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Lead Sinkers: Assistance Approaches
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Ecological Health Effects
Regulations & Policies
Alternative Products
Assistance Approaches
Where to go for Help
Complete List of Links

In response to new state regulations and a growing awareness of the issues associated with lead sinkers, some states and/or organizations have implemented or facilitated education and collection programs for lead sinkers. In some cases, the lead sinkers can be exchanged for non-toxic alternatives. The following describes some of these programs:*

Delaware: In May 2005, the Friends of Brandywine Creek State Park held a lead sinker exchange in conjunction with the children's fishing derby in Wilmington, DE.

Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Institute Community Grant Program: In June 2007, the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) awarded a community grant to 15-year old Michael Browne, who worked on the "Lead Fishing Weight Exchange Project" to earn his Eagle Scout rank. Michael developed and distributed educational materials to 500 Boston area Boy Scouts, families, and area residents about the dangers of lead to wild game, birds, and fish. He attended local fishing derbies where he distributed brochures, talked to people about safer alternatives and offered lead-free fishing sinkers in exchange for lead sinkers.

Minnesota: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have partnered with retailers, lake associations, and conservation and outdoors groups to offer lead tackle exchanges across the state.

New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) offers a collection program for lead sinkers and jigs at their offices in Concord, NH.

New York: During the summers of 2002-2004, the New York Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program worked with local businesses and marinas on a lead sinker exchange program. Anglers were able to exchange their lead sinkers and jigs for free samples of non-toxic sinkers.

Raptor Education Group, Inc. (Wisconsin): The non-profit group Raptor Education Group, Inc. facilitates the "Get the Lead Out!" campaign taking place in several U.S. states and Canada. The organization educates anglers on the effects of lead fishing tackle on birds and other wildlife and provides information about lead sinker exchange programs.

Vermont: The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Districts, Vermont State Fish Hatcheries, and many other designated locations offer free samples of non-lead sinkers.
In addition, many scrap metal yards, auto salvage yards, and junk yards in Vermont accept lead sinkers from consumers and will recycle them at no charge. Because lead is a commodity and has economic value, some scrap metal yards might even pay for it.

Washington: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Youth Fishing Program has totally switched to the use of lead-free tackle when providing fishing gear for children participating at designated fishing events.

*Please note that this is not a complete list - new programs occur all the time, while others may change. If you know of a program not listed or changes to programs listed please let us know ().

Last Updated: 01/03/08


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Lead Sinkers Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Contact email:

Hub Last Updated: 12/4/2012