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Commissioners approve Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Plan

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved a five-year plan to recruit, retain and reactivate outdoor enthusiasts at its Oct. 21 meeting in Broken Bow.

This 2023-2027 Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Plan provides goals, objectives and strategies to help Game and Parks engage outdoor participants in outdoor opportunities.

The plan is focused on boating, fishing, hunting, parks, and shooting sports, as well as on maintaining widespread support for conservation and recreation.

At the meeting in the Broken Bow Public Library, commissioners also approved changes to wildlife regulations that:

  • added the Pine Ridge Mule Deer Conservation Area to the list of draw units, added nonresident antelope archery permit to the list of antelope draw permits, and allowed nonresident archery antelope hunters to either apply for a preference point or the archery permit;
  • added turkeys to the list of animals that must be checked within 48 hours of being harvested; and
  • added language to allow hunters, beginning with the 2023 spring season, to cancel and check their electronic turkey permits on their mobile devices immediately after harvest.

Commissioners approved a change to fisheries regulations to simplify the application process for Special Fishing Permits for disabled anglers and allow annual renewals to be purchased through the online permit system.

They also approved changes to Sportfishing Orders that:

  • added Ansley Lake, Flanagan Lake, Alda DOT, Birdwood WMA, East Sutherland WMA and removed Victoria Springs Lake SRA from the waters that require a 21-inch minimum length on black bass;
  • changed the location designated on the Republican River above Harlan County Reservoir for bag limits on channel catfish and size limits on walleye, sauger and saugeye;
  • removed the catch-and-release designation for Flanagan Lake, established a no-harvest restriction on northern pike, and created maximum length limits for bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie; and
  • added walleye to the species prohibited to have in possession on Lonergan Creek at Lake McConaughy and added Otter Creek to the restrictions and established the timeframe of April 1 through June 30.

Commissioners also approved changes to assorted boating regulations regarding references to personal floatation devices, vessel weight limits, and updating lists of water bodies for wake/no wake rules and boating hours, towing and other boating safety restrictions. Learn more by reading the Public Hearing Notice at OutdoorNebraska.gov/pubicnotices.

In other business, the commissioners heard reports on Game and Parks’ Capital Maintenance Fund, an update on the fall season in the state parks, and an overview of the City of Kearney’s new whitewater park.

The commissioners recognized Commissioner Bob Allen of Eustis, whose term on the board is ending this year, for his eight years of leadership.

The Haumont family of Broken Bow was recognized for its contributions in running the annual Nebraska Youth Smallbore Silhouette Invitational at Pressey Wildlife Management Area in Custer County.

The Commission also approved it 2023 meeting schedule: Jan. 19-20, Lincoln; March 16-17, Kearney; April 20-21, Fremont; June 8-9, Alma; Aug. 3-4, Valentine; Oct. 12-13, Fort Robinson State Park.

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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