728logomed.gif - 13870 Bytes
On Beautiful Bass Lake, California

Bass Lake Eagle
A neighbor wants a closer
look at the new "baby"!
Parent Eagle
Adult Eagle leaves the nest
to soar over Bass Lake
Photos above by Richard Darby. Those below by Bill Wynne.
 Eagles work double-duty
From the Sierra Star

by Lacey Rees

A pair of young eagles are back this year with twins.

    Two eaglets, hatched around the end of March, were seen last week flexing their wing muscles in preparation to leaving their nest before the end of June, says Ron Cummings, wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service.

    Now, one of the two is flying, says Mr. Cummings.

    Laura Colton, with the state Department of Fish and Game, witnessed the older sibling taking its first clumsy flights out of the nest on Saturday. She saw the youngster try to land on a branch, losing its grasp and tumbling down the tree, finally catching itself on another branch. On Monday she saw the same fledgling come in for a nest landing accompanied by an adult.

    "He is still getting used to landing," she says. Normally, an adult will extend its feet just moments before landing, but the young fledgling extended its feet for quite a while, maybe 100 feet or so, before landing, explains Ms. Colton. "It was quite amusing."

    Mr. Cummings also observed the younger sibling, still on the nest, but flapping vigorously. At one point it jumped up into the air and did a little glide from one side of the nest to the other. "He has a lot of desire to follow his sibling," he says.  He saw the older one soaring in the air, just off the slopes of Goat Mountain "diving and rolling and doing all kinds of aerial stuff, testing his wings," he says.

    It was not anticipatead that both birds would fly at the same time, since one bird was more advanced with feathering, says Ms. Colton.  The tail and wing feathers have to be a certain length to fly, and one sibling was two weeks ahead of the other in feathering, she says.

    "There is no doubt both birds will be flying on their own before the Fourth of July,"says Mr. Cummings. The scheduled holiday fireworks at Bass Lake should pose no problem to the pair. Last week the eaglets could be seen perched on the edge of their nest high atop a dead tree on the south side of Bass Lake. "They were getting their muscles built up and getting the feel of things," says Mr. Cummings, who says the babies start flapping their wings about two weeks before flying away.

    "They are right on track," he says. Once they fly at about 12 weeks of age, they will hang around the nest for a while then expand their horizons. By the fall, the parents should be sending them on their way to find their own territory. "Everything is food-dependent," he says. Mr. Cummings says that eagles laying two eggs are the most common. When there are three or more, there is trouble hunting for enough food.

    Visitors to Bass Lake who would like to “take a look” at the nest can obtain binoculars at Ducey's Bar and Grill at Bass Lake, says Brian Wilkinson, director of sales and marketing at The Pines Resort.

    The eagles caused quite a stir last year when the nesting pair and their one baby were discovered. Even more exciting was the discovery that the mother had been originally fostered into a nest on Santa Catalina Island.

    Years ago, eagles, once on the endangered species list, were dependent on breeding successes in different parts of the country to increase their population. Northern California eagles were doing well, for instance, while those living on Catalina Island were not. Hence, the mother bird, as a two-week-old baby, was collected from a nest in Northern California and placed into a nest on Santa Catalina Island. She was banded and tagged by the Institute for Wildlife Studies before leaving the nest. Scientists then lost track of her until she was spotted in Washington state in 1995.

    Then, in 1998, she showed up at Bass Lake with another adult adding sticks to an old osprey nest but a little late in the breeding season. In 1999 the couple returned to the nest and successfully raised an offspring before sending it on its way.

    A couple of years ago, the eagle was moved from the endangered status to threatened, says Mr. Cummings. Now, the plan is have them taken off the list completely.

Excerpted from "THE FISH SNIFFER", The Number 1 Western Fishermens Newspaper

fishsniffer.gif - 23626 Bytes

The first fish hit about two hundred yards from the launch ramp. Haskell, my fishing partner for the day, pulled back hard and set the hook. "Look at that!" he said as the bright kokanee jumped out of the water and did an aerial dance. The fish took off in a wide circle away from the boat and Haskell hung on.

Our day had begun back in Fresno, with us trying to decide if the downpour there was enough of a deterrent to abandon our planned day of fishing. We made the decision to go for it and by about eight o'clock we were at the launch ramp. It was a solid rain, but there was no wind and the lake was calm...........

Bass lake, at an elevation of about 3500 feet, is the ideal destination for anglers seeking trout or kokanee, especially during the uncrowded fall and winter seasons. The lake is surrounded by big pines and off in the distance are the steep mountains that lead to Yosemite. There is a definite serenity here.

Haskell's kokanee proceeded to pull away and the drag on his small Garcia bait-casting reel released the line without a hitch. "Feels like a nice fish," Haskell said, and just as he got the words out of his mouth the kokanee did another leap. Its sides were like chrome with a gray stripe running the length of its body. The fighter seemed to expend its last bit of energy on the leap and soon Haskell had it beside the boat. I netted the fish and our first catch of a thirteen-inch kokanee was securely placed on the stringer...........................

We landed one fish after another and had caught a total of nine nice fish when we decided to take a break around eleven. What a life!................................

The rain had never let-up, but with no wind and temperatures in the mid forties, the conditions were very acceptable. All day long we had seen scores of ducks and as we looked to the east we saw four small deer that had wandered out of the forest and were feeding on grass along a beach area between coves.

As we motored towards the launch ramp, a Bald Eagle with its dark black body and vivid white head and tail feathers swooped down not fifty yards from our boat, plucked a ten-inch trout from the water with its talons, and glided gracefully to its perch in a tall pine. I was beginning to think that all of this was part of a National Geographic Special.


baldeagle.jpg - 4913 Bytes
Small Pines Resort Logo
The Pines Resort, PO Box 109, Bass Lake, CA 93604
Toll Free: 1-800-350-7463  E-Mail

Home Page | Accommodations |Area Map | Local Activities | Yosemite | Pines Market | History | Contact Us