Protect Squam Loons!

Protecting loons on Squam is everyone's responsibility. Here are a few things you can do to ensure the survival of this iconic species.

  • Fish Lead-Free! Ensure that Squam is lead free and loon safe. Turn in your lead tackle today. Learn more below.

  • Boat smart around loons and loon chicks. Boat encroachment, including canoes and kayaks, can be harmful or even deadly for nesting loons and loon families. Stay a minimum of 150 feet away from loons.

  • Boat slowly through areas that have loons and loon chicks. The Squam Lake chart (available at the SLA and other area business) identifies areas where loon presence is likely during brooding season.

  • Fishing line can be deadly for loons. Real in fishing lines when fishing near loons.

  • Volunteer as a Loon Chick Watcher! More information here. 

Squam: Lead Free, Loon Safe

Fishing is a year-round activity on Squam. The SLA is staffed and equipped to get the lead out of tackle boxes. Many tackle boxes around the lake still contain lead tackle that can kill loons. What's in your tackle box?

Why turn in lead tackle?

  • Once ingested, lead tackle can kill a loon in 2-4 weeks.
  • Lead is also harmful to other wildlife.
  • It is illegal to use lead fishing sinkers and jigs that are less than 1 ounce.

How do I know if my tackle is made of lead?

  • Unpainted lead will mark paper.
  • Sinkers purchased in NH before 2006 are probably lead.
  • Jigs purchased in NH before 2016 are probably lead.
  • Check with the SLA or LPC.

 Where can I turn in my tackle?

  • At the SLA (534 US Route 3, Holderness).
  • At the LPC (183 Lees Mill Road, Moultonborough).
  • At the Squam public boat launch (Route 113, Holderness) on weekends.
  • At SLA campsites on Moon Island, Bowman Island, and Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest

Learn more about the region-wide effort to protect loons from lead fishing tackle:

Photo credit: Nick Carruthers