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DNR warns fishermen of line, lure dangers for loonsSubmitted: 06/19/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

DNR warns fishermen of line, lure dangers for loons
WOODRUFF - Fishing lures do a great job of luring fish to your line, but another animal looking for food could end up hooked and in trouble.


Many loon chicks just hatched last week, which means loons are looking for more food.  DNR wildlife biologist Michele Woodford says the birds tend to be less wary of people during this time of year.

"The fact that they come up to the boat is really neat, but you've gotta keep in mind that your hooks, especially if there's lead on those hooks, if that's ingested by the loon it is fatal in the end," Woodford said.

Woodford says the DNR often finds loons with fishing line wrapped around their necks, wings, and bills.
If you hook a loon, don't just leave it. Make sure to help set it free.

"Try to land that bird, it's a big bird, it's 10 pounds, it's got a sharp beak," Woodford said. "But it's going to be a lot harder to catch if we don't get that hook out right away."

You can wrap the loon in a spare t-shirt to help keep it from flapping when you cut the line. Woodford says to call the DNR or a wildlife rehab specialist if you're not sure how to get the loon free.

Woodford says some people confuse tracking bands with lures. If you see a loon with a bright colored band on its leg, leave the loon alone.

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