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Good News for Nebraska Streams!

Nebraska’s Aquatic Habitat Program has been in existence for over twenty years now.  That program with funding dedicated solely to the enhancement of water quality and aquatic habitat was the first of its kind anywhere in the United States, and it has and continues to accomplish a variety of projects on waterbodies from one corner of Nebraska to the other.  Nebraska fishing is better today because of the Aquatic Habitat Program!  Up until now, much of that work has focused on standing bodies of water, lakes, reservoirs, pits and ponds; in the next twenty years we plan to accomplish more on Nebraska rivers and streams.  This will help:

Game and Parks receives NET grant for Cool-Water Stream Management project

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $200,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the Cool-Water Stream Management project.

This project involves cooperation with private landowners, government agencies and other organizations to manage and assess cold-water streams in Nebraska. It uses stewardship practices within watersheds and riparian zones, and stream enhancements to provide long-term benefits to landowners and aquatic communities.

Public and private streams will be managed, and appropriate stream reaches will be demonstration sites, where information will be collected to evaluate effectiveness of management. This program will enhance cold-water stream habitats for at-risk fish species and trout. It also should provide angling opportunities, improve water quality and reduce soil erosion.

The project is one of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the Trust this year. Of these, 85 were new applications and 32 are carry-over projects.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state.

Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

Yes, the Aquatic Habitat Program is funded by the sale of fishing permits, a certain amount from every fishing permit is designated for the program, but that money is multiplied by enlisting as many partners and additional funding sources as possible.  Nebraska’s Environmental Trust has been an important funding partner for many conservation projects across the state.

As the news release noted, some river and stream work will be accomplished on private lands, but that is necessary when working with linear habitats, rivers and streams, that cross boundaries.  The fish do not care who owns the bottom of the stream.  Work will benefit a variety of river and stream fish species including a number of them that anglers love to pursue.  I cannot wait to cast a Rapala here:

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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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