Lake Fork

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Mid-Winter Eagle Count to be Held in January

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The Mid-Winter Eagle Count on Lake Fork will take place on January 9 and 10, 2021. Members of the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association have been participating in this event for almost 20 years.

About the Event

The Mid-Winter Eagle Count is a program put on by the US Fish & Wildlife Agency and administered by the US Audubon Society. Selected areas around the whole USA have volunteers counting eagles on the second weekend in January each year.

The volunteers count eagles on foot, from autos and busses, and by boats. At Lake Fork we use all three methods and at Lake Tawakoni they use primarily autos.

The main factor in deciding what methods of transportation we use is the weather. Foggy-no boats. Real windy-generally no boats. Temperature in the teens-once again no boats. But over the years for the most part, we have been able to get out in boats and count the eagles from the water. Which incidentally, is where we see the most eagles from.

What to Expect

The volunteers meet at Oak Ridge Marina at or before 7 AM and have breakfast prior to forming up in groups to go and count the birds. While we have to buy our own breakfast and lunch the bird watching is FREE.

So before 8 AM and after having been assigned to a boat, bus or car the volunteers go out to the areas we have divided into seven sections of the lake. Each section has a map. Each group leader must be familiar with his/her section so when an eagle is seen you can mark the map where it was located. Each group should be in their area and ready to start counting by 8 AM.

Groups count eagles for three hours and stop at 11 AM. They make there way back to Oak Ridge Marina where the coordinator for the whole event goes over the map and fills in his forms regarding the number of eagles seen.

BUT it is not over. At lunch many eagle siting stories are told. And then we do it all over again on Sunday. Supposedly confirming what was seen on Saturday.

Up to fifteen years it was not uncommon to see 50 eagles in the count. But in 2005 the law was changed so that the crappie anglers had to keep all the fish they caught in December, January and February. Why, because most of those fish were caught deep and those under 10” had to be thrown back which and would float on the surface with the bends which made for a wonderful winter time meal for the lazy eagles. Now that that forage base is gone and the eagles actually have to work to find food we see far less.

I have been noticing quite a few eagles hanging around Fork over the fall and also quite a large group of Mexican eagles, which we will not be counting.

Right now, we have three boats signed up to participate. We could use about 4 more including anyone that would want to bring their barge. You can sign up here.



Lake Fork Anglers
Charter member of the Lake Fork Sportsman's Association and founder of the Lake Fork Anglers Bass Fishing club. Lives on the shores of Lake Fork in the Hideaway subdivision in Garrett Creek. Has also lived in Quitman and Yantis before moving to Emory. Lives with wife Cheryl, former pro bass fishing lady and fire fighter.


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Lake Fork Fishing Report from TPWD (Jan. 13)

FAIR. Water stained; 53 degrees; 0.81 low. Largemouth bass are slow on finesse worms, crankbaits, and football jigs near creeks with timber, roadbeds, brush piles, creeks, and rocky shorelines. White and yellow bass are slow in deeper water with white or chartreuse swim baits, slabs, and jigging spoons. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs in 14-28’ in brush piles and standing timber near creek ledges or drop-offs. Catfish are fair on punch bait and cut bait in 12-24’.