If you've never taken a cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene, right now, there's a pretty great excuse to do it. Every year migrating bald eagles return to North Idaho to find food and the Coeur d'Alene Resort offers viewing cruises to see them.
"This shoreline is very secluded and its private property along this shore so we're able to look at property and cover some shoreline that there's just no other way to see then by boat," Captain Carl Fus said.
Fus doesn't take a cruise boat out as much as he'd like, or as much as he used to. He's worked his way up to operations manager for the Lake Coeur d'Alene Cruises. The cruise sets out from the resort and it's not long before you start to see the eagles along the shoreline.
"They come from areas in Canada and Alaska to feed on the spawning kokanee salmon. The habitat that the eagles normally live in is frozen up and they run out of food so they're heading south to look for more food and we just happen to have some good grounds for them," Fus explained.
The resort has been offering these viewing cruises for 15 years. You can drive along Idaho Highway 97 to see some of the eagles but that really doesn't compare to the experience you get by being on the lake.
"This is probably the only place where you can see this many eagles in their natural habitat and if you ever wanted to see a bald eagle acting out in their natural habitat this is the only place to do it and we have a comfortable place to see the shoreline and can cover more shoreline than anybody else can do on their own," Fus said.
The cruises only run through January 1, so there's just two more chances to go. The boats leave at 1 p.m. -- the resort asks guests to arrive a half hour early for boarding -- and return at 3 p.m.