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Bald eagle rescued near Pickstown

PICKSTOWN -- Boaters and local and federal officials banded together over the weekend to rescue an injured bald eagle.

Chad Peters, of Wagner, said he was boating on the Missouri River above the Fort Randall Dam by Pickstown on Saturday afternoon when he and family members saw a big bird in the water. Peters said upon closer inspection the bird looked like it was struggling, either from a broken wing or being tangled up in something.

He said he started making phone calls, one to the Charles Mix County Sheriff's Office to try to get South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officers there as quickly as possible.

"I was afraid there would be a lot of other boaters coming around and agitating the bird," Peters said. "Something needed to be done rapidly."

Peters said he waited for a while after making the phone call, but then had to leave. A Charles Mix County dispatch officer, who did not want to be identified, said officers believe boaters used a fish net to pull the bird from the water and take it to shore. He did not know the status of the eagle as of Sunday evening.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state Game, Fish and Parks Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife all responded to the incident. Game, Fish and Parks officials said the eagle was taken to the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge; officials at the refuge could not be reached for comment by the time this edition went to press.