Friends of Brandywine Creek State Park to SponsorLead Sinker Exchange at Kids Fishing Derby

May 5, 2005

Members of the Friends of Brandywine Creek State Park will hold a lead sinker exchange at the Kids Fishing Derby that is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Thompson's Bridge entrance to the park.

The program is an education initiative by the Friends to help people “GET THE LEAD OUT” of their fishing tackle. Lead is a toxic metal that, in sufficient quantities, has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds, including loss of balance, gasping, tremors, and impaired ability to fly, mate and nest.

Water birds can swallow the lead when the scoop up pebbles from the bottom of the Brandywine to help grind their food. Birds that eat fish ingest the lead sinkers that have been swallowed by the fish.

"Simply replacing the lead sinkers with others made from non-lead products is a positive and easy way for fishing enthusiasts to make a difference for our local wildlife," said Friends president George Halterman. "Most fishermen – especially kids – probably aren't thinking about it, but lead
tackle is a legitimate threat to eagles, water birds and other river wildlife. When sinkers are lost through broken lines or other means, birds may eat them. Lead in any form is a poison – in gas, paint, in shotgun shells, even in jigs and sinkers. The more of it we can keep out of the environment, the better."

Anglers can now use sinkers and jigs made from non-poisonous materials such as tin, bismuth, steel, and tungsten-nickel alloy — and they can find them at established sporting goods retailers and on the Internet.

"Most environmental problems are complicated, but this one is simple," said Halterman. "The solution is simple, too. Use another material other than lead." In addition, the Friends group has installed monofilament recycling tubes along both the Brandywine Creek and Wilson’s Run in the park. Fishing line, if left along the banks of the river or hanging from trees, can choke or trap birds and other animals that use the water’s edge.

The fishing derby is open to all anglers ages 15 years and under, but they must bring their own fishing poles and plenty of bait. Prizes will be awarded in many different categories. Fee is $2 per angler. To registration, call 655-5740 or email the park naturalist at Barbara.Woodford@state.de.us

More about The Friends of Brandywine Creek State Park: First and foremost, the Friends are people who care deeply about the beauty of Brandywine Creek. They work hard to protect the park and promote the many exciting programs and activities it offers. They are a charitable organization operated for the purpose of assisting, in a cooperative spirit and in an advisory capacity, Brandywine Creek State Park in attaining their commonly shared goals through fundraising, activity support, needs assessment, public awareness, public relations, and assistance with improvement and enrichment projects

“The Friends of Brandywine Creek State Park are always looking for people to help in their effort to protect a park that is fast becoming a precious refuge in an ever more crowded world,” said George Halterman.

Meeting Information: First Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Brandywine Creek Nature Center. For More information contact: Brandywine Creek Nature Center at 302- 577-3534.

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