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Get the Lead Out
The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle, December 11, 2010

State OKs ban on some lead fishing tackle
By Al Camp

OLYMPIA - The state Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a ban during meetings Dec. 2-4 on the use of some lead fishing tackle on 13 lakes including two in Ferry County and three in Okanogan County.

The ban is due to nesting common loons on the lakes will apply to Ferry and Swan lakes in Ferry County and Bonaparte, Blue and Lost lakes in Okanogan County.

The commission, a nine-member panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, adopted a proposal that prohibits the use of lead weights and jigs that measure 1 1/2 inches or less along the longest axis at 12 lakes.
In addition, the commission banned the use of flies containing lead at Long Lake in Ferry County.

The bans, which take effect May 1, are designed to protect loons from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers.

Also during the December meeting, state DFW Director Phil Anderson told commissioners he intends to delay a new rule - originally set to begin Jan. 1 - that would require anglers to use barbless hooks while fishing for salmon and steelhead from the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to McNary Dam.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has not adopted that regulation and delaying the rule is necessary to maintain concurrent fishing regulations with Oregon, he said.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the rule earlier in the year.

Copyright © 1999-2010, The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton