Small Lakes and Loons

6/18/18 @ 11:38 AM
ORIGINAL POST
n.pike
n.pike
USER since 4/2/02

Visited a lake in New York last week. Maybe 100 acres. 2 loons have been on the lake for about 6 years I believe. In that span, the bass fishing has really gone downhill. Some are saying the loons are eating so many fish a day, that it's affecting the fishing. The hope seems to be that the loons will move on soon-and find a different lake once they see there aren't many fish left on this one. 

Another lake I know of, in northern Wi., has always had 2 loons as far as I know. On that lake, the bass fishing seems to be pretty consistent from one year to the next. Maybe a bit down, but not as noticeable as the lake in New York and there could be other factors in play such as harvest. (The New York lake has very limited harvest)

Have you noticed any effects from fishing where loons inhabit small to mid sized waters? (BTW-I am not saying "get rid of the loons"-just curious about the connection to fishing). 

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Displaying 1 to 6 of 6 Posts
6/21/18 @ 2:05 PM
Popperino
Popperino
USER since 3/17/18

I'm in Racine cnty 90 acre lake with loons coming every spring and stay for about a month and then gone.... Very cool birds BUT they really make a racket early in the am!!!  They have been coming at least 14 yrs and fishing is as good as its been...

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6/18/18 @ 4:25 PM
JamesD
JamesD
MEMBER since 2/16/04

Humans build houses on shorelines often pulling up aquatic weeds, and mow down the plants right to the water line. Many motor around on the lake to catch and eat fish. A bird that happens to eat fish comes to the lake and it's the birds fault fishing's not good enough? One thing I've noticed thru the years is here on L-Link, blaming the bird is a very common human behavior.

Edited on 6/18/18 4:34 PM
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6/18/18 @ 2:27 PM
ifishwi
ifishwi
USER since 1/12/05

No effect on fishing caused by loons IMO. These birds are prehistoric and have been around doing their thing since there were dinosaurs abound. Sure, they eat fish but fish also eat fish. A couple loons on a lake won't make a difference while lots of predator fish can make a difference. There are other factors, don't for a minute blame the loons.

Couple things I have learned about them over the years. It takes a whole lake to support a breeding couple. Some lakes may have two or more breeding couples but most do not. We all should know loons require water to take off and to land. The Wisconsin loons migrate to Florida I hear but usually return to the same lake year after year for breeding. Where the offspring wind up, don't know. The adults migrate first, and the offspring get around to it later.

I have had two occasions (could be more) where loons have hindered my fishing. On one occasion a local loon kept swimming under our boat, clear water we could see it each time. So not the right place to fish. Motor to the other side of the lake and the loon follows us only to repeat these antics. Maybe the loon thought we knew where the fish are. On another lake and another time I had problems where the adults were gone for the season but the offspring were still around. Stupid birds kept swimming toward my lines wherever I would cast. Maybe they thought my bobber was food. Finally got one tangled up in the line and had a time with it. Nobody hurt but gave up fishing for the morning after that.

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6/18/18 @ 12:04 PM
n.pike
n.pike
USER since 4/2/02

Interesting comments Bugle. 

I wonder too, did they eat the 2-6 inch bass and pike babies and you saw the effects down the road? It might make sense that they left and the fishing may rebound. 

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6/18/18 @ 11:46 AM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01

Funny that you mention that.  You know what lake we're on from our conversations.  The bass and pike fishing has really slowed down the past couple of years.  I went all winter without a flag.  That hasn't happened in the 15+ years we've been there.  Crappie population is getting better and larger but it's a struggle to hook bigger game fish.  We had a pair of loons on the lake for years and they left last year and have not returned this year.  I miss the calls but I bet those two were eating a lot of the game fish forage base.

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