Lead in the river

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by LD, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

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    Derek
    You have a lot of experience
    What's another way?
     
  2. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Yup, we better ban fishing and everybody dredge for gold...:rolleyes:...and lead.
     
  3. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Chain anchor, or there are other options for lead-encased or steel anchors - lead is just a bad choice. But, it's cheap and "everyone does it" are the common excuses.

     
  4. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Can someone tell me what damage a 5 oz. chunk of lead causes in a river?
     
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I have friends that have used pyramid anchors for years and they weigh now what they did when they were purchased. I am not buying it. I have a 10 pound anchor that I use on my pontoon boat that was purchased 12 years ago and has been dropped in rivers and lakes hundreds of times if not a few thousand. I just weighed it and it weighs 10.5 pounds. Now I am not sure it weighed 10.5 when I bought it but it was sold as a 10 pound anchor.
     
  6. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Under neutral pH conditions, inorganic lead (the stuff in sinkers and pyramid anchors) is pretty biologically inert and pretty tough. Under acidic conditions (mine tailings that are acidic or the digestive system of a foraging bird), it ionizes and can be absorbed. Under those conditions, it damages the nervous system and can lead to paralysis and death. Birds swallow hard materials, like stones, to grind their food in their muscular gizzard (duckbill dinosaurs and their relatives appeared to do the same thing). If the hard materials were lead shot, the physical abrasion and the acidity in the gizzard would be a deadly combination (see http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/animals.cfm). Large chunks of lead, too large to be swallowed, are not a significant biological threat, but split shot would appear to be in the right size to be swallowed. Those who pour their own lead sinkers, jig heads, etc. are also at risk because of the fumes from the molten lead (see http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/humans.cfm). This article also covers the issue quite well, especially in comparing the contributions of hunting vs. fishing to the accumulation of lead: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2188/do-lead-fishing-sinkers-threaten-the-environment.

    Steve
     
  7. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    The first sentence of the last paragraph sums it up. Why is there a need to use lead anchors when suitable alternatives are available - is it the cost? Once I discovered an alternative, the lead anchor made less and less sense.

    "The fact is, lead is harmful to an enormous variety of wildlife, and lead fishing sinkers and other lead tackle contribute significantly to the risk."


     
  8. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    No, the reason is density. Ask waterfowlers if they still wish they could use the density of lead vs. steel shot Lead is 44% heavier per unit volume than steel. When you show me the loon or duck or goose that can eat a 10 pound lead anchor, then we should be concerned.

    Steve
     
  9. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Good for a chuckle, Steve - but the reality is it's not one bird eating a 10 pound piece of lead, it's millions eating much smaller pieces - the size that comes off as a 35 pound pyramid finishes the season at 27 pounds.

    8 pounds of lead. Where does it go?
     
  10. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, that's not always true. I use the hell out of my anchors. Made a point to weigh them after those steel ones came out. Mine are very rounded. But lead is a soft metal. My 20# is 19.5 (and I never weighed it originally). My 30# is still just under 30#. They have gouges and rounded edges. But even my old Eastsides anchor (original) still weighs in roughly the same. I'm sure there are rivers were some anchors are being ripped up pretty bad. But think there needs some more studies on that one though. Especially since my Dad's can anchor (had to save that one) still weighs in at 45#'s for being older then a lot of us on the board (probably 50 years old and well used). Now, maybe guides who are on those jagged bottom rivers all the time probably kill more anchors, and rightly so. But most of the glacial rivers I fish harder then hell for then to grab thanks to the sand and smooth rock bottoms. Let alone rip anchors apart.

    Now the drift lead. I'm sure most rivers have PLENTY of it. Plus most river have plenty of car bodies (seems every river has a car body hole), tires, etc etc etc. Not that it's an excuse, but it's there.
     
  11. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

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    It is tough to tell from the presentation how much fishing lead they have and how much "other stuff" is in the bucket. It is not clear what the "other stuff" is.....maybe it is lead maybe it is rocks...it should be investigated to clarify what we are seeing. If it is truly lead, they should give up gold mining and start selling lead, they probably netted $280.....
     
  12. Rob Zelk

    Rob Zelk I swing, therefore i am.

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    I was fishing the fly bar a few years back and got so mad at a fellow. He would motor up to the top of the run, throw out his anchor, and drag his anchor through the middle of the river all the down; that yahoo! It made me mad enough that he was, in my opinion, ruining any chance at a fish, but I was thinking about the lead and the river bottom and that made me so mad. You could hear it quite dragging quite loud over the rocks. Does anyone know if its legal to drag an anchor like that?
     
  13. Patrick Allen

    Patrick Allen Active Member

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    No doubt there was slot of lead in the bucket but if it was all lead there is no way that dude lifts the 5 gallon bucket up by the handle without it breaking off. Just my opinion

    Patrick
     
    Derek Young and Old Man like this.
  14. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    Way to change the subject from 'lead may be harming our favorite places', to 'that's probably not even lead in the bucket'. Funny stuff.
    But I think what Derek may be getting at is that a chunk of lead like a lost anchor sitting at the bottom of the river subjected to erosive forces 24 hours a day for years throughout all seasons including the ones that don't get fished. Think about the little pebbles that are constantly pinging off it, I would think they'd be harder than the lead. You want proof that a soft chunk of lead can be eroded by a river, look no further than the canyon through which the river flows.
     
  15. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    What risk?