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walleye4

Area around Harlan County Reservoir closed til further notice!

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Area at Harlan County Lake closed to protect eagles' nest

By: GINGER JENSEN, Hub Regional Correspondent

03/31/2009

REPUBLICAN CITY- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers temporarily closed the White Cat Point area at Harlan County Lake to protect an active bald eagle nest.

The nest is on the south side of the lake, near the west end.

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"We have had really young birds work on practice nests before, but those have always been abandoned. This is the first nest of mature eagles that we know of," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Manager Jim Bowen.

He said the area has been blocked off because there are times during the nesting process when the birds will leave if they are disturbed. "It's very important for people to remember that bald eagles are protected, and there are large fines for disturbing a nesting pair," Bowen said.

According to a corps press release, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act provides criminal penalties for people who disturb eagle nests or eggs. Disturb can be defined as "to agitate or bother an eagle to a degree that causes or is likely to cause its injury; decrease its productivity by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding or sheltering behavior; or nest abandonment.

Penalties for violations can include a fine of $100,000, imprisonment for one year or both for a first offense. A second violation of the act is a felony.

A copy of the act is on the Web site at http://permits.fws.gov/ltr/ltr.shtml.

Under directions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the entire area around the Harlan County Lake eagle nest is closed to vehicle traffic. Foot and boat traffic aren't allowed within 660 feet of the nest.

Since it's the first time there have been nesting eagles at Harlan County, Bowen said he isn't sure how long the birds will be at the nest. The young eagles must be big enough to fly out of the nest, so he estimated it could be July or August before the eagle family leaves.

For more information, call the corps' Harlan County Lake office at 308-799-2105.

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This could get very interesting from what I hear. The area is on White Cat point and that is a very popular area for both camping and fishing. How you going to be able to tell if your trolling and are far enough away to stay out of the buffer zone!

Maybe they'll put up a buoy line?

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