Eagle Habitat Protection
Of utmost importance to the eagle’s future use of Wolf Lodge Bay is the continued, unaltered spawning of kokanee salmon along the shores of the bay. Without abundant spawned-out kokanee, the large concentration of eagles would not exist here. Also important is protection of the daytime perching areas.
The eagle habitat at Wolf Lodge Bay includes Bureau of Land Management (BLM), private, state and National Forest lands. Several years ago, the BLM developed a cooperative bald eagle habitat protection plan to ensure preservation of this winter sanctuary. The plan calls for maintenance of habitat and an ongoing monitoring effort focusing on the 332-acre BLM Bald Eagle Management Area along Wolf Lodge Bay and Beauty Bay.
As part of this effort, BLM biologists annually monitor the eagle population. Observations indicate two significant changes: during recent years the number of visitors viewing the birds has risen dramatically, and eagles are shifting from their daytime perch sites on Mineral Ridge to more remote perches on Wolf Point. The eagles are apparently abandoning their traditional perch sites as a result of disturbance by visitors to the area.
No one really knows just how much disturbance would permanently drive the eagles away. Studies at Wolf Lodge Bay show that the eagles have some tolerance to humans, but the extent is unknown. Visitors need to limit their activities, such as walking along the road or approaching the eagles as they perch. Otherwise, they could cause these wild birds to fly away from the immediate area, and spoil the opportunity for other people to watch them. To avoid disturbing the eagles and for your own safety, please view the eagles from the BLM boat ramp or Mineral Ridge Trail head.