Seasonal closures were placed at various public land and water areas around Arizona due to the start of the bald eagle breeding season.
Areas around the Verde River, Tonto Creek, Salt River, Horseshow Lake, Lake Pleasant and Lynx Lake will be affected from now until June.
According to a news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the state has 89 bald eagle breeding areas.
“Arizona’s bald eagles are busy preparing their nest for what’s hoped to be a productive breeding season,” Kenneth “Tuk” Jacobson, AZGFD bald eagle management coordinator, said in the release. “The birds nest, forage and roost at rivers and lakes that are also popular recreation spots. That’s why we must be vigilant to help protect the birds to ensure their populations statewide continue to flourish.”
Pilots must maintain the Federal Aviation Administration-recommended 2,000 feet above ground level when flying over a bald eagle habitat, while drones and paragliders are encouraged to avoid the area completely due to the bald eagles’ sensitivity to low-flying aircraft activity near their nests.
People who visit bald eagle country can see the majestic birds from outside the closures using a spotting scope, binoculars or telephoto camera lenses.
Seventy-one bald eagles hatched and 63 took their first flight, known as fledging, during the 2019 breeding season, according to the press release.
Click here for a full list of closures.