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Loon Survey

There's something very Canadian in listening to the haunting call of the Loon. Besides music to our ears and memories of happy cottage or camping times, the Loon also provides a very good gauge of the water quality of our lakes. No Loons...? Not Good! So, keeping track of the Loon population is a good way to supplement and corroborate water quality assessments from other projects that the MLA works on.

For many years now, the MLA has been conducting an annual count of the Loon population on the lake. This project helps to compile a more thorough account of populations, habitats, and behavior.

2023 Loon Survey

Check out the results of the 2023 Loon Survey. Basically good news.

Six Fact About the Common Loon

The Call of the Common Loon

A Brief History of the Loon Survey on Mississippi Lake

The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey was launched in Ontario in 1981 by Birds Canada (then Long Point Bird Observatory). It went national in the early 1990’s. Over the years, the participants have monitored breeding Loons on 4,500 lakes across the country.

Our records indicate that loons have been monitored on Mississippi Lake in 2007 and from 2010 to 2014 and 2016 to present. The survey was conducted on Mississippi Lakes for 5 years from 2010 to 2014 by one individual living on the lake and as no one took her place, the survey was not conducted in 2015. Over the winter of 2015-16, the Environment Committee of the Mississippi Lakes Association discussed re-activating the survey. The end result of these discussions was a joint effort between the MLA and the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN). The MLA coordinates the efforts of volunteer boat operators, most of whom are property owners on the lake while the MVFN provides observers and also provides financial compensation for gas to the boat operators. Over the years, the MVFN has also provided coordinators and data compilers for the project.

Our Loon Survey occurs during the months of June, July and August (the last week of each month). The lake is divided into four areas (Middle, Lower, Narrows and Big Lake). An information package is created by the MLA and includes maps, data observation sheets, general guidelines on how to observe, facts on loons and summary reports. One package is provided to each boat operator who then provides the reporting information to the observers. On a monthly basis the reports are sent into the Environment Team Chair and d of each season, the Environment Team Chair, along with the MVFN Coordinator send all the data in to Birds Canada

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