Thu 31-Jan-13 03:41 AM | edited Thu 31-Jan-13 03:44 AM by dm1dave
> “Still wouldn't know how to drive there.”
The access is on the Iowa side about a mile or so south of where interstate 80 crosses the Mississippi.
The weather over the last couple of years is the reason for our low eagle numbers. Also last year the shad (the fish the eagles eat) population was unusually low all along the upper Mississippi. The fish population seems to be strong this year but the temperatures keep jumping up into the 40’s and 50’s and until today we only had one significant snow fall.
In the warm temps the birds just don’t feed as often and with no snow they can find food in the farm fields easier. Eagles are not particularly social birds so they only gather in large numbers at the dams when they need to.
The best shooting is when we have a long period of very cold weather, snow cover and ice on the river above the dams. We have had very little of those conditions for quite a while now.
If it is cold enough the fish going over the dams are stunned by the cold making it easy for the eagles. If it is too warm then this advantage goes away and the eagles will spread out along the river and into the fields.
There are a few of us locals who are a bit worried about people who are walking down stream into a restricted roosting area disturbing the birds. If it gets out of hand the DNR may just ask the Corps of Engineers to close the area where we shoot.
Anyone reading this that goes to the L&D - please stay well upstream of the boat ramp. The best shooting is up on the walkway by the Lock.