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Loon Watching

Loons will let you know if you are too close. Pay attention to these signs of distress.

  1. Tremolo call
  2. Posture with neck extended on the nest or in the water
  3. Penguin dance on the water

If you’re fishing…

  • Fish in areas without loons.lead-loon
    Loons dive to get the fish they eat. They cannot distinguish between your lure and a live fish.
  •  Collect your line and tackle.
    When loons get tangled in fishing line or get barbed/treble hooks embedded in their bodies it prevents them from diving or flying. If you see a loon that needs help, call the local Conservation Officer or Sheriff.
  •  Use non-lead tackle.
    Lead tackle is poisonous and when it is left in the lake, it may last 100’s of years. A single lead sinker, jig or lure can cause a loon’s death within a month of ingestion. Buy lures with lead-free paint and sinkers/jigs made from other materials such as tin, nickel, copper and ceramics.

 If you’re boating, tubing , jet skiing, kayaking or canoeing

  •  Slow down in loon territory.
    Chicks can get separated from their parents by boat wakes or ran over by speeding boats. Obey speeding the law and avoid a fine of $5,000 and 6 months in jail. Chasing wildlife is harassment and against the law.
  • Keep your distance from nesting loons.
    Remember, loons only lay one to two eggs each year which need to be incubated for 28 days. Adults may abandon eggs if you get too close, so keep a safe distance from this Threatened bird.
  •  Stay clear of chicks & adults on the water.
    Chicks are buoyant and can’t dive as quickly as adults can in order to get out of your way. Watching loons through binoculars is a great way to observe the birds close up.
  •  Watch loons through binoculars.
    Loon families stay together for protection from predators. If you get too close, the adult will dive to divert you away from the chick. However if the chick(s) is left unattended for too long, it can be attacked by eagles from above or snapping turtles from below.