News & Events

Harmful Impacts from the Mute Swans

March 13, 2017

What can poop up to 6 pounds per day, have up to 11 offspring per year, and eat up to 8 pounds of native shoreline vegetation per day?

If you guessed our new resident mute swans, then you guessed correctly! I am sure many of you have seen the swans that have recently started calling Clear Lake home. Some of you may have even seen them too closely as they have attacked you on your kayak or paddleboard.

Mute swans were introduced from Europe and, like all invasives, can take over an area and out-compete native species. Mute swans are known to attack other animals, and tend to aggressively attack people during nesting season. The invasive swan requires 8 pounds of aquatic plant food per day. They destroy much more during feeding and tend to select high quality plants, allowing aquatic weeds to flourish. The swans dine on both shoreline and underwater vegetation, negatively impacting both food supplies.

In a combined effort with the Town of Clear Lake and the Clear Lake Association, we are working on the best approach to remove the swans from Clear & Round Lake. These efforts are intended to protect the shoreline, native waterfowl, people recreating on the lake, and to prevent 6 pounds of poop per swan per day from impacting the water quality that we all work hard to protect.

See the Dept. of Natural Resources informational sheet here.

Thanks Chris Folland for the cover photo!

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