I know many Nebraska anglers have been eagerly awaiting the re-opening of Burchard Reservoir. Here is some news, and a date on that re-opening, BUT READ CAREFULLY. There is both good news and “bad news” in this announcement; make sure you know what it all means.
Burchard WMA to open to access July 1st
Burchard Wildlife Management Area will be opened to limited public access beginning July 1, 2013. An aquatic habitat rehabilitation project was completed earlier this year on this 150-acre reservoir. The reservoir water level was drawn down 11 feet to facilitate construction while protecting the quality fishery. Currently, the water level is between 8 and 9 feet below full pool. Access to the reservoir will be allowed for bank angling anywhere along the shoreline, but all vehicles must remain on roads or parking lots. Launching of small water vessels (including small Jon boats, kayaks, canoes and float tubes) will be allowed as long as they are carried down from the road and launched from the shoreline. Electric trolling motors will be allowed on these vessels; however, the use of internal combustion gas-powered engines will be prohibited at this time. Due to the low water levels, gas-powered engines could damage the new habitat features and access improvements. Use of the new boat ramp and dock and gas-powered engines will be prohibited until water levels return to normal pool elevations.
A number of improvements were made during the rehabilitation project including a new outlet structure, and new boat ramps with a breakwater to protect the boat launch area from wind and waves. In addition, shoreline angler access has been improved and a handicap-accessible fishing pier was installed. Offshore breakwaters were placed to protect shorelines, and a sediment dike and basin were added on the north arm of the reservoir. Aquatic habitat was enhanced by deepening water near new breakwaters, and by placing underwater rock shoals and cedar tree fish attractors in the reservoir basin.
Basically, what it all means is that Burchard will re-open July 1, BUT we still do not have enough water in the reservoir for the new boat ramps and new boat dock to be operational. I know a number of you are waiting to get back down there, launch your “bass boat”, and get back after the excellent largemouth bass fishing Burchard offers, but you are still going to have to wait for more water to use the boat ramp. The ONLY boats that will be allowed once the reservoir re-opens July 1 are those that can be carried down the bank and launched from the shore. NO internal-combustion gas motors will be allowed and NO driving off of the roads or out of the parking lots.
Canoes, kayaks, float tubes, small Jon boats, YOU BET, but for now, no Rangers, Lunds, Skeeters or Bass-Trackers. Sorry, but we still need more water, and I cannot tell you when there will be enough water for the boat ramp to be usable. We expect the water level to continue rising, but we do not know when the water level will be high enough that the boat ramp can be used. When that time comes, the new boat ramps and boat dock will also open!