IF&W urges anglers to switch
to biodegradable lures
Reprinted courtesy of
Maine Fish and Wildlife Magazine
THE MAINE DEPARTMENTOF INLAND FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE (IF&W)is strongly encouraging anglers toprotect Maine’s fish by changing fromsoft plastic lures to biodegradable ones.
Maine fisheries biologists are reportingincreasing numbers of angled troutand salmon with indigestible soft plasticlures in their stomachs, according toJohn Boland, IF&W Fisheries DivisionDirector. A discarded soft plastic lure consumedinnocently by a brook trout fromthe bottom of a freshwater shoal likelyremains in that fish’s stomach for therest of its life and may cause health issuessuch as ulcers and weight loss.
Soft plastic lures are most commonlyused by bass anglers, often in watersshared with trout and salmon. IF&W iscooperating in studies on the effects ofsoft plastic lure ingestion by trout andsalmon, including one recent experimentat Unity College, which was conductedby IF&W Pathologist Dr. Russ Danner,Unity College Professor Jim Chacko,PhD., and IF&W Fisheries BiologistFrancis Brautigam, and in another studycurrently underway at Southern MaineCommunity College.
The study conducted at Unity Collegefound that 65 percent of brook trout voluntarilyconsumed soft plastic lures ifthey simply were dropped into water.“We found that fish retained the luresin their stomachs for 13 weeks withoutregurgitating them,” said Dr. Danner.“They also began to act anorexic and lostweight within 90 days of eating a softplastic lure.”