Thanks to the efforts of bass fishing advocates, including members of the New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, the state’s legislature has halted discussion regarding a statewide lead ban.
Dan Dufour, conservation director for the New Hampshire BFN, led the effort on behalf of anglers in New Hampshire.
“Looks like we won this round,” said Dufour. “We still have to remain vigilant and keep our eyes on these organizations, as I'm sure they will be starting the process again at the first opportunity.”
Indeed they will. The bill is not dead; the state’s House of Representatives voted on May 9 to send the bill (S.B. 224) to interim study, meaning a legislative committee will meet throughout summer and early fall and produce a report in November. “After that, it will be up to the lakes/loon people if they want to file yet another bill for the 2013 legislative session.”
“This is a significant victory for New Hampshire's anglers, especially considering how strongly anti-fishing interests advocated for the bill,” said a KeepAmericaFishing press release.
“Expanding New Hampshire's ban on lead sinkers, jigs and other traditional fishing tackle is neither reasonable nor warranted without the scientific data to support it,” continued the release. “Current regulations banning the use of lead jigs measuring 1 inch or less have already had an impact on New Hampshire’s anglers’ ability to fully enjoy their sport, and an expansion of these regulations would only serve to deter more anglers.”
Dufour thanked Noreen Clough, B.A.S.S. national conservation director, and Gordon Robertson, vice president of American Sportfishing Association, and everyone who forwarded letters, opinions and advice. “They were very helpful in our battle.”