Flying Trout at Lake Jennings

Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a fish! It’s an osprey with a trout!

Anglers are not the only ones trying to skim the surface of freshwater lakes or saltwater oceans in search of fish. Any angler who drops a line into the water with any regularity knows they are competing with birds to make a catch of any sort.

On March 19 wildlife photographer and angler Billy Ortiz caught two ospreys fighting with each other over a trout at Lake Jennings. An osprey took flight with a trout in tow (pictured) before another osprey reportedly flew in and forced the catch loose.

Ortiz, a 57-year resident of Lakeside and veteran angler at San Diego County’s many lakes, took his grandson to Lake Jennings in mid-March and had the right camera to capture wildlife in action.

“They had just stocked 1,000 pounds of trout so we were excited to catch fish,” Ortiz explained in an email. “I am an advocate of wildlife and environment here in Lakeside so I always carry my Canon 60D and just happened to be taking some shots of the many fish we could see in the water. As I looked up, an osprey carrying a trout was coming right at us, I snapped a couple shots and then watched as it crossed over the top of the dock we were on.

“Out of nowhere another osprey swooped down out of the sky and caused the osprey with the fish to drop it,” Ortiz added.

The angler and wildlife photographer added the Lake Jennings area is regularly populated with Osprey.

“This scene plays over all year around at Lake Jennings, I have counted as many as 13 Osprey here at one time. Along with osprey there is also a resident Falcon and every now and then Bald Eagles come to feast on the trout,” Ortiz said.

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