Pickett County Wildlife Officer Craig Norris and Clay County Sergeant Bill Moulton retrieved an injured, juvenile bald eagle from the Meetinghouse Branch in Pickett County, Tuesday. The bald eagle was tangled in a discarded limbline, used to catch catfish. The eagle was taken to Dr. Dawn Lindsey, with the Clay County Animal Hospital. The fishing line was removed and the eagle was fed with trout from The Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery. It is expected to recover.
Officer Norris heard of an injured eagle on Monday. Officer Norris searched the area, but did not find the bird. On Tuesday, he received a second notification about the eagle, and was able to locate the bird early in the day. Officer Norris, who had been part of the bald eagle hacking program in 1988, was grateful to see the bird to safety.
Officer Norris stated, “Please contact the TWRA office whenever you see something out of the ordinary. Never assume someone else has. If you see something, say something. In this case, it saved a bald eagle.”
"Abandoned or discarded fishing line can be very harmful to wildlife," officials said, "Anglers should always place fishing line in a trashcan or take it home and throw it away. Trotlines and limblines should be checked at least once daily and never set within 100 yards of the mouth of any river, creek or slough."
Bald eagles are somewhat common to see in the Dale Hollow reservoir area. TWRA coordinated efforts to restore bald eagles, starting in 1980 through 2003. The first successful eagle nest was discovered near Dover in 1983. There are over 180 nesting pairs in the state today.