LINCOLN — The future of fishing is bright at the newly opened Prairie Queen Prairie Queen Reservoir near LaVista, according to recent angler survey and fish sampling efforts. Prairie Queen was recently constructed by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District with technical assistance provided by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. It opened for public use in April 2015.
During recent fish samplings, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologists found a good population of bluegills that anglers can be expected to catch in the coming weeks. The reservoir was also recently stocked with black crappie and redear sunfish, but these fish are still small.
During April, researchers from the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln conducted angler interviews. In that first month Prairie Queen was open to fishing, 391 anglers were interviewed. During April, anglers spent 5,700 hours fishing the new reservoir and caught 10,833 largemouth bass, 574 bluegill, and six channel catfish.
While a large number of fish were caught, few were harvested, as they had not yet had time to grow to legal harvest size. Of the fish caught by anglers, 20 largemouth bass and a limited number of bluegill and channel catfish were harvested.
Supplemental survey questions indicated most anglers had a positive opinion about the construction of Prairie Queen and the diverse fishing opportunity it is providing. About half of the surveyed anglers said they had visited Prairie Queen out of curiosity about the new lake. Four percent of surveyed anglers stated this was their first fishing trip this year and 7 percent stated that they did not fish last year.
This project was funded by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration administered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.