Volume 91 | September 27th, 2019

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It's been a very busy month and a half since our summer field biologists left. Over the course of the past several weeks, LPC staff have continued to be out on New Hampshire lakes working on behalf of our loon population. Unfortunately, much of this work has revolved around rescuing loons injured by fishing gear.

The first loon rescue occurred in mid-August on Stonehouse Pond. Sadly, the loon was very lethargic when captured. The radiograph showed that it had ingested a fishing jig, and it had fatally high blood lead levels. Given the loon's extremely high lead levels, we determined that treatment would not be successful. The loon was euthanized in order to prevent unnecessary suffering.
Left: Concerned fishermen called LPC after noticing the loon staying very close to shore and not reacting to their presence. Right: a radiograph showing the lead fishing tackle in the loon's gizzard.
The second rescue occurred on Monday, September 16 th . A loon chick had become tangled in fishing line and had a treble hook stuck to its bill and face. With a boat ride from concerned lake residents, LPC Senior Biologist John Cooley was able to capture the chick, untangle it, and release it back onto the lake with its parents.
The loon chick rests in a box after being untangled.
Unfortunately, things did not slow down over the weekend. On Friday September 20 th we responded to another call about a tangled loon, this time an adult. The loon had fishing line wrapped tightly around its bill, and wings. Because of the entanglement, its head was forced into a position that severely limited its ability to swim and dive. Fortunately, with the help of volunteers we were able to capture and untangle this loon as well. After being untangled, the loon became very vigorous and we determined that it was healthy enough for immediate release. We banded it, and our volunteers on the lake have continued to monitor its progress.
With the help of volunteers, I was able to remove the fishing line from around the loon's bill and wings. Photos courtesy of Kathy Stebbins.
On Sunday September 22 nd , we received another call. A loon on a pond in southern New Hampshire had a fishing lure stuck in its foot, and residents noticed that it hadn't been diving. Volunteers offered a boat ride, and once again we were able to go out, capture the loon, and remove the lure. The wounds on the loon's foot where the lure had dug in were already partially healed and showed no signs of infection. Given how healthy the loon appeared to be otherwise, we determined that the loon could be released immediately. As with the Sunapee region loon, volunteers have continued to monitor this loon daily to make sure that it continues to do well.
The loon had a lure with two treble hooks stuck in the webbing of its right foot.
Yesterday, we received a call from northern New Hampshire reporting yet another tangled loon on a lake. With the help of volunteers, LPC and New Hampshire Fish and Game are monitoring the loon's condition. Fortunately, while it does have fishing line on its head, the line is not wrapped around its bill. This means that the loon can still dive, eat, and preen. This loon may be able to shake the line on its own; however we are watching it very closely in case it ends up needing a rescue.
This loon is tangled on a lake in northern New Hampshire. Fortunately, it is still able to dive and has been seen continuing to feed its chick despite the entanglement. We will continue to monitor the loon's status and attempt a rescue if it becomes more tangled or is not able to shed the line on its own. Photo courtesy of Peter Gray.
We want people to be able to go out and enjoy our beautiful lakes and ponds. With just a little bit of extra care, we can ensure that our recreational use does not harm the wildlife that calls these places home. Here are some best practices for fishing in a manner that keeps loons and other wildlife safe. I hope that you will share these tips with an angler in your life!

1) Use only lead free, loon safe tackle in order to prevent lead poisoning in loons and other wildlife.
2) Reel in your line if you see loons in the area and refrain from casting when loons are nearby . Loons will sometimes strike at an angler's line because they detect the motion or see a glint from a lure. If a loon gets caught and breaks the line, it can become tangled.
3) Take your line with you when you leave the lake, and collect any discarded line that you might find in the water or along the shoreline . This will reduce the possibility of accidental entanglement.
4) If you see a loon in trouble, please give us a call !
All the best,


Caroline Hughes
Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator
Loon Preservation Committee
Upcoming Events

LPC's Annual Benefit Raffle is up and running! To view our prizes, please click HERE. To purchase raffle tickets, give us a call at (603)476-5666.

LPC's Holiday Open House will be held from 10 AM - 2 PM on Saturday November 30th. The Open House will include face painting, balloon animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, kids crafts, and a visit from Santa!

Join us Sunday, December 8th from 1 AM - 4 PM for our first ever holiday gift wrapping party! Stop by and pick up some holiday gifts from our store and we'll wrap them for you!
Loon Preservation Committee | 603-476-LOON (5666) | www.loon.org

Loon Center Hours: Open Sunday-Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
The Loon Preservation Committee is dedicated to restoring and maintaining a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire; monitoring the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and promoting a greater understanding of loons and the natural world.