LINCOLN, Neb. – The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission have completed angler access improvements at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Cherry County.
Improvements were made for fishing access on four of the refuge’s nine lakes open to fishing.
Clear Lake – The existing sand and rock boat ramp was replaced with a 70-foot concrete ramp extending into the lake. Also added was a removable 60-foot steel dock that is accessible for fishing by anglers who do not interfere with boaters using the ramp and dock. The site is handicap-accessible and has a concrete parking pad and walkway.
Pelican Lake – A new 52-foot concrete boat ramp was built at the mid-point of the lake’s shore. The site has a metal dock for fishing and boating. Handicap-accessible parking and walkway also were added.
West Long Lake – Improvements were made to the west boat ramp. A new 55-foot concrete ramp replaces a rock ramp. A 60-foot dock, that anglers also may use, was added. The dock has benches and a mechanism for adjusting the dock height to accommodate changing water levels. This site also has handicap-accessible parking and walkway.
Hackberry Lake – The improved east boat ramp is handicap-accessible. It now features a 40-foot concrete ramp and 30-foot dock.
Water levels in several of the lakes were lowered last year to facilitate the construction of the new ramps, and this, combined with the drought of 2012, has resulted in low lake levels. Closed water control structures, and spring snows and rains have raised lake levels, but all lakes are still below long-term average water levels.
The improvements were made possible by USFWS Visitors Facilities Enhancement funds and the Game and Parks Angler Access Program, which is funded through the purchase of Aquatic Habitat Stamps.
In 2013, the USFWS and Game and Parks will build a new concrete boat ramp at Watts Lake and install new boat docks at Watts and Duck lakes.
Call 402-376-1889 for more information.