Proposed phase-out plan for small toxic terminal tackle (Draft)

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress has approved the phase-out of toxic (lead) fishing tackle that is less than one inch and less than .5 ounce. Among the many reasons this phase-out is needed is the protection of our wildlife from lead poisoning.

Below is a proposal for a phase-out program. Lake associations, conservation clubs, scout and 4H groups, other clubs could be invited to assist in this effort to protect our wildlife and make our waters healthier. The participating groups and clubs will be asked to host free ‘toxic tackle swaps’ where sportsmen can trade in their lead sinkers and jigs for non-toxic substitutes. Funding from this may be able to come from the lake grant program if some adjustments are made in that program to accommodate this activity. (Note that this program starts with education 10 to 12 ‘trial’ lakes, then expands to most WI ‘nesting’ lakes, then to all WI waters.)

ActionWhoRationaleTimelineOther
Develop Education materialsUWEX, DNR, LoonwatchGood info is needed to educate public on need for this and to garner public supportASAP“How can I protect myself, my family, the future of our wildlife?
Disseminate educ materialsUWEX, DNREducate publicASAP
Announce phase-out concept including proposed termination dates and free swap programs.DNR, WI Cons CongressInform publicOctober, 2010Include list of dates when lead use will end.
Verify that funds can come from lake grant programDNR‘Swap’ groups may need funds to purchase non-toxic tackle to trade for lead tackleNov2010Jeff Bode, Carroll Schall?
Communicate w/ lake groups, conservation clubs, other groups re: hosting free swap programs.Congress, LoonWatch, WAL, Northwest Waters, countywide lake groups, othersDevelop methods, plans and dates for free swap programs. Determine funding.October 2010
Step 1 of Phase-Out:June 1, 2011Termination date for lead use on10 to 12key waterbodiessuch as northern loon nesting lakes and duck/goose nesting areasDNR,DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT DRAFTTrial Program:Loon nesting lakes are the primary feeding grounds for many birds, therefore need higher priority.Choose 10 to 12 lakes to begin the phase-out programJune 1, 2011Identify duck/goose nesting areas &loon nesting areas w/ help from LoonWatch & DNR data. Follow up w/ media releases and good P R.
Begin free ‘swap’ programs in vicinity of ‘trial’ lakes.Lake groups, conservation clubs, scout groups, etcGain public support, give sportsmen opportunity to exchange toxic for non-toxic tackle at no costMay/June 2011Dates, places will be determined by the participating lake groups, clubs, etc. and where ‘trial’ lakes are located.
Step 2 of P-O:July 1, 2012(proposed date)Termination date for lead use on other waterbodieswhere loon nesting duck/goose nesting, significant feeding takes place:DNRChoose lakes that are feeding grounds for shore birds, waterfowl.July 1, 2012Do not include lakes that are not likely to give up lead lost by fishermen. (Bog lakes, muck bottom lakes, etc.)
P-O step 3 :July 1, 2013Termination date for lead tackle use on all public watersDNREventually all public waters need to be lead free, not just nesting waters.ASAPThis will end phase-out program and make it illegal to possess lead sinkers & jigs less than 1 inch and .5 oz.
Follow-up media coverageDNRPublic supportThroughoutPress releases

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