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Fish salvage not permitted on Sutherland Canal system — yet

Fish salvage along the Sutherland Canal system near North Platte will not be permitted at this time due to potentially unsafe conditions while maintenance is performed on canal structures.

Nebraska Public Power District is currently performing canal structure inspections and repairs between Lake Ogallala and Lake Maloney state recreation areas, which necessitates caution.

To allow for inspections, water is drawn down in sections and held behind gated water-control structures, known as checks. Staff, contractors and others are not permitted to enter the canal until adequate water has been released and the canal is isolated.

Around the middle of October, the water is expected to be slowly released. Once NPPD has deemed Sutherland Reservoirs outlet gates secured and isolated, inspections of the canal will be completed. At that point, salvage permits will once again be issued to the public by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for anglers to legally seine or net fish in low-water pools.

A small number of salvage permits previously were issued for this section of the canal; those holding permits are encouraged to salvage only once clearance has been given.

Due to concerns about the spread of aquatic invasive species, approved salvage permits will be for consumption only, giving anglers opportunities to harvest fish in low-water pools. Those using a salvage permit must have a valid Nebraska fishing permit and abide by length and daily bag limits.

Game and Parks reminds anglers that unlawful stocking of salvaged fish could lead to the introduction of invasive Asian clams or other unwanted aquatic invasive species that could have long-term detrimental effects on stocked water bodies.

Read details of the water canal inspection project at nppd.com/newsroom/press-releases.

For more information, contact Brad Eifert, Game and Parks fisheries division district manager, at 308-865-5331.

Updated Sept. 30, 2022, to clarify water release speed.

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