Mid-Winter Eagle Count to be Held in January

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.

Tell us what you think!

Bent Tree Motel - Emory TX

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Lake Fork Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Fork Weather Forecast



Hi: 79

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 50


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 75

Monday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 53


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 68

Tuesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 47


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 70

Wednesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 55

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 3/27: 401.49 (-1.51)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 22)

GOOD. Water Stained; 55-62 degrees; 1.64 feet below pool. The cold front dropped the water temperature down 10 degrees in some areas slowing the bass bite. Use a slow bait presentation with Texas rigs, baby brush hogs or beaver type baits on the outside edge of the grass. Darker colored baits like V & M chopsticks in Texas smoke have been fair in 3-6 feet. Look for the bite to improve by the weekend as the water temperature warms and bass return to beds. Frogs and baits worked on top of the grass and in the pockets of grass should be great by the weekend. Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. Cooler weather is affecting the movement of the black bass, as the water cools the females are not committing to the beds, but as the water warms activity will increase. Search warmer clearer water in the backs of coves and creeks for active fish. Crappie are beginning to move towards the banks, try small bead heads fished slowly 3-4 feet. Carp and gar are spawning in shallow water. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork is getting really hot. Seeing great numbers and lots of big fish each day. The fish are making huge moves shallow this week and will for the next month. Areas in 2-13 feet are finally beginning to see more fish that are spawning. The 14-32 feet staging areas are also still loaded with fish and reloading daily now. Seeing lots of fish roaming in open water but the best luck is still coming on fish on timber or brush. Small hand tied jigs in chartreuse or orange are getting crushed right now, and you can still catch fish well on soft plastics and minnows. Report by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins’ Guide Service. The crappie are biting in the main creek channels about halfway back in the creek. With the cooler weather most of the crappie are laying on the bottom. Once the sun comes out fish suspend up in the water column around 15 feet. Success with Snacky lures FS200 matched with the eye hole jig or crappie

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