Tennessee Eaglets Entangled In Fishing Line Finally Rescued

Fans of Dale Hollow Lake’s famous bald eagle family noticed that the eaglets were tangled in fishing line last week. They didn’t rest until rescue came.

Dale Hollow Eagle Camera

Dale Hollow Eagle Camera

Fans of the Dale Hollow Eagle Camera are breathing a collective sigh of relief after the successful rescue of a young bald eagle from its Tennessee nest. 

Viewers of the popular livestream noticed that Obey and River’s two eaglets, DH 17 and DH 18, had become entangled in a fishing line with a hook last week. They watched anxiously as River’s attempts to free them both failed, leaving the smaller eaglet (DH 18) dangerously ensnared in the line. As the days went on, concern grew for the eaglet’s life as its distress became increasingly apparent. Though it was still able to eat, its feet looked to be in rough shape. 

Over the following days, calls poured in to local news organizations and wildlife agencies demanding human intervention. Initially, despite public outrage, the Dale Hollow Marina Association appeared committed to their "no intervention" stance to let nature take its course. Not only was a rescue deemed risky to the bald eagle family, but operators didn't have the authority to intervene. Disturbing eaglets in their nest without a permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is prohibited by federal law. 

It was, in all respects, a complicated situation.

Meanwhile, with River unable to remove the line, the eaglets once again become tangled together. Fear and anger swelled amongst viewers as the dire situation continued to play out high above Dale Hollow Lake. But even when the official Facebook page was taken offline, they didn’t give up the fight.

Their persistence finally paid off yesterday, when American Eagle Foundation (AEF) announced that they'd acquired a federal permit and a multi-agency rescue was in the works. 

On April 26, a week after the fishing line entered the nest, professional tree climber and arborist Nick Dwyer was able to successfully remove it and untangle both eaglets. All parties were thrilled.

Richard DeVries, president of the Dale Hollow Marina Association, told WSMV4 that one eaglet was found uninjured during the rescue and remains in the nest while the second eaglet (DH 18) is under the care of the AEF.

“It was discovered that fishing line had penetrated the tissue and caused severe wounds on both legs of the smaller eaglet. The eaglet was removed from the nest and taken to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital for further treatment,” AEF said in a statement. “Once stable, the eaglet will begin the rehabilitation process at American Eagle Foundation located in East Tennessee.” 

The eaglet will remain in the care of AEF in Pigeon Forge until it is determined whether or not it will be physically able to return to the nest.

Video of the rescue is expected to be shared soon. For updates on DH 18 and its rehab, keep an eye on AEF’s social media channels. 

Job well done, y’all! 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles