The 2020 Squam Lakes Loon Season has begun!

Welcome to the 2020 Squam loon season!  I hope you are all staying safe and well.

Loon pairs have been busy settling in on their territories, and some pairs have gotten right down to business!  In fact, the past week has been a flurry of activity as pair after pair have gone on their nests!  We already have 4 pairs nesting on Squam Lake and the Little Squam pair has started nesting too.  This is a good (and fast!) start!  Loon nests initiated earlier in the season have a better chance of success, so I’m hoping this bodes well.  Please remind your friends, neighbors, and other lake users to respect the protective signs and ropes around the loon nests and to give the loons plenty of space.  There are still a few pairs that haven’t clearly settled on their territories, but hopefully it won’t be much longer before they do!

I’m sure many of you heard about the new fish consumption guidelines that NH Department of Environmental Services announced in late March for the Squam Lakes as a result of finding elevated levels of PCBs in the fish.  Their investigation was a follow up to the research of the Loon Preservation Committee documenting elevated levels of contaminants (including PCBs) in unhatched loon eggs from failed nests on Squam Lake and our subsequent identification of areas with contaminated sediments in the watershed, including a site with elevated levels of PCBs.  This certainly demonstrates how loons are sensitive indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems and potentially, as in this case, threats to human health as well.  For more information on the fish consumption guidelines, please visit https://www.des.nh.gov/media/pr/2020/20200330-squam-lake-fish.htm.

I hope many of you were able to attend the virtual public forum highlighting research into the contaminants issue on Squam in April.  Presenters included representatives from Loon Preservation Committee, Plymouth State University, NH Department of Environmental Services, and Squam Lakes Association.  If you were unable to attend, you can catch up by visiting https://loon.org/lpc-work/squam-lake-study/ and clicking on the red button titled “Squam Contaminants Public Forum” below the banner.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or reports, and please report any sick, injured, or dead loons to the Loon Preservation Committee (603-476-5666). 

Thank you for your interest in Squam’s loons, and be well!