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Seasonal closures in effect statewide for bald eagle breeding season

An eagle stands watch over its nest and mate.
An eagle stands watch over its nest and mate.

State and Federal land managers have temporarily closed portions of public land and water areas statewide while bald eagles are in their breeding season. The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the seasonal closures include sections of the Verde and Salt Rivers, Tonto Creek, Lake Mary and Show Low and Horseshoe Lakes. There are approximately 94 eagle breeding areas statewide where the birds nest, forage and roost.

Recreationists, aircraft pilots, paragliders and drone operators are being asked to not disturb these areas for the duration of breeding season, which typically runs from December to June. The Federal Aviation Administration has established a 2,000 foot above ground level advisory for pilots flying over bald eagle habitat along river drainages and lakes across the state.

Officials with Arizona Game and Fish say human threats during eagle breeding season include heavy visitation to nesting areas, discarded fishing line and tackle, and various types of aircraft. Bald eagles are sensitive to low-flying planes and drones and even short duration disturbances can lead to nesting failure.

During last year’s breeding season, wildlife officials documented 78 hatchlings, with 61 successfully reaching first flight.

For a full list of the closure areas statewide, visit