Effort aims to get lead out of lakes

ORLAND — Lead from lost or discarded fishing gear is a leading cause of loon deaths.

To help protect the species, the Toddy Pond Association has partnered with Maine Audubon, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Willey’s Sports Center on a local lead buy-back program.

The association is offering several ways to exchange lead tackle for loon-safe non-lead tackle beginning Memorial Day weekend. The first is on Saturday, May 28, from 6-10 a.m. at the Toddy Pond Boat Landing in Orland. The rain date is May 29 (check https://toddypond.org/ if the weather is questionable). Fishermen may also drop off lead tackle (without an exchange) anytime at the collection tube at the boat landing. Or, they can visit Willey’s at 248 State St. in Ellsworth to receive a $10 voucher when returning 1 ounce or more of lead tackle.

The Maine Lead Tackle Buyback Program is funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.

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