Helping the fish

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by jerellman, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. jerellman

    jerellman New Member

    Messages:
    137
    State:
    CA
    I read on the packets of lead sinkers i had purchased last week that it says it is harmful to the water you fish, i was curious about this so i dropped one into a goldfish bowl with 4 goldfish in it and in 1 day, all the fish had died. i tried again but with no sinker and the fish are still alive here on my shelf. As you know, almost all fishermen use lead sinkers and many of them lose alot when fishing (e.g. snags, fish breaking line, etc.) and one day, when the number of sinkers in the lake/pond get too high, the fish will start to die. so think of that the next time you use lead sinkers.
     
  2. anakin

    anakin Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    Florence, Az.
    Im with you Jerell , if we dont protect our fisheries who will !

    I do have one question though, with most of the fishing industry using lead sinkers , what kinda alternatives do conscious fisherman have?

    I love your thinking & going to give you some rep points if i can figure out how to do it.. pz
     

  3. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    I know that you used to be able to purchase ceramic sinkers. I am not sure if you still can as I have not looked for them forever.
     
  4. TxRiverman

    TxRiverman New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    Lockhart Tx
    Tungsten,steel,brass are all good alternative choices. Tungsten is rather expensive,but it weighs more than lead so the sinkers would be smaller. Steel and brass arent as heavy as lead,but there non-toxic. We do have choices out there,but not a big selection of products. It might be time for the BOC to raise their collective voices to the tackle manufacturs about providing an alternative sinker for the catfisherman instead of them focusing their efforts on bass casters.
     
  5. buddah

    buddah New Member

    Messages:
    1,622
    State:
    Pennsylvania Wi
    Doesn't that Water Gremlin company make an environmenally freindly sinker? methinks I read that on their package somewhere. I often wondered about that while fishing! Good post! rep points fer you!
     
  6. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    If their is a comparative sinker I would buy it. Luckily with my setups being braid to 285lb leader trot line I have not lost a lead weight in more than a year. But I would be very interested in an alternative to lead.
     
  7. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,084
    State:
    TN
    Everytime you smoke, you put just a bit of carbon monoxide in the air. Everytime you drive you put a bunch of pollutants in the air. Everytime you throw away a plastic grocery bag you take a chance on killing an animal. I have an aquarium with about 25 fish in it. It's a 72 gallon tank. It has many plants in it. Know what they are anchored down with? You guessed it.....Lead strips. Lead that came for the pet shop. Haven't lost a fish yet. I'd guess there is about a pound of lead in there too. Lead doesn't just disolve into the water when put in. It takes many months and years for it to oxidize enough to become toxic enough to harm anything in water. I'd like to know what would make someone post something like this on a fishing board? Do you have an alternative? If it's a guilt trip you're trying to lay on someone, it didn't work with me. I'll still be using lead for sinkers as long as it's legal. And they've been trying for many years to find a reason to make it illegal and haven't yet. I can understand bird shot, as the waterfowl can ingest it. But can you imagine how much lead it would take to make even the smallest bit of difference in a lake the size of Kentucky Lake, Lake Mead, Lake Powell or even one as small as Big Bear Lake in California? Sorry guys, but this is just a sore subject with me. If you don't want to use lead, then don't. But don't even come on a fishing board and try to tell me to feel bad about something I really enjoy doing that's perfectly legal.
     
  8. Fishing Fred

    Fishing Fred New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    Lillington, N.C
    Agree with Whistler 100%. I've got an 80 gallon tank than is full of plants anchored down with lead strips and even some lead fishing weights. I haven't lost my fish overnight or even in several years. I don't worry near as much about the lead I lose in Lakes and Rivers as I do about the other junk I see throw around all the time by irresponsible people . I got buckets full of old lug nuts if anyone wants to pay the shipping on them. They will rust away in time but I'm sure someone could find something wrong with that. Might turn the water red ! Using rocks might be the best answer !
     
  9. TNVOLCAT

    TNVOLCAT New Member

    Messages:
    946
    State:
    Tennessee
    Jerell, I can sort of appreciate your concern of lead pollution and what you think it could do to the environment and fisheries, but losing a few lead sinkers in the water is just a drop in the bucket compared to other forms of pollution that makes its way into rivers and streams every day. Like Whistler said, until its illegal, I'll continue to use lead sinkers. What we as "fishermen" need to be concerned about is how we can put a stop to illegal dumping of sewage and industrial waste and find a solution for fertilizer and pesticide runoffs from farms that makes its way into our fisheries. All of this is illegal and wrong and it's what I'm concerned about most, besides abusive commercial fishermen, but thats another topic!
     
  10. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I have to agree 100%.I kept large and small aquariums with plants for years.I personally know that Lead strip anchors have been sold and used to hold down water plants for over 50 years.It has been that long since I bought my first strips at a pet shop as a kid.If lead is that deadly,I don;t think there would be a live member left on the BOC.As a industrial welder,millwright and utility mechanic,I professionally handled lead in all forms for years.I was updated and professionally retrained EVERY year,for everything that we used in our chemical plants.As a member of the emergency response team,I was trained in all types and kinds of hazardous material,as delivery trucks could and often did carry a multitude of materials in and out of our plants.Federal law and regulations require this training.I literally worked with lead by the tons as we had large tanks and piping lined with it.Lead is very safe UNLESS you find a way to ingest it.I believe beer causes a lot more fish and fishermens death than lead.It also kills a lot more children.If you follow the simple rules,both are safe.If you misuse it,both are deadly.If anyone wants a cause to cry wolf over,lead is as good as anything.peewee-wiliams
     
  11. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Jerrelman raises one of the best question brought up on this forum in a while. GREAT THREAD!!!.

