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Old May 29, 2011, 1:13 PM   #11
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The company that hires the Swans out monitor the babies' development and take them before they are able to be on their own then raise them to maturity on a farm.
Are the adults capable of flight? I would think they must be pinioned or at least wing-clipped to keep them from leaving on their own if they didn't like the lake or else once their young were gone and before they could be recovered when their "job" was done.
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Old May 29, 2011, 1:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lesmore49

I used to be an avid fly fisherman....Northern Pike, Walleye, Yellow Perch...

I was never an extremely successful fisherman, but I primarily went fishing more to get out in the outdoors, then catch fish, which I would release.

Your post about hearing the whoosh of beating wings took me back. The lakes and rivers I fished, were generally very isolated...no other humans...just the sounds of the wilderness.

I recall hearing, as you so aptly put it.... the 'whoosh' of flying birds.

Hi Les,

I have similar experiences, though I was a shore based ultra-light fisherman using small artificial lures for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, panfish, and catfish. I fished from shore and also our Square stern Freighter Canoe (Evinrude powered-too much to paddle )...I always practiced Catch and Release, and broke the barbs off my hooks. I was actually pretty good at it, and averaged over 4 4+lb LM Bass/yr in urban ponds and lakes where the great majority of fishermen never see one over 3 lbs in a lifetime. My record was a 22 lb Channel Cat on 6 lb test and ultralight tackle -- it took over 15 min. to land it. I used pieces of hot dog for cat fishing.Never caught a Large Mouth Bass...although had one hit a fly when I was in Wisconsin. They're not native to my part of Canada...too bad...great game fish.

That 22 lb. Channel Cat was a monster...beautiful fish...almost a shark like body from the head back...streamlined and powerful.....

The short rods were easier to cast accurately around shoreline foliage, and though the small plastic worms and grubs attracted a lot of small fish, the big ones would grab them if I gently landed them or passed them near enough. This meant that I never got skunked, especially since I'd turn to Bluegill and Crappie if the Bass were being extra shy, and the ponds I fished always had abundant panfish to support the larger bass. I used to use very small Water Boatman type wet flies for Yellow Perch...I would try to imitate the erratic swim pattern of the Boatman insect with my artificial fly.

The variety of birds I saw while fishing remote areas of public lakes is actually one of the things that spurred my return to photography.

Same here...I used to cut the O/B motor and drift a lot, in Canadian Shield and Boreal Forest lakes in the Freighter....I was always amazed, when fly fishing, how close I could come to Common Loons and Cormorants in the canoe...a quiet, unobtrusive boat...I don't use it anymore, but I would think I could get some good bird and close to shore wild life (saw a Wolverine from the canoe...once -but no camera) pictures...from the freighter platform.


Last edited by lesmore49; May 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM.
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Old May 30, 2011, 9:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by penolta View Post
Your patience paid off handsomely - you got some really nice shots.

I don't think these swans' behavior is any different from any other species of swan - all are aggressive in defense of their nests and young. I think it is just that anything out of its natural habitat is out of place, often destructive to the natural environment and/or fauna, and as such is viewed negatively. In England these swans are considered the property of the Queen and at least there is an impression given that are highly regarded for their grace, and there and elsewhere they have been kept on estates of the landed gentry for centuries..
Hi penolta,


I didn't see your post as I was typing my reply for the others at the time you posted. . .

I wasn't trying to characterize the swans as evil or malicious, just relating how even an innocuous seeming introduction of a non native species could have some serious repercussions. Personally, I love having the swans here as I've had very few chances to see any swans in my urban upbringing.

The only experience that I've had in the wild are some Trumpeters that I found in a remote part of one of the preserves that I frequent. I heard the calls and followed the sound, and it was about a 3/4 mile hike to get to them. They were that loud! I imagine this is why they use the Mute Swans for the goose control. . .

Originally Posted by penolta View Post
Are the adults capable of flight? I would think they must be pinioned or at least wing-clipped to keep them from leaving on their own if they didn't like the lake or else once their young were gone and before they could be recovered when their "job" was done.
The adults cannot fly. I don't see any physical restraints, so I assume they are wing-clipped. They are brought in in April and are taken out, along with their nest, just before winter. A company representative comes by on a regular basis to observe the birds, and he has a canoe strapped on the truck in case he has to go out on the lake to take a closer look or take one of the birds for medical attention if needed. I've talked briefly with one of the of the workers, but that was before "our" swans had had any young.

Last year there were two cygnets, but they hatched in mid June. I really didn't notice when they were taken, but Mute Swan babies apparently stay with the parents for 3-4 months, so I assume that there's plenty of time for them to grow naturally before they have to be taken by the company to prevent them going out on their own in the wild. I doubt that they would leave the parents as the natural course would probably be that they go with the parents to learn the migration route.

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Old Jun 1, 2011, 8:01 AM   #14
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Great capture, Scott!

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