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GLIN==> Common Loons and lead fishing gear



Common loons and lead fishing gear: Real problems, real solutions
Presentation by Dr. Mark Pokras, sponsored by Minnesota DNR and Office of
Environmental Assistance
St. Paul, Minnesota, October 28, 2002 - On Friday, Dec. 6 at 10:00 a.m., Dr.
Pokras, a national authority on the effects of lead poisoning from fishing
tackle on loons will speak at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency,
Central and West Board Rooms, 520 Lafayette Rd N, St. Paul. 
<<...OLE_Obj...>> 
Understanding the impact of human activities on the environment is the first
step in minimizing damage and in bringing us a step closer to coexisting
with other animals. From 1987-1998, nearly 700 common loons found dead or
moribund were examined as part of a New England wide mortality study. The
Minnesota DNR has also participated in a regional study that involved
banding and sampling over 1000 live, breeding loons. 
Results confirm that much summer loon mortality is due directly or
indirectly to human activities on breeding lakes. Major findings included
numerous deaths from trauma, fishing gear, and fungal respiratory disease.
Although fish-hooks and lures appear to be minor causes of mortality, heavy
metal (lead) toxicosis from ingested sinkers and jigs, and entanglement in
monofilament line caused many deaths. Indeed, lead poisoning from sinker and
jig ingestion is the single largest cause of mortality in adult common loons
breeding in the northeast. The magnitude of these problems, steps that can
be taken to educate anglers, and the availability of suitable alternatives
to lead will be discussed. 

The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance is a state agency dedicated
to protecting Minnesota's environment and assuring a sustainable economy
through waste prevention and resource conservation.
# # #
Contact:  Pam Perry, Minnesota DNR <pam.perry@dnr.state.mn.us>

Cory Counard MacNulty
Ecologist/Environmental Educator
Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute
Northland College
Ashland, WI 54806
715-682-1220


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