Billy Kobin, Sacramento Bee
A California lawmaker wants to ban most lead fishing weights, arguing they are harmful to wildlife.
Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, introduced Assembly Bill 2787 on Feb. 16. The bill would outlaw the manufacture, sale and purchase of lead fishing weights that are under 50 grams.
"There's no question about the toxicity of lead," Quirk said. "Weights of these sizes can be and are ingested by wildlife. These weights are also the most likely to result in human exposure from, for example, an angler clamping a (lead) weight onto the line with his or her teeth."
Opponents from the fishing industry, however, say studies that illustrate the impact of lead weights on animals in California are lacking and that a ban would financially cripple anglers and fishing guides.
Six states along with Canada have some form of a ban on lead fishing weights.