    Whistler is correct that lead has to be ingested to be harmful. Just the presence in the water does not kill fish. Jerrelmans fish did not die from lead poisoning. The problem that occurs is when the lead is ingested by animals, and this does happen. The lead strips some of you mentioned in your fish tank can not be ingested by the fish, therefor it is harmless to them.

    The biggest threat from lead is actually for birds.

    The problems have come with very small lead sinkers. i.e. split shot, and lead bird shot from duck hunters being ingested by water birds that scoop up rocks and swallow them for digestion in their gizzard. Loons are very succeptible to this because of their feeding habits.

    The truth of the matter is that any major lake has TONS of lead in it. I have sat on my boat many days and wondered just how much has been deposited into the lake over the years. The fishing industry produces hundred of tons of lead sinkers each year, and they all end up in the bottom of some lake or river at some point.

    The good news is that much of it settles into the mud and silt bottoms due to the much heavier weight of lead. Much of it ends up buried below the surface. Larger weights, 1/2 ounce or greater, are really not concern or danger.

    While I agree with Whistler on one point, I am 180 degrees to his view about doing something just because it is legal. Just because something is legal does not make it the best thing for the environment. As I have said before, our governemnt is notorious for reacting to problems instread of being proactive to prevent them. We have a long history of allowing things to occur, legally I might add, until a problem arises.

    DDT is a good example. It was PERFECTLY LEGAL to use as a pesticide and was used by millions for years after WWII. It was sprayed on fields that ran off into the water system and it was ingested by fish which were eaten by the Bald Eagle, our national bird and symbol of freedom. The Bald Eagle was nearly eradicated because of something that was PERFECTLY LEGAL to use. DDT caused the shells of the eagles eggs to not harden and they would break under the weight of the parent bird.

    So, just because something is legal right now does not mean it is the right thing to do.

    I foresee an end to lead sinkers smaller than 1/2-1 ounce at some point.
     
  12. Norm

    Norm New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Freeport, IL
    First lead does not dislove into water at a very high rate from a cool solid lead shot. Second, think about the water volume. On a river, you may have 50,000 gals flow past you in a few hours. Even if the bottom of the reiver is covered in lead, it would have a very low content. Small lakes and ponds may have a problem in hundreds of years, but it would take many times the amount it now has. The lakes were way down last year because of the drought. The number of shot, and hooks found were not that great, and these lakes are heavily fished because of the small number of lakes in the area. The lakes and rivers are huge, and the number of fisherman is very small. I suspect like someone said, that naturally occuring lead leaching from the ground probably puts more lead content in the water than fisherman. Most problems with lead for humans is lead paint chips being ingested by small children. Also the lead based gasoline because of the lead being released into the air by exaust.

    The lead shot used by hunters is smaller than all but the smallest fishing lead shots, and they are also left on land as well as in the lakes/ponds. I would also suspect that the birds ingesting them are not getting lead poisining, but are killed by damage to the intestinal trac by the lead passing or not passing through their systems, which is heaver than the naturally occuring rocks.
     
  13. Norm

    Norm New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Freeport, IL
    Thats the truth. How about that gasoline additive that the environ-mental idiots wanted added. It ended up in the ground water, with expensive clean up. If we stick to the good tried and true, and make sure that the industrial dumping gets stopped, then the environment will clean itself.

    If you want to "feel better" about doing something to help the environment, don't buy those expensive non-lead sinkers. Instead send some money to the Chinese envirnmental groups. The Chinese are polluting their rivers soo badly, all the fish are dying, and people are getting sick. The Chinese and other 3rd worlders are the ones that are doing 90% of the water pollution, since they have yet to create any kind of anti-pollution laws.
     
  14. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Arlington I kinda agree with your statement, "Open water cleans itself", but there are limits.

    Over time river systems do "clean" themselves, but for the heavy metals the lifespan of the fish in the river system will never see it. They will become the filter and their bodies will carry the metals. These metals are then passed down the food chain to birds, turtles, and other fish that feed on them.

    Another caveat is that for the river system to "clean itself" there must be a reduction in the pollutants. If you keep adding the pollutants the river will never be able to cleanse itself and the cycle will continue.

    Norm, I agree 100% with your statement, "...make sure that the industrial dumping gets stopped, then the environment will clean itself." The catch is the environment will clean itself, but only if adding foreign substances is stopped, and that means adding lead to the food chain of aquatic creatures. As I stated earlier, the natural cleansing is something that may or may not happen in the life cycle of the fish, birds, or us as humans reading this.

    As for naturally occuring lead, yes, it is present. The difference is that naturally occuring lead does not come in the form of edible pellets shallow enough that brids can feed on them. Lead is extracted from ore in a process similar to that of gold. In other words, chunks of lead are not often found sitting around naturally.

    Should we be concerned about China? Sure. Are there things a lot worse than lead sinkers in our water? Sure, but shouldn't we start protecting our environment by controlling what we as individuals can control instead of pointing the finger at other people and saying "they are doing it too?"
     
  15. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    yep Water gremlin and a couple of others have started offering a lead free alternative sinkers at about the same price. tungston and brass are also available.