White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

ELY Loon Ranger Program

Do you see loons and want to help advance the study of loons?  Fortunately, Ely has Sherry Abts, Loon Ranger.  She has been working to fill a void in the DNR official Loon Watcher Program that has been cancelled.

On March 1st, the DNR officially cancelled the Loon Watcher Program (attached).   The Minnesota Loon Watcher Survey began in 1979 and has grown to covering 350 to 400 lakes with over 300 volunteers.   The DNR plans to spend time re-evaluating the program and relaunch the program in the future.

Sherry has been a citizen scientist volunteer since 1993. She has worked with loon experts such as Dr. David Evers, Dr.  James Paruk, Dr. Jay Mager, USGS Kevin Kenow, and Erica LeMoine.   Sherry has assisted with loon research on 3 Earthwatch projects, (Seney Wildlife Refuge, Michigan and Lake Jocassee, SC, loon wintering area).  Sherry has assisted with night captures and gathered data on 14 lakes in Oconto County Wisconsin for 10 years under the LOONWATCH program. She also leads local Ely area Loon Observations in Ely, MN. She has given over 20 presentations.

Sherry Abts has developed a local loon watch program here in Ely with a form to use to record your observations.  She has provided training and background at our WICOLA April Spring Meeting, in May at the Ely Tuesday Group, and will conduct another training session June 5th at the VCC, classroom 104.  This is the Ely Field Naturalist Program.  Please feel free to contact Sherry with any questions about loons or our new Ely area 2019 Loon Ranger Observation sheet. 

The attached Loon Observation PDF contains the form to use to record your observations through 2019 at your home, cabin, or any favorite lake.  If you need a paper form, please contact Sherry, her email and address are in the Observations attachment.   Please help keep building data on loon populations, nesting, and behavior. 

Sherry has some good tips on observing loons in the Observation attachment and in the attached “Loons In May” newsletter.




PO Box 493
Ely, MN 55731

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