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Back in Blue

In the past couple of years we have seen water levels in the sandhills unlike anything any of us remember.  Roads have been closed, valleys have been flooded, water has been everywhere.  I would not say water levels are low now, it is all relative.  Certainly they are lower.

So, I want to spread the word on this:

Blue Lake reopens after long closure

ALLIANCE, Neb. — A Sandhills fishing destination has reopened after a 28-month closure.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has reopened the access road to Blue Lake in the Sandhills of Garden County.

The 2.7-mile two-track trail through private property has been closed since March 2019 because of flooding. Joe Rydell, a fisheries biologist for Game and Parks, said the water level has subsided enough that the trail can be navigated, with caution. This week, he mowed the trail and parking area and created an access point through the rushes along the shoreline.

Blue Lake is 22 miles north of Oshkosh near the Crescent Lake Wildlife Management Area and Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Because public access to the lake is allowed through a lease agreement with its landowner, Game and Parks officials ask that visitors be especially mindful of rules posted at the entrance. They include staying on the road and closing gates.

The lake is open to four-wheel-drive vehicles during daylight and allows no camping, hunting, ATVs, horses or littering. Small boats, canoes and kayaks are ideal for fishing the lake, but Rydell said vehicles pulling trailers run a high risk of being stuck.

At 311 acres, the lake features smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappies, yellow perch, northern pike, saugeyes, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, black bullheads and common carp.

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Joe Rydell photo. Thanks, Joe!
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Joe Rydell photo. Thanks, Joe, and thanks for the work you put in!

Let me emphasize one more thing here, it is mentioned in the news release, but it is worth repeating:  STAY ON THE ROAD AND FOLLOW THE RULES!  Public access to Blue Lake depends on folks respecting the area, the resource and the neighbors!

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Joe Rydell photo. Thanks, Joe!

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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