The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers to help monitor the loon population in Otter Tail and Becker counties. Volunteers can choose one or more lakes to count the number of adult and juvenile loons seen and report the observations to the Minnesota DNR for data analysis.

The survey will take place from June 26 through July 6. Volunteers need to monitor their lakes for one day during this survey period.

(Photo courtesy of Renae Paul Photography)
(Photo courtesy of Renae Paul Photography)

For the past 26 years, with the assistance of hundreds of volunteer observers, the MNDNR has gathered information about common loon numbers on more than 600 lakes distributed among six regions, or “index areas,” throughout the state.

Lakes that need volunteers include:

Otter Tail County: Crane, Dane, Johannes, Long, Mud, South Nelson, South Stang, Stalker, Tamarack, and a number of unnamed lakes.

Becker County: Raspberry, Rice, St. Clair, Twentyfive, Werk, Wettles and three unnamed lakes.

To view a map of lakes and create a Loon Account to sign up to monitor a lake, visit

People interested in being a volunteer loon surveyor may also contact Nettie Cole, Northwest Region, at 218-308-2620 or