Squam Lakes Loon Report - June 2, 2018
By Tiffany Grade, Loon Preservation Committee
Welcome to the 2018 Squam Loon Season! Despite the late ice-out this year
(April 27th, latest since 2001!), the loons are off to a fast start! Loon
pairs are mostly settled in their territories, and one pair is already on
the nest!! Hopefully other pairs will follow suit soon and it will be a
nice, quiet nesting season for Squam's loons.
I do need to update you on a very unfortunate situation from last fall on
Squam. In late October, our friends at Squam Boat Livery alerted us to an
immature loon that was tangled in fishing line in the channel between
Squam and Little Squam. We captured it in Cotton Cove (picture attached)
and found a large lure lodged in its bill and neck and fishing line
wrapped tightly around its neck. We took it Meadow Pond Animal Hospital
in Moultonborugh, where the vets made a tremendous effort to try to save
the loon. Sadly, it did not make it. This was a loon that was migrating
through Squam--not the chick from Squam last year--but, sadly, its
migration ended here.
With fishing season well underway, please remind your neighbors and other
lake users to reel their lines in when loons are in the vicinity and to
use only non-lead fishing tackle. Loons mistake lures being reeled in for
fish and will strike at them, becoming tangled up as this young loon did
and possibly ingesting tackle. Please ask anglers, if a loon comes in the
vicinity of where they are fishing, to refrain from casting until the loon
I'm sure you will all remember that we had a loon die from lead tackle
ingestion on Squam last summer, and we have already had 3 lead-poisoned
loons elsewhere in the state this spring--2 have died, and one is with a
wildlife rehabilitator fighting for its life. In addition to spreading
the word to neighbors and lake users about using only non-lead tackle,
please check for old tackle boxes in your garages and boat houses. Old
tackle boxes are full of lead. A good rule of thumb is, if the tackle is
old, it's lead. Please clean out those old tackle boxes and re-stock them
with non-lead tackle. The Loon Center, Squam Lakes Association, and NH
Fish and Game offices are all ready to accept old lead tackle and dispose
of it safely and properly. Thank you very much!
If you are looking for something to do when you have visitors at the lake,
don't forget the loon cruises! Loon Preservation Committee is once again
partnering with our friends at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center to
offer loon cruises this summer! They begin next Friday (June 8th) and
will run on June 15th and June 22nd and then Monday's and Fridays from
June 25th through August 31st at 3:00. For more information, CLICK HERE!
Hope to see you on a cruise!
Our series "Meet the Loons of Squam" will resume next week! If your
portion of the lake wasn't covered last summer, don't worry--we'll visit
it this summer for a look at the fascinating and complex lives of the
loons that live there! As always, please don't hesitate to contact me
with any reports or concerns, and please call the Loon Preservation
Committee to report any sick, injured, or dead loons (603-476-5666).
I'm very excited we already have a nesting pair this summer, and let's all
work together to help make 2018 a great year for Squam's loons!
For More Information About Wildlife on the Squam Lakes - Please Click Here!