Lead Sinker/Jig Head Ban

Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death of adult Common Loons in Maine.  The sinkers are accidentally ingested when catching smaller fish with sinkers/jig heads attached, or picked up when swallowing the gravel needed to digest their food on the lake bottom. 

Because of this threat to our loons, beginning September 1, 2017 Maine has banned:

  • the use of lead sinkers weighing 1 ounce or less  (this includes sinkers that are painted or unpainted, and containing any amount of lead)
  • the use of bare (unpainted) lead-headed jigs 2 1/2 inches long or less (painted jigs are not banned)

Although painted lead-headed jigs are exempt from this requirement, the Maine Audubon Society believes that they are still a threat to our loons (as paint easily dissolves in the loons stomach acid).  Therefore, Rideout's will only sell sinkers and jigs made from metals considered to be non-toxic; including tungsten, tin, steel, and bismuth.

It should also be noted that, although not banned, zinc containing tackle is also considered toxic to wildlife.