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Eagle injured by fish hook released

Posted: July 27, 2013 - 8:37pm  |  Updated: July 27, 2013 - 8:41pm
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From left: Eagle Scout Daniel Lewis, Air Force veteran Ray Freeborn, Alaska Army National Guard staff Sgt. Jason Stokes and Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson open the box releasing the healed eagle into the wild at the Eagle Release at Soldotna Progress Days in Soldotna July 27, 2013.
From left: Eagle Scout Daniel Lewis, Air Force veteran Ray Freeborn, Alaska Army National Guard staff Sgt. Jason Stokes and Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson open the box releasing the healed eagle into the wild at the Eagle Release at Soldotna Progress Days in Soldotna July 27, 2013.

People gathered, cameras at the ready, at the Soldotna Little League Fields on Kalifornsky-Beach Road for the 3rd annual eagle release at Soldotna Progress Days Saturday afternoon.

Before the release, Dave Dorsey of Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage told the crowd about the particular eagle about to be let back into the wild.

He said the mature eagle was probably less than 10 years old and had been rescued by U.S. Fish and Wildlife near Sand Point on March 5. A halibut fishing hook was discovered in the end of the eagle’s right wing — where a human’s wrist would be. The hook made it painful to fly and the eagle wasn’t hunting or eating well.

Dorsey said he doesn’t know how the hook got in the eagle’s wing. The bird could have been eating a carcass that had a fisherman’s lost hook in it, he said. A handful of birds get entangled in fishing line or hook themselves, so it’s not uncommon for birds to be injured by lost gear, Dorsey said.

Four participants opened the box to release the healed eagle — Soldotna Mayor Nels Anderson, Eagle Scout Daniel Lewis, Alaska Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jason Stokes and Air Force veteran Ray Freeborn.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to be a part of it, and was really proud to do it,” Freeborn said.

“It was awesome,” Stokes said about opening the box and releasing the eagle.

After the box was opened, the eagle flew out and circled back once before it landed on a nearby spruce tree and posed for photos taken by spectators.

Dorsey said Bird TLC will be back for Progress Days next year.

Bird TLC takes in all kinds of injured birds from chickadees to eagles to swans to be treated, he said. About half of these birds go back to the wild.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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JOAT
487
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JOAT 07/28/13 - 09:14 pm
1
0
Thanks!

Nice to see a good story in the headline section for a change. Keep up the good work Bird TLC!

Hey fishermen, it just has to be said up front: Stop littering! Fishing line is one of the worst kinds of litter. I grow tired of picking up snarls of your fishing line every single time I go for a walk by the river. Frankly, mono should be banned along with those felt sole boots. Get some modern braided line that is heavy enough that you will not lose your gear. But if you must use mono, please stop dropping it on the river banks!!!

kenai123
1312
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kenai123 07/29/13 - 08:46 pm
1
0
That eagle is only the beginning of the environmental threat

Frankly I was shocked to see the title of this story listed as "Eagle injured by fish hook released". A correct title would have been something like "Eagle injured by commercial fisheries fish hook released" or "Eagle injured by sport fisheries fish hook released". Because Kaylee fails to provide details as to the origin of the hook, we must speculate.

Since 99.9% of all fishing trash within our oceans is commercial by nature, we can therefore conclude that this eagle was threatened by commercial fishing.

That eagle is only the beginning of the environmental threat presented by our commercial fisheries. Commercial gill nets kill everything which touches them and we dump 7 million liner feet of them into Cook Inlet each year. Those nets then attempt catch 5 - 6 million sockeyes while killing the majority of our king salmon, sockeye salmon, pink salmon, shark, halibut, flounder, stakes along with thousands of sea mammals and birds. This eagle is just the latest evidence.

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