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I knew abt the sinker ban, but just found this thread and also the "PETA" petition.

BTW the petition (I signed it and forwarded to many)is up to something over 70K names. Does anyone know when it will be presented?

Stay vigilant!
 

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PETA - My two cents

Doc,

I couldn't agree more with your assessment of PETA and their motives. Unfortunately, unless rec. fishers (and the fishing community AS A WHOLE - yes, including comms)can marshall the same type of commitment to fight these ridiculous laws as PETA has been able to do getting them passed - we are "sitting ducks"; (pardon the pun). We need to be proactive and single-minded about these issues. In a way, the fact that many of these issues have come to the forefront all at once this year is probably just the "kick in the pants" that we need to galvanize some action.

Write letters! Make phone calls! Send emails! Generously support groups like IGFA, RFA, CCA and others who are in the trenches every day on these matters. BUT, make sure you know which side of the fence they stand on before sendingm your $$$ !!! Many groups out there these days don't make a public showing of their sympathies toward PETA and their agenda.

Most of us spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year on tackle, bait, boating equip., etc. etc., etc.; let's shell out a few bucks to PROTECT OUR PASSION! Not only that, but make sure your elected representatives know that you spend this time & money - get it on record! The more written support we give to pro-fishing representatives - the more ammunititon (and motivation) they have to fight these battles!

Thank you for the soap box - I tender the floor.
 

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Connection between waterfowl feeding habits and fishing sinkers?

I don't understand how waterfowl (dabbling ducks, loons, etc.) are affected by fishing sinkers. I can easily understand how lead shot used by hunters in shotguns can wind up being ingested by waterfowl; the pellets are discharged over marshlands and shallow waters (very likely less than 3' deep), thus these pellets are readily available to feeding birds. However, I fail to see how lead sinkers used by fishermen (generally in depths considerably deeper than 3')can be readily ingested by these birds. Can someone show a rational and verifiable connection here?

Further, lead sinkers build up a layer of oxidation around the outside (hence the grayish appearance), making them virtually inert and insoluble in water. Therefore, the danger of lead going into solution in saline water is nonexistent without a catalyst.

Given these factors, this legislation again begins to take on the appearance of a concerted effort by anti-fishing groups to "nibble away" at the edges until the dam breaks, under the auspices of legitimate environmental concerns.

Stay Vigilant.
 

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Waterfowl dietary regimes

Scratcher,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember learning that:

Loons are exclusively piscavores, thus stray lead shot lying in the bottom sediments pose no threat to these species.

Scoters & eiders feed almost exclusively on marine (or aquatic) invertebrates (mussels, clams, etc.) The chance that these filter feeding shellfish are ingesting stray lead shot which is then passed upward to the birds defies both the laws of chance & reason.

Canvasbacks' diets, on the other hand, do sometimes include aquatic & marine plant life and algae, thus there is a SLIGHT chance that a stray lead shot FROM A FISHERMAN might make it into the gizzard of these birds.

I still do not see these almost astronomical odds as justification for the half-measures imposed by the legislature here. Sorry!

As to your discussion regarding dredge spoils and other incomprehensible abominations we humans have imposed on our environment, you are absolutely right. However, I would think that the overarching concern here should be the danger of the dredge spoils & sewage effluent themselves, rather than their chance interaction with an occassional lead sinker.

(This post edited by sealaw on 05/05/2004)
 

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Astronomical Odds

Scratcher,

First, please be careful with your words; these birds don't "actively seek" lead (your pseudo-science is showing)- although they may inadvertantly ingest a few lead shot while seeking out pebbles. I still view the odds of this happening on a large scale as astronomical, if they do in fact even swallow ANY pebbles while DIVING - they would literally have to be consistenty diving over piles of lead shot! Most fishermen I know sinply don't lose that many lead shot in exactly the same geographic (benthic) location.

Second, I am aware that birds don't have teeth (!); however, I thank you for your reminder re: the lack of ornithological dentition.

Third, while you are correct that birds do seek out pebbles to assist in digestion, I am relatively sure that this activity is confined to their times on land, and that they do not actively ingest pebbles during their diving/feeding activities. Thus, I can see the rationale behind banning lead bird shot over marshlands; but I still see the ban on lead shot-type sinkers as a knee jerk reaction to radical environmental groups who attempt to confuse science with emotion and pseudo-science.

I wonder how they will frame the argument to ban larger sinkers? Diving birds now swallowing 6-ounce bank sinkers as ballast to help them dive deeper?

I can just hear the wheels turning already....

(This post edited by sealaw on 05/09/2004)
 

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MakoMike,

It's not the small weights I'm concerned with ( I rarely use them, and when I do, the ones that get lost are far beyond the retrieval capacity of any birds I know of). It's the "foot in the door" that this represents...if YOU do a little research you'll find that this baby step is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to initiatives aimed at curtailing or eliminating fishing altogether. Or haven't you been paying attention to the chatter on this site as well throughout the recreational fishing community? Have you visited the PETA website lately? Do you really believe they are above using covert tactics and misinformation to achieve their objectives?

If you think I'm "imagining" conspiratorial activities, I suggest you take a good hard look at the overall picture of what's been happening in the fisheries regulatory arena over the last ten years (i.e. MPAs in Calif.), rather than getting distracted by protracted arguments over irrelevant minutae.

Respectfully,
sealaw
 

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I don't wish to discredit your efforts re: F2F and other protective measures you may be involved in - thank you for your work in that regard. I just know how these groups work. It's not that we (recreational fishemen) don't give a **** abt. the environment, in fact we recreationals for the most part have historically been on the forefront of environmental intitiatives, and have been very reserved up until recently regarding increasingly restrictive measures being placed on our sport. FYI, I have spent a good portion of my legal career representing local environmental issues and concerns, particularly those surrounding our local estuaries and living marine resources. However, this has put me in a position to see first hand how certain "ultra-radical" enviros go about advancing their interests. In a nutshell, some of their techniques are downright deceptive (fraudulent?). This is not to say that they ALL use "dirty tactics" to get their way - or that the core ideas they advance have no merit. I'm merely pointing out that this trend will not stop until we are all told we have to put down our fishing rods for good. I for one have no intention of doing so without a battle royale! So forgive me if I rustle a few feathers, but don't expect me to stop! I know where this is going....

Respectfully,
sealaw
 
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