Recently a Watchic Lake homeowner developed and mailed a short letter to all Watchic Lake property owners regarding the recent death of a baby loon. The letter, included here, was reminding us how we can all help avoid future such occurrences.
The Maine Audubon poster they included has some great info on the loons, including a very cool “loon calendar”. Check it out.
Our thanks to the Lajoie’s for developing and funding this mailing.
Dear Watchic Lake Homeowner,
As you are probably aware Watchic Lake was graced with two pairs of nesting loons this summer and each pair had two chicks. We are writing to you to let you know that sadly, one of the juvenile island loons at the northwest end of the lake has died. The body was discovered in the water by a resident returning to their camp for Labor Day weekend. Although it is impossible to know exactly when it died the last confirmed sighting of both young island loons was on Sunday morning 8/24. Both young loons were with a parent, looked healthy and were fishing; however, a lake resident reported that in the early evening of 8/24 they heard repeated loon distress calls.
There was significant decomposition before the body was discovered but a photo of the remains was verified to be a juvenile loon by both Audubon and Biodiversity. The decomposition was too advanced to determine the exact cause of death but according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Maine Audubon the leading causes of loon deaths are lead fishing tackle, trauma from boats and boat propellers, and entanglements in abandoned fishing line and, as noted above, the loon appeared to be healthy on Sunday morning. This sad event provides us all an opportunity to remember that we share our beautiful lake with these amazing creatures and it is our responsibility to work to insure that the hazards to loons are minimized on our lake.
To that end we, along with the Watchic Lake Association, have included a brochure from Maine Audubon which provides lots of information regarding loons, their health and safety, and who to call in case of emergencies.
In addition we encourage you to visit the Watchic Lake Association website at www.watchiclake.org for information about the loons and general news about the lake. We also encourage everyone with a connection to Watchic Lake to join The Watchic Lake Association which works to improve, protect, and preserve the lake’s water quality and fragile ecosystem.
Our hope is that by raising the awareness of all the residents and their guests we can insure that Watchic Lake remains a safe, hospitable place for all of us and for the loons.
Kim & Steve Lajoie