Approximately 300 geese, primarily lesser Canada geese (Branta canadensis parvipes) were found unable to fly or dead on a small hypersaline lake (conductivity 77,000–90,000 μmhos/cm) in western Saskatchewan in September 1985. The birds were heavily encrusted with sodium sulfate crystals. Dead birds that were necropsied had aspirated lake water and had evidence of acute muscle degeneration. The live geese (155) were captured and moved to nearby freshwater wetlands where most apparently survived. Some birds died of severe myopathy after translocation. Five northern shovelers (Anas clypeata) were found encrusted with salt and unable to fly on the lake approximately 10 days later. Salt encrustation apparently occurred when rapid cooling of the lake resulted in supersaturation and crystallization of the dissolved salt. A local resident recalled similar events occurring on the lake in autumn on at least two other occasions during the past 50 yr.
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