Thursday, July 19, 2007

Meet the LoonWatch Get the Lead Out Tackle Exchange Coordinator

My name is John French, and I am the Loon Watch summer intern. I will be collecting lead this summer through our ?Get the Lead Out?
initiative. I have been fascinated by nature my entire life, and I grew up in Wisconsin so I have been fishing and talking to the loons ever since I could walk. I am from Fond du Lac Wisconsin, home of Lake Winnebago. Growing up on this lake was a true opportunity to see how people impact the lake ecosystem they belong to. Growing up there were algae blooms that covered the lake like a sheet that were a result of farm run off. After the Walleye Weekend tournament there were always dead walleye floating all over the lake, and now zebra mussels are an abundant part of the ecosystem. It was issues like these that encouraged me at a young age to do whatever was in my power to clean up our lakes. In the past I would try my best to clean up any garbage I saw in or by the lake, but for the most part my impact on lakes has been with fishing. I would only take the fish I ate and made sure to practice proper catch and release techniques and also made sure to educate those fishing with me as to the proper way to handle and release a fish. Over time I found that the more I took care of the lake, the more it took care of me; mind, body, and soul. Now I am faced with another chance to make our lakes a better place on a much larger scale, and I see it as a wonderful opportunity. I am passionate about keeping our lakes healthy, so they can do the same for us in return. The ?Get the Lead Out? program will have a lasting impact on
the lakes and the people who use them. It is a privilege to educate
others on this topic and look forward to seeing you at the next lead tackle exchange.
Tight lines