California anglers may soon find themselves inventing new methods to get down. We’re not talking breakdancing here, but a potential lead ban similar to the ban for hunters beginning in 2019.
The subject was brought up this past spring, but now The California Department of Toxic Substances Control—the agency responsible for the little warning label on the pack of lead eyes at your tying desk—announced it is investigating the effects of lead fishing tackle on the environment. A dept. document cites poisoning of birds as the main concern. It could be several years before any regulations changes are made but the potential impact is already the subject of some scrutiny.
“There’s the assumption that there is degradation and there is damage, and I don’t see anything that says there is,” said California Sportfishing League president, David Dickerson.
A lead ban would certainly affect fly anglers, putting split-shot and lead-eyed flies on the chopping block.
Anglers are not surprised however. “We saw it coming after the ban in shooting sports,” said Carrie Copithorne of NorCal’s Off the Hook Fly Fishing. “There are alternatives like tin—which we already use—but it something we’ll deal with when it comes.” To be sure, some fly fishers are already using “greener” materials to sink their bugs. And if the ban goes into effect, Delta stripers may soon see some remodeled Clousers.
Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.