TWRA Rescues Bald Eagle Caught In Fishing Line

Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 20:49:37-05

A bald eagle was found in Pickett County injured and wrapped in limbline, which is used to catch catfish.

Pickett County Wildlife Officer Craig Norris and Clay County Sergeant Bill Moulton took the juvenile bald eagle from the Meetinghouse branch in Pickett County Tuesday.

The eagle was taken to Dr. Dawn Lindsey, with the Clay County Animal Hospital. Lindsey removed the fishing line and the eagle was fed with trout from The Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery. It is expected to make a full recovery.

Officer Norris heard about the possibly injured eagle on Monday. He searched the area, but did not find the bird. On Tuesday, Norris received a second report about the eagle and was able to locate the bird early in the day.

Norris, who had been part of the bald eagle hacking program in 1988, was grateful to see the bird to safety. 

“Please contact our office whenever you see something out of the ordinary. Never assume someone else has. If you see something, say something. In this case, it saved a bald eagle," Norris said.

Tennessee wildlife officials said abandoned or discarded fishing line can be very harmful to wildlife. They urged anglers to always place fishing line in a trashcan or take it home and throw it away. Trotlines and limblines should be checked at least once daily and never set within 100 yards of the mouth of any river, creek or slough. 

Bald eagles are somewhat common to see in the Dale Hollow reservoir area. TWRA coordinated efforts to restore bald eagles, starting in 1980 and continuing until 2003. The first successful eagle nest was discovered near Dover in 1983. There are over 180 nesting pairs in the state today. Find more information at