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New Reservoir

It has been long-awaited, but if you go to the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District’s website you will find this news!

Prairie Queen Recreation Area Opening Set for March 31st

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I have often said that I wish all reservoirs built 30+ years ago were built the way we can build them now when given the chance to partner with a dam-building entity like the Papio-Missouri River NRD.  Simply put, reservoirs can be built with water quality, fish, anglers, and aquatic habitat in mind, and you better believe that makes a huge difference!  On the new Prairie Queen Reservoir, you will find a number of features, breakwaters, causeways, sediment/nutrient dikes, and a variety of shoreline protection techniques that will limit shoreline erosion and siltation.  Those features will keep the water in this new reservoir cleaner, longer, and more fish can always be produced from clean water than dirty water.  In addition, with clean water the establishment of aquatic vegetation will make the reservoir even more productive (They Ain’t “Weeds”!)

A variety of fish attractor objects also have been placed all over Prairie Queen.  WARNING:  Anglers should be prepared to encounter some “snags”, but those “snags’ will be holding fish!

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I know many of you will want a better look at that map, here you go, Prairie Queen Contour Map.

You can find additional information here, Papio-Missouri River NRD, Prairie Queen Reservoir.

Anglers will find largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie, and channel catfish present in the reservoir as soon as the gates are open.  However, keep in mind that most of those fish were relatively small when stocked within the past couple of years and anglers should not expect many fish to be very large for some time yet.  There were around 100 adult largemouth bass stocked in the reservoir last year, but other than those few fish, almost everything that will be caught for at least the next year or two is going to be relatively small and should be released so the fishery can continue to develop.  Growth rates of fish in a new reservoir are almost always relatively fast, but we are still a year or two away from having some quality-size fish present in Prairie Queen.  Statewide regulations will apply to most species caught from Prairie Queen and that will mean a 15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass.  Special regulations will be in affect for any walleye that may be caught from Prairie Queen in the future, but none of those fish have been stocked yet.  Consult the Fishing Guide for all rules and regulations.

Why “Prairie Queen”?  The name was chosen because of an old country schoolhouse that once stood where 126th Street and Cornhusker Road now intersect.  That school started in 1884 and educated students until 1957.  As you recreate on the area, imagine the history that surrounds you.

Prairie Queen sits in the Omaha metro–an area where we desperately need all the recreational areas and fisheries that we can get.  I know it will be a very popular new area and fishery–please treat it with the respect and value that it deserves!

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About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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