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Some News Items, Aug. 24, 2020

I have a miscellany of items I want to highlight today, nothing major, but of interest to Nebraska anglers!

Boat ramp now open at Indian Cave State Park

LINCOLN, Neb. – The boat ramp at Indian Cave State Park is open for use following repairs.

During the brief closure, silt was removed from the area, a guardrail was replaced and riprap was repaired along the bank.

An entry permit is required of each vehicle entering Indian Cave State Park, which is located in Nemaha and Richardson counties. Find more information about the park at OutdoorNebraska.gov/indiancave.

While I am on the topic of the Missouri River, I have mentioned this before, but am sure not everyone has discovered it.  We have a Missouri River Outdoor Recreation Access Guide that you will find very useful.

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Indian Cave boat ramp under flood waters. Eric Fowler photo, Nebraskaland Magazine.

I know lots of folks have been patiently waiting for this news too:

Rainbow trout stockings resume at Gracie Creek Pond

LINCOLN, Neb. – Catchable-size rainbow trout were stocked in Gracie Creek Pond on Aug. 19 after the recent installation of a new fish screen at the outlet culvert.

Plans to resume regular seasonal stockings at the popular fishery located on the north side of Calamus Reservoir in Loup County should be welcoming to anglers. Trout will be stocked at a reduced rate of 600 fish per stocking for the foreseeable future.

The capacity of the pond has been reduced because of extensive sand deposited from March 2019 floods. Plans are being made to excavate or dredge to restore the pond and enhance the fishery potential.

Visit OutdoorNebraska.gov for more information on fishing in Nebraska.

Thank goodness!  I have promised that we would get that done “later this year”, and finally “later” has arrived!

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Eric Fowler photo, Nebraskaland magazine.

Bluegreen Algae

My phone has been ringing a lot since late last week.  Everyone has questions about bluegreen algae.  I have written entire blog posts on that subject in the past, Bluegreen Algae; I am not going to do that again right now.  However, let me say this:

We are in the middle of the hottest weather of the summer and that means it is prime time for bluegreen algae blooms.  Nebraska’s Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) does weekly testing for bluegreen algae toxins on waters around the state.  When toxins exceed action levels, health alerts are issued.  You can see the weekly alerts on NDEE’s website, NDEE Beach Watch.

They also have an excellent bluegreen algae fact sheet.  Read it.  Like most things, the media is maybe telling you half the story, usually less than that.

Also know this:  NDEE does NOT test all waters, and even if they did you might encounter blooms in specific locations that were not tested.  Yes, a bloom can occur in one area, one side of a waterbody, and not the other.  So, if you see water that looks like pea-green soup, that looks like someone spilled a can of John Deere green paint on the water, you probably want to stay out of that water.  Keep the kids and pets out of it too.

You know I am all about the fish and fishing.  The issuance of health alerts for bluegreen algae toxins don’t mean nothing for the fishing!  The health alerts advise that you avoid bodily contact and ingestion of water.  So, you want to avoid swimming and water-skiing, wet wading too, but other than that, GO FISH!  If you find the algae piled-up in an area because the wind has been blowing in there, you might find better fishing success where the water is cleaner.

Lots of questions concern whether fish are safe to eat when there is a bluegreen algae bloom.  You may be as tired as I am right now with scientists that will not give a straight answer, but that is because science is always asking more questions than it answers.  I can tell you that there has been no documentation of bluegreen algae toxins accumulating in the flesh of fish.  I would tell you it is fine to fillet and consume fish as you normally would, practicing selective harvest of course.  If you are worried about bluegreen algae toxins in the fish, don’t eat the internal organs.  Most of you ain’t about to do that anyway, so no worries.

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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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