Recently, we on Hicks Lake had a visit from the Fish and Wildlife Department. They told a few of us that the mute swans were going to be killed because it is not a native species in North America, claiming it does not satisfy arbitrary guidelines used to determine whether a species is indigenous.
In 2004, a nationwide program was announced that it would reduce mute swan populations by 85 percent, with the remaining swans to be pinioned, neutered and placed in parks. Why?
They also said it was against the law to have mute swans in the state of Washington. We have not found that law yet.
Fossils of mute swans were found in Oregon and three other states from the 1880s — proof that they have been here a long time. They migrated from Russia to Alaska and down the coast.
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Fish and Wildlife favor the trumpeter swan. The trumpeter swan is much bigger and more aggressive and could easily muscle out mute swans in the event of competition.
So we are to kill off one for the other?
The trumpeter swan is not an endangered species, and we have never seen them on Hicks Lake.
Most of us on Hicks Lake have enjoyed the mute swans. They will help clean the lake up because they are deep feeders and eat the overgrown vegetation off the bottom of the lake.
We cannot believe they would kill such a beautiful bird.