Fisherman keeps environment in mind with natural stone sinkers

Jesse Dolin has always been an avid fisherman, and he’s also passionate about the environment.

So no surprise that the idea of fishing with toxic lead weights concerns him.

About five years ago, he came up with the idea of making a natural stone sinker. After a little tinkering to get his invention right, Stoney River Sinkers, all natural stone fishing sinkers, was born.

“Lead is just nasty stuff,” Dolin said. “The bird deaths related to lead are staggering. Lead deaths are something to the tune of 40% of all loons, 20% of all cormorant and bald eagles, and 24% of trumpeter swans. I am excited about starting the conversation, particularly in terms of being good role models and getting our kids interested in fishing.”

He didn’t have a hard time convincing the folks at the Tillamook Sporting Goods Store to stock his stone sinkers. They’ve been carrying them ever since Dolin came up with the idea.

“Guys here at the store fish with them and I also know several guides who do,” said Jeff Jordan, who sells the sinkers at Tillamook Sporting Goods. “They love them. They’ve got a more natural feel. They don’t get hung up. The guys who use them definitely recommend them to other fishermen. There’s not really anything else like it.”

The sinkers retail for $4.99, comparable with the other sinkers the sporting goods stores sells, and a bargain not only for anglers, but the environment.

“I spent a chunk of my youth here on the Oregon Coast,” said Dolin. “I moved away to Hawaii for close to 10 years. But the whole time there, I was sitting on a beach eating a papaya [but] dreaming of pine trees and blackberries. I feel like this is paradise. So much land, so much green. I am just one of those guys happiest on the river or somewhere near the ocean.”

Lori Tobias
Lori Tobias is a journalist of more than 25 years, most recently as a staff writer for The Oregonian for which she covered the Oregon Coast for a decade. She currently writes a regular column for Oregon Coast Today and freelances for numerous other local, state and national publications. Her novel "Wander" is due out from Red Hen Press in 2016.

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