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Boating access limited on some Nebraska reservoirs

Drought conditions have limited public boating access on some reservoirs across Nebraska, but the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is working to improve boating access where possible.

Conditions at many boat ramps, piers and access points are not expected to improve as long as precipitation lags far behind normal levels. For much of the state, water levels have not been this low since the drought of 2012.

While some boat ramps have been closed, and others have restrictions, for locations where access is still possible, Game and Parks asks boaters to use their best judgment when launching watercraft and to be on the alert for unanticipated hazards when out on the water.

Despite the adverse conditions, Game and Parks is working to provide boating access where it can:

  • A rock ramp was extended at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area before Labor Day, and a concrete ramp at Merritt Reservoir SRA has been extended several times.
  • Repairs are being made to a ramp at Sherman Reservoir the week of Sept. 19.
  • Extensive boating access improvements have begun at Enders Reservoir SRA and are expected to last through the fall.
  • As the result of a Nebraska Public Power District maintenance project at Sutherland Reservoir in November, Game and Parks will repair a ramp that is eroded at the water.
  • Boating improvements are planned at Red Willow and Swanson reservoirs this fall and winter to provide safer access during low-water periods.

Questions about these projects can be directed to ngpc.boatingaccess@nebraska.gov.

Game and Parks appreciates the public’s patience.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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