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Duck Creek #12

If you look close at the 2015 Fishing Guide, the list of public fishing areas in the back, southeast region, you will find this line:  Duck Creek #12 (Nemaha County)–65 acres, 3.5 W, 1 N of Peru.  Dam scheduled to be built 2015-2016.  I am betting most have not seen that line, have not thought anything about it.  But, there is a new reservoir being built in southeast Nebraska!

The project is a flood-control reservoir being built by the Nemaha Natural Resource District (NRD).  Here is a description from their June 2015 Newsletter, Insight:

Flood Control Construction Underway on Duck Creek Project

It is finally time to start moving dirt on the Duck Creek project near Peru. Leroy and Sons, who was hired to construct the $1.1 million project, will start the major portion of the construction in early June as weather allows. Work on the dam is expected to be completed by December 1. Work on Phase One of the County Road 736 Upgrade will start at the same time and should be completed by August 31. Phase One includes most of the dirt work for the projects. The District is working with the Nemaha County Road Engineer to bid out Phase Two of the project, which will include the installation of a concrete box culvert and new bridge. Phase Two cannot begin until the appropriate amount of settlement on the newly placed fill occurs. It is hoped some Phase Two work can be done in the fall; however, it may be late spring, 2016, before the full project can be completed. Most of the recreation facilities will be installed in 2016 after the dam has been completed. This will include access roads, tent camping facilities, RV pads, restrooms, picnic tables, etc.

I have not been on-site, but I have some pictures from the area.  The reservoir has not been filled yet, but there is a boat ramp ready and waiting:



A breakwater that has been installed:


Here are a couple of views across the main basin with the dam in the background:



The way I understand it, the dam is pretty much completed, but water levels are being held at minimum pool as construction continues.  Yes, there is water running through the dam:


I have said many times that the days of building large reservoirs are pretty much, done, history.  However, there will continue to be construction of small to medium-size reservoirs in Nebraska, mostly flood-control reservoirs built by NRDs.  We appreciate the opportunity to partner with NRDs in the construction of these reservoirs, and if there is one thing we have learned it is that it is a lot easier and a lot more effective to incorporate water quality, fish habitat, angler use and good fishing into the design of new reservoirs than it is to go back after years of aging to try to fix the problems.  In addition to some of the features I have showed with these photos, there is A LOT of timber that is being left standing in the basin of Duck Creek #12 and all of that will be productive fish habitat when the reservoir fills.

There is still a lot of recreation area developments to be completed at the Duck Creek project, so do not put any opening dates on your calendars yet.  We are probably at least a couple years off from that, but when it is time, we will let folks know about it.

There are not going to be a lot of opportunities to fish new waters, new reservoirs, in Nebraska in the coming years.  But, there will continue to be some, one here, one there, and those new fisheries are very productive, and are excellent fishing.  Be patient, there is one coming again, wait for it.

Pictures and report came from Tony Barada.  Thanks, Tony!

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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