Fewer eagles in Coeur d'Alene not keeping people away - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fewer eagles in Coeur d'Alene not keeping people away

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Few eagles in Coeur d'Alene hasn't stopped people from venturing out for a glimpse. Few eagles in Coeur d'Alene hasn't stopped people from venturing out for a glimpse.
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

"We usually feel like the eagle watching headquarters," says Shawn Martel, manager of the Wolf Lodge Inn.

Every year in December, eagles migrate to North Idaho to feed on the Kokanee after they spawn. The birds bring in people from all over the Inland Northwest looking to snap a picture, but this year feels a little different for some in Coeur d'Alene.

"We've had a lot of phone calls in prior years," says Martel. "You know, asking where to go and this year we just haven't had that kind of business."

Martel says in years past the phone would ring six to seven times a day with people calling to ask where they have the best chance of seeing the eagles. This year, he's lucky to get one a week.

"There's definitely a lot less eagles this year," says Martel.

The low number of eagles is attributed to booming numbers of Kokanee in the Priest Lake area. Phil Cooper with Idaho Fish and Game says he's noticed this trend over the last few years. Instead of coming to Coeur Coeur d'Alene to feed, they're staying up north.

This, however, hasn't stopped people from venturing out for a glimpse.

"We come out every year," says Chris Foster, of Liberty Lake, who brought his son Brody to see the birds. He says even he's noticed the small number but even if they only see a few, it's worth the trip.

"It's good family fun," says Foster. "It's like we're out on an adventure."

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