Jonesville, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont's Bald Eagle population saw a record increase in 2017.
According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, 21 pairs of adult bald eagles successfully produced 35 young in Vermont this year.
That's a modern day record in the state. 10 years ago, there were no breading bald eagles in Vermont.
The Bald Eagle is still endangered in the state, but this is a great sign that things could change in a few years.
According to John Buck of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, cleaner water is a big reason for the record nesting of our national symbol.
"We haven't had clean water for much of the 20th century," Buck said. So, with careful stewardship by the public and appropriate regulation, the waters have cleaned up significantly and that's made a difference in the food base. So, really what we're seeing is a lot of unused eagle habitat that's now being filled in by these birds."
There are certain areas in the state, such as along the Winooski RIver, that do not have a Bald Eagle population, but Buck wouldn't be surprised if that changes in the future.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wants to stress that if you do see a Bald Eagle's nest, to only look at it from a distance. Touching one or even getting close to one could scare the Eagle away.