As of 1/24/12, HB 2241 hearing cancelled; bill withdrawn from further
consideration this legislative session
January 17, 2012
September 8, 2010
Lori PreussWDFW Rules Coordinator 600 Capitol Way North Olympia, WA 98501
Dear Ms. Preuss: Subject: PAS Comments on WDFW 2011-12 Sportfishing Rules
The Pilchuck Audubon Society wishes to comment and urge the Wildlife Commission to support a total ban statewide on the use of lead sinkers less than one and one-half (1-1/2) ounce and less than one and one half (1-1/2) inches measured on its smallest axis. Currently the proposed 2011 -2012 Fishing Regulation #32 only bans lead sinkers less than 1/2 ounce (no requirement on size) and lead jigs less than 1-1/2 inch on thirteen "breeding lakes" spread over 5 counties. We feel this is an inadequate solution to the on-going lead poisoning of our wildlife. In fact, it may actually harm loons when irate fishermen take to eliminating them on the "breeding lakes." To begin to reverse the damage of toxic lead poisoning in the environment, the ban on these small lead sinkers and jigs must be statewide. The data are overwhelming that small lead sinkers and jigs are killing trumpeter swans, loons, and other wildlife. Lead sinkers are small and easily swallowed, posing a toxic hazard to children as well. Furthermore, many anglers make sinkers in their homes. If proper precautions are not used, lead vapors and dust can impact anyone within the household. Lead has been linked to many human health problems including brain damage, mental retardation, behavior problems, anemia, liver and kidney damage, hearing loss, hyperactivity, developmental delays, and, in extreme cases, death. Children are most at risk. Effective and comparably-priced alternatives to lead sinkers and jigs exist and it makes sense to stop using toxic products and prevent their deposition into our waters. We have banned lead from children’s toys, paints, and gasoline. Now is the time to join with the other forward thinking states across our nation and ban the recreational use of lead from sport fishing in Washington. Thank you for your consideration of these comments.
Mike Blackbird, President Pilchuck Audubon Society