Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Keep an Eye Out

Watch your loons closely. If any seem to be not acting normally, we could have a serious problem. Lead tackle is a major source of fatalities among loons. It weakens the birds which makes them more vulnerable to predators. They can have trouble flying, balancing, eating, nesting, or caring for young. A loon will die within 2-3 weeks of ingesting a piece of lead. It only takes one piece to kill a loon. Studies in the U.S. indicate that an average of one sinker is lost every six hours fishing. That means that there are nearly 3 million pounds (1500 tons) of lead sinkers and jigs accidentally deposited in our waters every year! That's just under 200 elephants.

If you see a loon that looks like it's in trouble, you should act immediately. You can capture the loon if you feel you can do so safely and correctly. Make sure that within an hour after capturing the loon you notify the DNR that you are in possession of the bird. Just leaving a message is fine. You can take it to a rehabilitation center if there is one nearby or you can call the local Ranger or even contact the Police Department. If you don't feel able to capture the loon on your own, you can contact any of the previously mentioned to help.

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