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Like Some Watermelon?

If you are in the area and you like watermelon, you might want to join us tomorrow night!

Conestoga Reservoir aquatic habitat project open house is Sept. 13

LINCOLN – Learn about the aquatic habitat project occurring at Conestoga Reservoir during an open house Sept. 13. The public is invited to attend the 6:30 p.m. event at the boat ramp parking lot on the north side.

View the work that has been completed and hear updates by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on additional construction activities scheduled through 2017. Approximately 10 percent of the nearly half-million cubic yards of accumulated sediment have been removed, and the bases of some of the breakwaters are starting to be developed.

Future activities include installation of sediment retention dikes, wetland construction, shoreline stabilization, basin excavation and sculpting, fish attractor installation, and angler and boater access improvements.

Project partners from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and consulting team from The Flatwater Group will be on hand to answer questions. Watermelon will be provided to attendees while supplies last.

Conestoga State Recreation Area is located 1½ miles north of Denton in Lancaster County. A park entry permit is required.

Please come out and see the work for yourself, but if you cannot make it, let me share some recent photos:

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Moving dirt in the northwest arm!
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“Foot print” of breakwaters at mouth of northeast bay.

Here is a rough panorama from last year:

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And an even rougher one from last week:

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You may recall that this particular project has taken us some time to “get off the ground” due to bureaucratic delays and “Mother Nature”.  If you look in that last panorama, you can see the tractor and pump are still running, still getting as much water out of the basin as possible.  We have had some heavy rains in the past months and at times it seemed the tractor and pump could not keep up.

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That is just one example of the challenges we have learned to deal with doing Aquatic Habitat Rehabilitation projects over the years.  All of us learned a long time ago that even when reservoir bottom substrates look like they are dry, they ain’t.  Believe me, “been there, done that”.  But, that did not stop a couple of genii (i.e. more than one genius) from trying it out themselves.

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I believe one of our Conservation Officers had a little conversation with a couple of guys over that little incident.  I wonder if the cooler in the back of their pickup had anything to do with a little bit of poor judgement?

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If you can come out and eat a slice of watermelon with us at Conestoga tomorrow evening, you never know what other stories you might hear told!

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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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