Hotline open to report dead, sick swans in Whatcom County

A hotline has been set up once again to report dead, sick or injured trumpeter swans in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is continuing the 24-hour hotline as part of the ongoing effort to monitor lead poisoning in the wild birds.

The hotline, which will operate through March, is 360-466-4345, ext. 266.

Callers will be asked to leave a message, including their name and phone number, and the location and condition of the swans.

Though lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting in Washington and British Columbia for more than two decades, biologists say swans may be reaching shallow underwater areas where spent lead shot is still present, according to a Fish and Wildlife news release.

Fish and Wildlife and other organizations have been working since 2001 to locate the sources of the toxic lead.