Margie Manthey, Fishing Director, Wolfe Lake Association, Westport.  She will share information on lead tackle toxicity and how we can all help to make a positive change.

If you turn in your lead tackle (for recycling) at the AGM, Margie will place your name in a draw for prizes (a basic tackle box with an assortment of lead free tackle inside (good for youth) and a glass coffee mug stuffed with lead free tackle, see pics below).  She will also bring in some lead-free tackle freebies.











To learn more about the Lead-out initiative, please visit the ‘Lets Get the Lead Out’ webpage at

Margie also provided us with the following information and stats:

Thank you for your interest in the “Let’s Get the Lead Out” initiative!  Here are some powerful stats/facts that can be shared in newsletters, email blasts, on social media, or communicated in general conversations with your lake community and the general public.

  • Lead (Pb) is a powerful neurotoxin historically documented as being harmful to ALL living things.  There is no safe amount of lead when ingested.  Inasmuch, it’s been removed from many products, but is still commonly used in fishing and hunting.
  • In some regions, lead poisoning from ingested lead tackle is the #1 killer of common loons, with as high as 50% of loon mortality directly attributed to lead poisoning from ingested lead tackle.
  • Lead poisoning is alsothe leading cause of death in trumpeter swans (comparable to mortality from collision with power lines).
  • At least 75 other species of birds are known to be affected by lead poisoning including bald eagles, common and hooded mergansers, great blue herons, ospreys, sandhill cranes, mallard ducks, Canada geese, and various kinds of terns, gulls, and hawks, and vultures… 
  • In a recent 8-year study, almost half of all bald and golden eagles tested showed chronic lead exposure. The study also confirmed lead toxicity is negatively impacting eagle populations.
  • It takes just one tiny piece of lead — about the size of a pencil tip — to kill an adult loon, eagle, or duck.  Lead poisoning causes a slow, painful death over the course of 2-3 weeks.
  • Studies reveal that ingested lead tackle negatively impacts fish health and behaviours which can compromise survival.
  • Recent government estimates advise that 545 metric tonnes of lead sinkers and jigs are lost in Canadian water bodies every year!
  • Over 90% of fishing tackle sold and used today contains lead. Consumer warning labels are not required on packages of lead tackle, unless a particular tackle product is sold in the state of California.
  • The annual cost increase for the average Canadian angler to switch to lead-free tackle is estimated at less than 2%.

How you can help:

  1. The best place to start replacing lead tackle is with your ONE OUNCE AND UNDER lead sinkers, jigheads, jigs, bullet weights, worm weights, etc… and build from there.
  2. It doesn’t matter whether lead is painted, encased inside hard or soft plastics, etc.  It is still toxic, as the strong grinding action of a loon’s gizzard accompanied by powerful stomach acids break down these coatings, exposing the toxic lead. Even metal hooks are dissolved quickly and rarely kill loons, unless they lodge in the esophagus — it’s the lead that kills.
  3. To the best of your ability, recover any broken line &/or tackle even if it isn’t yours.  
  4. If you see loons in the area you are fishing, reel in and move to another location.  Biologists advise that most loons are poisoned from tackle we are using today – meaning they are chasing down live bait, lures, and fish being reeled in, not just picking lead pieces off the lake bottom. All of these natural behaviours make loons especially vulnerable to lead poisoning.
  5. Never cut the line or leave tackle in a fish that has been deep-hooked. These compromised fish are easily captured by loons and are swallowed whole: hook, line & sinker. Such fish often die and are scavenged by eagles and other wildlife, as well. 
  6. Encourage your local retailers to carry more lead-free fishing tackle.  Let them know how lead harms wildlife and that ethical fishing is important to you.
  7. Help raise awareness.  Many people are unaware or assume that “lead is banned.”  It is not.  In fact, it is legal to sell and use lead tackle anywhere, excepting designated wildlife areas and federal parks. Lead tackle can be used everywhere else, including in provincial parks and lakes like yours.
  8. Write and call your legislators demanding change because safe, sustainable natural resources and wildlife should be important to everyone.
  9. Share our webpage:

“LET’S GET THE LEAD OUT” of fishing!

Margie Manthey

Fishing Director

Wolfe Lake Association