After bald eagle dies, Wallingford plans to ban lead in fishing gear
WALLINGFORD – After the death of a bald eagle found behind the center for the elderly, city council is expected to discuss whether to ban the local use of lead in fishing tackle.
Councilor Tom Laffin suggested the item for the City Council Ordinances Committee meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today.
Laffin said Monday he learned of the fate of the female bald eagle, who apparently died of lead poisoning on May 19, through a Facebook post the next day from Alexa Tomassi.
Tomassi said in the May 20 post that his brother found the bird in distress on the trail behind the senior center that bypasses Community Lake and called the State Department of Energy and Protection to the environment. The Seniors Center is located at 238 Washington St.
State Conservation Police brought the bird to Christine’s Critters, a wildlife rescue and education center in Weston that rehabilitates birds of prey, but it succumbed to suspected lead poisoning overnight , according to an article from the organization.
“As rehabilitators, we are doing all we can to save their lives and alleviate their suffering,” the post said. “Unfortunately, the damage was too severe to save his life despite all available therapies being used.”
Laffin said Wallingford had a pair of bald eagles nesting at North Farms Reservoir, but it is not clear whether the bird belonged to the pair.
“She may have traveled elsewhere,” he said. “Why not be very careful? ”
Laffin said he chose to focus on lead in tackle and not on hunting ammunition “because I am concerned about the issues that arise in fishing with catch and release. with lead material and the impact it has on
Eagles, ospreys and other raptors feed on small mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as fish.
“I think there is an opportunity to raise awareness about this,” he said, adding that while bald eagles are no longer in danger, they are not common.
Laffin said it was not clear whether state law would override a local ban and it was unclear which water bodies in the city would be subject to the new regulations.
Mackenzie Reservoir would be, he said, adding that he would have to learn about the North Farms State Reservoir.
Ulbrich, Pistapaug and Lanes Pond reservoirs are closed to public use, including fishing.
Laffin said he would use the town’s Conservation Commission for advice on Community Lake.
The Quinnipaic River may not fall under the city’s jurisdiction, but it may be possible to put up warning signs, Laffin said.
“If it’s enforceable, I don’t know,” he said, “but it’s pretty horrible to see a majestic animal like that die. ”
The issue of lead in fishing and hunting equipment is a controversial subject.
In March 2017, then-US Home Secretary Ryan Zinke overturned a ban on lead ammunition and fishing gear on federal lands and waters, put in place less than two months earlier under the Obama administration.
The Ordinances Committee meeting can be accessed via https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/433354477 or by calling 1-866-899-4679 and using the passcode 433-354-477.
[email protected]: @LCTakores