Arizona's bald eagles have returned and will soon work on the next generation of eagles in hatcheries throughout the state.
To help with the continued growth of the bald eagles population in the state, the Arizona Department of Hunting and Fisheries encourages outdoor recreationists, aircraft pilots, drone operators and motorized paragliders to do their part by Do not disturb the 89 eagles breeding areas of the state. Some parts of the public land and water areas will be temporarily closed to help protect these majestic animals and ensure that even more young eagles go to heaven this spring.
"Arizona's bald eagles are busy preparing their nest for what is expected to be a productive breeding season," said Kenneth "Tuk" Jacobson, AZGFD bald eagle management coordinator. “Birds nest, feed and rest in rivers and lakes that are also popular places of recreation. That is why we must be vigilant to help protect birds and ensure that their populations throughout the state continue to flourish. That success would not be possible without the cooperation of outdoor recreationists who respect closures during the breeding season. "
During the 2019 breeding season, 71 offspring were born and 63 reached the important milestone of their first flight, known as incipient.
To further protect the eagles, several land and wildlife management agencies will also close areas around breeding sites, even near popular recreation sites.
Pilots are reminded to keep the warning recommended by the FAA at 2,000 feet above ground level when flying over the bald eagle habitat, while drones and paragliders are asked to avoid areas completely. Bald eagles are sensitive even to the short duration of activity of low-flying aircraft near their nests and only a few minutes of disturbance can cause a nesting failure.
AZGFD Bald Eagle's management efforts are supported by the Heritage Fund.
Seasonal closures in Rim Country
The Verde River upstream of the confluence of Verde del Este is closed at the entrance of vehicles and feet from December 1 to June 30. It is allowed to float, but it is not allowed to stop in the river or land.
The Green River near Mule Shoe Bend allows boats to float, but it is not allowed to stop at the river or disembark from December 1 to June 30.
The Verde River below the Bartlett Dam is closed on foot or at the entrance of vehicles from December 1 to June 30. It is allowed to float, but it is not allowed to stop in the river or land. Contact the Tonto National Forest Cave Creek Ranger District at 480-595-3300.
Tonto Creek from Gisela to 76 Ranch is closed for vehicles, entrance on foot and floating from December 1 to June 30. Contact the Tonto National Forest Tonto Basin Ranger District at 928-467-3200.
The entrance of Tonto Creek to Lake Roosevelt is closed to the entrance of vehicles and feet within 1,000 feet of the nest on land and to vessels within 300 feet in the water from December 1 to June 30. Contact the Tonto National Forest Ranger Watershed District at 602-225-5395.
Salt River, from Horseshoe Bend to Redmond Flat, allows boats to float, but it is not allowed to stop at the river or disembark from December 1 to June 30. Contact the Tonto National Forest Globe Ranger District at 928-402-6200.
Salt River near Meddler Point is closed to the entrance of vehicles and feet within 1,000 feet of the nest on land and to vessels within 300 feet in the water from December 1 through June 30. Contact the Tonto National Forest Tonto Basin Ranger in District 602-225-5395.
Salt River below Stewart Mountain Dam is closed at the entrance of vehicles or feet on the south side of the river from December 1 to June 30. It is allowed to float. Contact the Mesa Park Ranger District of Tonto National Forest at 480-610-3300.
Salt River, near the Goldfield-Kerr fire station, is closed on foot and vehicle entry on the north side of the river from December 1 to June 30 is allowed. Contact the Mesa Park Ranger District of Tonto National Forest at 480-610-3300.
Woods Canyon Lake
A portion of the lake may be closed to boats and a portion of the coast is closed at the entrance on foot from March 1 through August 31. Contact the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Black Mesa Ranger District at 928-535-7300.
Tips for visiting eagles areas
If you are visiting the country of the bald eagle, an advance call to the local land management agency, such as the local district office of the US Forest Service. UU. Or the Arizona Department of Fish and Game, can help you plan your trip to avoid disturbing bald eagles. Following these simple guidelines, we can all help ensure that our legacy of living wildlife will last for generations:
Enjoy bald eagles from outside the closures, which are marked with signs and / or buoys. Look from a distance using a telescope, binoculars or telephoto lens.
Anyone who approaches a nest observer and asks them to cease an activity or leave a closed area must comply. Some good places to see bald eagles without disturbing them (during December and January) are on Lake Mary and Mormon Lake near Flagstaff, on the Green Canyon Train in Clarkdale or Roosevelt Lake.
Bald eagles that protect an active nest will inform you if it is too close. If a bald eagle is vocalizing and circling frantically in the area, you are too close and need to leave the area quickly. Bald eagles that hatch eggs or raise small offspring should never be out of the nest for more than 15 minutes.
The help of fishermen is especially necessary. The fishing line and the rig have killed two pigeons and have been found in two thirds of all bald eagle nests in the state. Every year, biologists eliminate these lethal hazards from nests and / or tangled chicks. Dispose of any fishing line properly in specially marked recycling bins or in fishing stores. Also, use a new line that is not old and brittle. Use the correct test line for the fish you are trying to catch. Also, do not cut the line when an undesirable fish is caught and return it to the water with the hook and line connected.
Duck hunters should explore their hunting area to ensure that bald eagles do not nest nearby.
You can help research and recovery efforts by reporting any harassment or shooting of bald eagles. Call the Arizona Thief Game Game and Fish Operation Game hotline at 800-352-0700 or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Service at 480-967-7900.