Years of research has proven that lead jigs and sinkers are the leading cause of death in mature Loons over the
past 25 years. Ingestion of lead is almost always fatal to loons (and other wildlife.) Loons are most susceptible
because they swallow their prey whole, and any lead in the fish (ie. a jig from the “one that got away”) is ingested by
the loon. These deaths are slow and cruel for the loons.
Loons, like many other birds, also ingest small pebbles to aid in digestion. Unfortunately, they sometimes
mistake lead sinkers that have fallen off of fishing line as these pebbles. They pick them off the bottom of the lake
The good news is that there are alternatives. Local bait shops are starting to stock lead free alternatives. Please
consider the alternatives, and ensure that the call of the loons can be heard for generations.
Check out the article by UWSP on Three Common Walleye Myths Your Lake Group Should Know About at
uwsp.edu in their Lake Tides publication Spring/Summer 2021 issue.