MADISON - Beginning April 1, 2014 the use of tackle containing lead will no longer be allowed on three research lakes in the Northern Highland American Legion state forest in Vilas County. The three lakes, Escanaba, Pallette and Nebish, will restrict the use of lead containing jig heads, split shot and weights less than one ounce, or any lead containing items smaller than one inch in any dimension. A limited supply of non-lead alternatives will be available free of charge at the Escanaba Lake Research Station.
The purpose of this new regulation is to protect loons and other water birds that have been shown to ingest small tackle and to increase public awareness of the hazards lead-containing tackle pose to other water birds.
Currently, anglers are required to check-in at the Escanaba Lake station before fishing any of the three lakes and report their total catch upon leaving. In addition to the check-in, after April 1, anglers fishing on Escanaba, Pallette and Nebish lakes will also be asked to fill out a short survey asking about their experience using non-lead tackle.