Charges: Lino Lakes man shot, killed 2 federally protected swans

The 25-year-old was kayaking in Anoka County.
Publish date:

A man has been charged with killing a federally-protected species after he allegedly killed 2 trumpeter swans on an Anoka County lake.

The alleged shooting happened on Sept. 28 on Rice Lake, when a DNR officer observed a kayaker following a swan, before shooting it with a shotgun.

The officers headed off the kayaker and found two dead trumpeter swans across the bow of the kayak, and he was also in possession of a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun.

He was identified as Conner Walsh, 25, of Lino Lakes, who has been charged with 6 hunting crimes and 1 boating offense in Anoka County.

Trumpeter swans are federally protected birds and cannot be killed without authorization under Minnesota fishing and game laws, the criminal complaint against Walsh states.

Walsh was also found to have an expired hunting license, showing officers one from 2016 rather than 2018, saying he couldn't obtain one for 2018 because his driver's license had expired.

He also didn't have the required stamps to hunt waterfowl.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

When quizzed by the officers, he said that he thought the trumpeter swans were snow geese.

The Star Tribune notes that trumpeter swans – the largest of the swan species – are 4-5 times larger than snow geese and are not easily mistaken for them.

The trumpeter swan had disappeared from Minnesota as of the 1880s and only a few dozen remain in the entire U.S. by the 1930s, but have been saved and their population boosted thanks to careful restoration efforts over the decades.

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.


Stimac bear

Charges: Brainerd man shot, killed 700 lb black bear on protected land

The killing happened on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Nicholas Zielinski

Hermantown man charged in killing at Lino Lakes home

Karl Henderson, 22, was found dead in the home by his father.

Melissa Zielinski

Sister of murder accused now charged in Lino Lakes killing

She was allegedly with her brother when he fatally shot 22-year-old Karl Henderson.

Screen Shot 2020-08-31 at 9.43.35 AM

1 suspect arrested after 22-year-old killed in Lino Lakes

The 22-year-old was fatally shot on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 8.54.36 PM

Man still missing after going under while lake swimming

The search was called off overnight at Lake George in Anoka County.

Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 9.46.24 AM

Man shot at Crave Restaurant charged over other shootout

The 28-year-old is a member of a Twin Cities gang.

Charges: Man shot and killed dog for peeing on his trees

It happened in small town south of Mankato.