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Updates, July 13, 2020

Several small news items I want to call attention to today.  These are not necessarily a big deal, but they do involve fisheries resources and fishing access.  So, many of you will want to know.  Let me just copy and paste the news releases here:

This one likely will be true only for today:

Calamus’ Buckshot Bay ramp to temporarily close July 13

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Buckshot Bay boat ramp at Calamus State Recreation Area near Burwell will be closed temporarily Monday, July 13 to repair the dock damaged by a weekend storm. The ramp is expected to reopen by mid-afternoon.

Additionally, the storm damaged some trees at Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area near Loup City. Visitors are asked to use caution when visiting Fisherman’s Bridge and Trail 11 areas at Sherman Reservoir. Park staff will be working in these areas Monday removing the remaining hazardous debris from the fallen trees.


This next one applies to the boat access to Plum Creek Canyon Reservoir.  Do not be confused by the headline, this is the Plum Creek Canyon on the canal system above Johnson Lake.

Plum Creek WMA focuses on fishing access, ends camping

LINCOLN, Neb. — In order to allow for the maximum number of anglers and their boat trailers at the Plum Creek Wildlife Management Area, the south central Nebraska site closed to camping permanently July 10.

The wildlife management area was designed as a fishing access point, not for overnight camping and has no site amenities. Due to the management area’s size and limited parking availability, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will prioritize boat and fishing access to the waterway there.

“We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm to get out, camp and enjoy the outdoors,” said Alicia Hardin, wildlife division administrator. “Unfortunately, Plum Creek WMA just isn’t big enough to support the traffic from both anglers and campers. We hope people see this as an opportunity to explore our other great recreation areas.”

Signs in the Plum Creek WMA notify users of the changes.

Nearby overnight camping remains available at Johnson Lake State Recreation Area or other state parks and recreation areas. For more information, or to find a site, visit OutdoorNebraska.org.

If you have been to the boat ramp at Plum Creek Canyon, you know there is just a small area there with a boat ramp and a little room to park.  There ain’t enough room for camping and boat ramp access.


Lastly, this is coming:

Rock Creek Lake to be drawn down for fish renovation

LINCOLN, Neb. – Rock Creek Lake will be drawn down over the next few months in preparation for a fish renovation.

The project at the Dundy County lake aims to improve water quality and sportfish potential by eliminating gizzard shad.

When the water level is down, cedar trees will be used to build fish habitat structures in the lakebed. Rotenone will be applied this fall to remove undesirable fish. Sport fish will be restocked as the lake refills before winter.

Rock Creek Lake was last renovated in 2003 due to high gizzard shad numbers.

“Gizzard shad can be problematic in small water bodies,” said Daryl Bauer, fisheries outreach program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Since their re-infestation into the lake in 2010, fish surveys have shown significant declines in abundance and growth of largemouth bass and other desirable species.”

In an effort to prevent accidental introduction of gizzard shad again, a No Live Baitfish regulation will be recommended after the renovation is completed.

Refilling of Rock Creek Lake will begin on the day of the rotenone renovation. The lake should refill in approximately 45 days, depending on rainfall.

Some sport fish have been salvaged from the lake and used as broodfish at Game and Parks hatcheries. Additional salvage efforts will be made as the water level declines.

Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area will remain open throughout this process. A park entry permit is required.

Eric Fowler photo, Nebraskaland Magazine.

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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