I am doing some research on lead sinkers and their impacts on wildlife and was curious about the opinions of Roughfishers. From the things I have read it seems pretty clear that ingestion of lead sinkers has led to harmful effects in eagles, geese, ducks, loons and other birds and possibly also the things that eat them. I am going to be doing more digging and also plan to conduct a formal survey of tackle shop proprietors and other anglers (so stay tuned). One of the things I would like to know more about is the actual volume of lead weights that are lost in our water bodies via angling each year. I have personally lost countless sinkers and split shot over the years so assuming that's somewhat normal I imagine it adds up to a lot.
Anyway, I'd be interested in any discussion about this topic. Here are some questions for thought:
- Do any of you feel conflicted about using lead sinkers, but in your mind there's just not a good alternative (based on cost or availability)?
- Are the alternatives available just not diverse enough to provide all the sinker shapes and sizes you desire?
- Do you know of any companies that make very good alternative products that may be looking for more business?
And here are some articles on the topic if you care to check it out.