Project Report:
Lead Fishing Tackle Buyback Program
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC)’s science-based approach to conservation has more than tripled New Hampshire’s threatened loon population over the past 40 years; however, the population remains far below its historical abundance, and loons remain at risk from human activities. Lead poisoning from ingested fishing tackle is the leading cause of adult loon mortality in New Hampshire, accounting for 152 adult loon deaths (44% of documented deaths) between 1989 and 2017. LPC is seeking to reduce the use of lead tackle by establishing additional incentives and opportunities for disposal and expanded education about alternatives. In May of 2018 LPC launched a market-based pilot buyback program to remove lead tackle from circulation. If awarded, funds from the Alex C. Walker Foundation will allow LPC to add buyback program locations on Squam Lake and Ossipee Lake, increase its marketing efforts to reach anglers, and cover staff and consultant time to maximize program impact.


Legislative efforts supported by LPC resulted in restrictions on the sale and use of lead fishing tackle in New Hampshire; however, loon deaths continue from lead tackle currently in use. LPC is seeking to reduce use of lead tackle by establishing market-based incentives for disposal and expanded education about alternatives.

Funds from the Alex C. Walker Foundation would expand LPC’s Pilot Lead Tackle Buyback Program to improve accessibility to the program for anglers and give LPC a broader presence in the angling community. Providing staff and consultant time for coordination with retailers, advertising, and other facets of the pilot would ensure that shops have a positive experience and receive adequate value exchange in the form of promotion and customer traffic. This market-based initiative is designed to reduce poisoning of loons by building lasting conservation partnerships with anglers—who can help with education—as well as collecting lead tackle.


LPC exists to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater understanding of loons and the natural world. The Pilot Lead Tackle Buyback Program is a state-wide initiative. The pilot program was presented at a meeting of the Northeast Loon Study Working Group (a consortium of government, not-for-profit and industry groups and researchers from throughout northeastern states and eastern Canadian provinces working on collaborative approaches to study and mitigate issues facing loons) in March of 2018. Several groups expressed interest in the project and discussed its replication, if successful, in other states. LPC will advise and facilitate efforts of these groups to secure funding and launch tackle buyback programs in other states.

Amount Approved
$10,000.00 on 8/1/2018 (Check sent: 8/27/2018)

183 Lee's Mill Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254

(603) 476-5666 ext 13
(603) 476-5497 (fax)
(603) 476-5666 ext 13


Harry Steven Vogel
Senior Biologist/Executive Director, Loon Preservation Committee

Posted 7/2/2018 5:23 PM
Updated   1/22/2019 2:57 PM

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