CONCORD — On December 17 the Loon Preservation Committee ("LPC") and NH Lakes Association ("NH LAKES") recognized Senator Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) for his role in legislative efforts to protect New Hampshire's loon population from toxic lead (Pb) fishing sinkers and jigs.
Between 1989 and 2011, at least 124 adult New Hampshire loons—a threatened species—died from lead poisoning after ingesting lead tackle. Whereas loons are slow to breed and often require many years to produce even one or two chicks, the loss of these adults has had a significant negative impact upon our state's loons. Survival of adult loons is the most important factor in ensuring the continued viability of New Hampshire's small loon population.
At the State House, LPC and NH LAKES presented Senator Hosmer with a loon photo, bearing an inscribed plaque recognizing him for co-sponsoring Senate Bill 89. Senator Jeanie Forrester was the prime sponsor of the bill, which closes a gap in current state law banning the sale and freshwater use of smaller lead sinkers and jigs by adding jig sizes up to one ounce. Lead sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less are by far the largest cause of documented NH adult loon mortality, causing almost half of all NH adult loon deaths.
Sheridan Brown, LPC's Legislative Coordinator said, "These types of legislative successes don't happen without citizens making their voices heard on behalf of loons and other wildlife species who can't speak for themselves. More importantly, they require effective legislative champions who hear those voices and act thoughtfully and decisively. We are tremendously grateful that Senator Hosmer provided his strong support for efforts to protect the Granite State's iconic loons."
For more information about Senate Bill 89 and the lead fishing tackle threat to loons, visit www.loon.org.