The news release just went out:
Fish salvage declared for Valentine NWR’s Hackberry Lake
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has declared a fish salvage for Hackberry Lake on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) south of Valentine from Feb. 1 through Aug. 1, 2019.
The lake is scheduled to have its existing fish population renovated as part of an Aquatic Habitat Project to eliminate common carp on the entire refuge.
During the salvage period at Hackberry Lake:
— Length limits will be rescinded but daily bag limits will be maintained. Those limits being rescinded are the one-fish-34-inches-or-longer restriction in the northern pike daily bag limit, the one-fish-21-inches-or-longer restriction in the largemouth bass daily bag limit, and the 15-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass.
— Fish may be taken only by hook-and-line or archery. Game fish may be taken by archery July 1-Aug. 1 while nongame fish, such as common carp, may be taken any time.
Due to concerns for the spread of aquatic invasive species, salvaged fish cannot be sold or used for stocking into other public or private bodies of water.
The Aquatic Habitat Project is a joint effort of Game and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Now, in case you have been living in a hole, let me link to a previous blog post that covers the entire project on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Valentine Refuge Update.
Yes, we took similar action on Pelican Lake last winter, and I am sure some of you will point out that the liberalized regulations there were enacted sooner, like before there was ice. You can say I making excuses, but we did not get that done as soon this time, sorry.
I also will say this, again. . . . I have fished the Valentine Refuge all my life, a darned long time. Some of my fondest memories go way back and include many trips with family pulling a variety of great fish from those holy waters. I am fully aware that there will be some short-term sacrifice as the Valentine Refuge lakes are renovated, but I also cannot wait for the fishing that lies just a few years ahead of us! I am completely confident that the fisheries management activities on the Valentine Refuge will result in even better fishing for bluegills, yellow perch, black crappies, largemouth bass AND northern pike for many, many years to come. I hope I am around for a lot more years to take advantage of it!