America's Emblem

— Staff ReportJune 18, 2013 

Bill Brehm, Jr., of Southern California, makes an annual fishing trip to Bass Lake and always brings his trusty Nikon camera and 400 millimeter lens to document the trip and have proof for friends that he really did catch a "whopper."

When not reeling in a 'big one,' Brehm takes some magnificent photographs of the eagles at the lake.

Brehm recently made his Bass Lake get-a-way with his father, Bill Brehm, Sr., 88, nephew Ryan Schuvler and friend Jeff Corbett, 54, a retired firefighter from Temecula. When he was 14, Corbett played on a Los Angeles County championship basketball team coached by Bill Brehm, Sr.

The foursome spent three days with fishing guide Todd Wittwer, hauling in their share of rainbow trout and kokanee salmon.

Most of the eagle shots were taken in the afternoon and Brehm and his companions saw two pair of eagles, one pair of eaglets in the nest and a yearling flying across the lake during their time on the water.

Eagles feed their young fish which they rip and shred. While one of the parents plunks fish out of the lake, the other usually stays in the nest or nearby.

The eagle population fell dangerously low during the 1960s when less than 100 birds were counted in California. Today the number has risen to over 500.

The bald eagle was adopted by Congress in 1798 as America's national emblem.

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