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Modifications Made To Annual Closure For Trumpeter Swans At Sand Creek WMA

St. Anthony - For the eighth year, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will delay the fishing season opening and restrict human access to two ponds at the Sand Creek Wildlife Management Area to protect two pairs of nesting Trumpeter Swans. The nesting Trumpeters are located on Pond 2 in the main pond complex, and on the Swan Pond located several miles to the south. Fishing and public access will be restricted in these areas until July 1. Access restrictions are necessary because nesting Trumpeter Swans are generally intolerant of human disturbance during the nesting period, particularly if the nesting pair are young birds or if the nesting territory was established in the absence of human activity. A common result of human disturbance is nest abandonment and the resulting loss of production for the year. New this year: Pond 4 will be open on May 26 for the general fishing season opener. Pond 4 has been the most successful nesting territory at Sand Creek for a number of years. However, the lack of a nesting pair of swans and the potential for low water later in the season has prompted the opening of Pond 4 to take full advantage of fishing opportunities at Sand Creek. Concern for successful nesting of Trumpeter Swans is high because the birds are listed as a Priority Species under the Species of Special Concern designation in Idaho. This listing means that they are to receive as much protection as necessary to promote successful nesting. Young swans, or cygnets, have been produced every year since restrictions have been imposed and Sand Creek has been a major contributor to the local Trumpeter Swan population. In 2000 one pair was successful and two cygnets were fledged. The Upper Snake River Valley continues to play a leading role in the recovery of these magnificent birds. The cooperation of sportsmen at Sand Creek will help insure the success of the recovery efforts. In preparation for the opening day Ponds 1, 3, and 4 have been stocked with a good number of rainbow trout.