WALLINGFORD — The Town Council ordinance committee took no formal action Tuesday on banning lead in fishing tackle used in town bodies of water, with Councilor Tom Laffin agreeing to pursue the matter directly.
Laffin suggested creating an ordinance to ban the use of lead in fishing gear, such as lead split shots.
A female bald eagle recently was found sick on the trail behind the Wallingford Senior Center and died of suspected lead poisoning. Laffin said that since raptors like eagles eat fish, it could have been poisoned by lead in fishing tackle.
Councilors, while generally supportive, discussed the difficulty of enforcing an ordinance and where lead in the environment comes from, including fishing tackle, hunting ammunition or animals that have traveled from elsewhere.
Other ideas the council discussed included putting up signs near fishing spots and providing warnings about lead with fishing licenses.
Town Corporation Counsel Janis M. Small said New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York have either banned or limited lead in fishing gear.
“It’s more active on a state level than a local level,” she said, adding a local ordinance would allow the town to issue fines.