At last count, there were forty-two adult and ten juvenile swans on Hamilton Lake. Five years ago there were none. Mute swans are not native to INdiana or to any part of the United States. They are of Asian and European origin and, while very graceful and beautiful creatures, they are like any invasive species, threatening native species of waterfowl and aquatic vegetation. Obviously, they are also very prolific. Several states have taken measure to control and diminish these birds Wisconsin, MIchigan and Maryland are three states which have taken strong measures to control them. Maryland's DNR personnel have lethally removed hundreds of mute swans from Chesapeake Bay. Wisconsin also allows shooting and egg addling whever shooting is precluded by public sensitivity or safety.
Mute swans are large and can be very aggressive. A number of unprovoked attacks have been reported on North Indiana lakes and resulted in law enforcement officers killing four swans in 2012. However, widespread hunting is not likely to be a viable means of control but it must be remembered that, while mute swans are visually attractive, they are an invasive species and dangerous to Indiana natural resources.
Federal protection of mute swans was eliminated by the MIgratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004 because they are not native to North America. However, they are protected in Indiana, which means that the Hamilton Lake Association Board must work with the DNR in efforts to control this growing swan population. Questions or concerns can be directed to any Board member (listed on the "Our Board" page of this website) or sent to the HLA P.O. #515, Hamilton, IN 46742.