With ice entry dates recorded on area lakes, fishing families are now preparing for the ice fishing season.
The lakes of the region will soon host family gatherings around the fishing shelters scattered on the ice. Fishing enthusiasts of all ages can be spotted on the ice, especially on weekends, with tadpoles learning to fish alongside older siblings, parents and grandparents. All enjoying the ice that covers the healthy waters supporting the variety of fish, potential meals and / or photos for the family catch and release commandery.
When planning your family fishing adventures, perhaps consider building your tadpole’s tackle box out of lead-free gear.
Using unleaded material is a personal commitment to wildlife. You have the opportunity to show excellent behavior and also provide educational information.
As the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s fact sheet for the “Get The Lead Out” program explains, lead is toxic to wildlife. Even in small amounts, it is fatal to loons, eagles and trumpeter swans.
Lead is estimated to be responsible for up to 25% of diving deaths.
No one wants to lose the tackle, but it does happen. Using lead-free material helps reduce the risk to our common loons when they return next spring.
Each of our local bait shops sells lead free material. Just ask for help to locate it.
Non-toxic alternatives are tungsten (especially popular for ice fishing in the winter because it is heavier than lead), bismuth, steel, tin, glass, stone, and metal composites.
Make your family fishing adventures safe not only for your tadpoles but also for the wildlife! For more information, see https://www.pca.state.mn.us/file/minnesota-get-lead-out.
Members of the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations write a monthly column in The Enterprise covering water issues in the area.