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Lead fishing sinkers blamed in deaths of trumpeter swans

Several dead swans were found at Sucker Lake in Vadnais Heights this month.

Lead poisoning has been revealed as the killer of a number of trumpeter swans whose bodies were found at Sucker Lake in Vadnais Heights earlier this month.

At first, malnutrition was suspected, but according to a Facebook post from Dawn Tanner, an official with the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization (VLAWMO), the likely source of the lead was fishing sinkers:

Tanner says that despite efforts to ban lead sinkers statewide, "opposition from the fishing community caused those efforts to fail." 

About 10 dead swans were tested at the University of Minnesota's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which confirmed lead poisoning this week, the Pioneer Press reports. 

The paper says Tanner plans to keep pursuing a lead sinker ban, and will be "bringing it up again at the Minnesota Water Action Day April 1 at the Capitol."

As the Associated Press points out, experts say just "one pellet can kill an adult trumpeter swan."

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