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Ft. Robinson Aquatic Habitat and Angler Access Improvements

This news release went out a couple of weeks ago, but I have not had a chance to say anything about it yet:

Fishing ponds being drained at Fort Robinson State Park

CRAWFORD, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has begun draining Grabel Ponds and Cherry Creek Pond at Fort Robinson State Park.

The draining is making way for the first phase of an Aquatic Habitat Program project to improve conditions for fish and anglers at the two ponds, along with the Cherry Creek diversion pond and the lower Ice House Pond.

Some areas will be closed to the public as construction begins later this spring. The project will deepen the ponds, create aquatic habitat features for fish, reshape embankments, install new outlet structures and develop improved access for anglers. Plans call for refilling the ponds by early fall 2019, at which time fish will be stocked.
During construction, Fort Robinson visitors may fish at Carter P. Johnson Lake, Soldier Creek or the White River.

Funding for the project is being provided by the state Aquatic Habitat Stamp and the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program.

More information about the Aquatic Habitat Program may be found at outdoornebraska.org, and questions about this project may be directed to fisheries staff at the Commission’s district office in Alliance.

The ponds mentioned around Ft. Robinson are old ponds and in need of some work.  Excavation will be part of the project on all of the ponds, and some of the dam structures are ancient and need fixed or replaced.  In addition, there will be several angler access improvements incorporated into each one of the ponds.

Obviously, dirt will not be moving on this project until later this spring, but in preparation, water levels have been dropped on some of the ponds already.

I have mentioned this project previously, and progress has been slow so far.  I know folks do not want to hear excuses, but every one of the projects we have done in the 20+ years of the Aquatic Habitat Program has had its own set of challenges.  We had some delays in the bid process on this particular project, but we are past that hurdle now.  We will see what challenges present themselves next.

Aging waters Aquatic Habitat 20 years PATHS BnW logo

The other thing I want to mention now is the work being done on the Ft. Robinson ponds is going to be done in phases.  This is the first phase.  We have plans for work on Carter P. Johnson and the Crazy Horse Dam that will come in the second phase.  So, not all the Ft. Rob ponds will be “out of commission” at the same time.  And, as the news release points out, there is some very good stream trout fishing in the Ft. Robinson area that is going to continue right through the project.  The Ft. Robinson area has several fishing options, and those options are going to be even better in the future!

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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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