It's a hot topic, especially in communities with a lot of lakefront property, how do you take care of a mute swan problem?
In response to the growing mute swan population in Michigan, the state Department of Natural Resources is now advertising a permit that will allow residents to kill mute swans. A practice that is upsetting some lakefront property owners in the area.
"This is barbaric," White Lake Patch reader Lori Bender said of the killing. "If you don't like swans and geese, don't live on a lake."
According to an article appearing on the Great Lakes Echo, the DNR is asking residents to help shoot and kill 13,500 mute swans. Michigan, the article states, has the largest mute swan population in North America with 15,500, according to the DNR.
Mute swans were brought to the United States from Europe in the late 1800s. The mute swan population in Michigan originated from one pair introduced in Charlevoix County in 1919. The swans are called mute swans because, overall, they don't make very much noise, especially when comparing them to other native swans such as trumpeter swans according to the DNR.
For many, the swans are a beautiful bird. There are several White Lake residents who have stated they enjoy seeing the birds on their lakes and lawns, along with the geese, and that they are against the killing of the birds.
"I love 'my' swans," White Lake Patch reader Heather Orow said. "They sometimes sit in my yard and in three years have never become aggressive towards anyone. My family, friends, and I really enjoy watching them. I would do just about anything to protect them."
Others state that the mute swans are an invasive species and can cause havoc when they attack boaters, swimmers and other native waterfowl species.
"They are an invasive species," White Lake Patch reader David Kook said. "They ruin the habitat for other animal species that are supposed to be here. You like having big white birds swimming in your lakes? What's wrong with the native trumpeter swan that would be there if we thinned out the mute swans? You like having baby ducks/geese/swans in your lakes? You would have more if you got rid of the mute swans."
Permits to shoot the mute swans, along with permits to destroy mute swan nests and eggs, are available here through the DNR. You must have a permit to shoot the swans.
So, White Lake Patch wants to know:
Will you be applying for a permit to kill mute swans on your lake? Does the plan to kill off most of the invasive mute swan species in Michigan upset you?