The Hawks of Nebraska

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist Hawks are some of the most commonly seen birds in Nebraska. Often, all you have to do to find one is look up. These raptors, or birds of prey, usually perch on fence posts, overlooking branches and sometimes, at your bird feeder — any elevated spot where they can scan the ground to look for food. While each species of hawk has its own unique characteristics, they all have several features in common, such …

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Float Nebraska Water Trails

Eager to get on the water? Yeah, me, too. Summer (Post-Memorial Day) is a perfect time to float Nebraska’s many miles of water trails. There are many reasons to take a float trip on continuously flowing water. You can do it for the openness and space that it offers and the adventure of going somewhere you have never been. You can do it to make connections and memories with people and nature, re-trace history, experience wetlands, see a variety of …

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Memorial Day, 2023


Here we are!  I know many folks eagerly wait for this weekend every year.  It is the beginning of summer!  Many will be heading for our waters around the state this weekend to enjoy the water, enjoy the outdoors, do some fishing, spend time with family and friends.  I hope you get out to enjoy it all and dry some off while you are at it! Right now is some of the best fishing of the year for a variety …

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Memorial Stadium Turns 100

By David L. Bristow, History Nebraska What’s the proper way to break ground for the new home of the Cornhuskers? With a team and a plow, of course! University officials broke ground on Memorial Stadium on April 26, 1923. An estimated thousand people showed up to hear speeches and watch Chancellor Samuel Avery ceremonially plow a furrow. There was a recent precedent for this. A year earlier, Governor Samuel McKelvie had plowed a furrow to break ground for the new …

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“Blinded Me with Science”–Bluegill Growth Rates


The May issue of Nebraskaland magazine has a short article on bluegill growth rates.  You will want to check it out. Right now you can see the full issue HERE. Or, here are the two pages: Over-harvest of panfish, bluegills and crappies, is a real problem on a lot of waters.  No, those populations are not harvested to the point where there are not enough fish to reproduce and maintain the population.  They are over-harvested to the point where they …

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Adventures of Trout in the Classroom

By Grace Gaard, Aquatic Ecology Education Specialist Adventure: an unusual and exciting, sometimes hazardous experience. While rarely risky, the word “adventure” fairly sums up field-trip season for the Trout in the Classroom program across Nebraska. Although the in-field portion of the program took a hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, this spring marked the second year since the program’s full reboot. Program offerings hit their stride during the 2022-2023 academic year, and since the pandemic, the number of participating schools have …

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Fishing Etiquette


I often joke that this time of year EVERYONE is an angler.  People who only fish once or a few times a year are fishing now. That makes this a good time for this reminder, for all of us, beginners and old salts: Fishing etiquette for every type of angler A great day fishing is as much about catching what you’re after as it is about the experience you had while away from home. But to keep your fishing trip …

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At-Risk Species Spotlight – Buff-Breasted Sandpiper

At-risk Species Spotlight is a monthly blog post that highlights one Nebraska animal that is at-risk of extinction, with the goal of bringing awareness to the incredible diversity of wildlife we have in the state and their conservation needs and efforts as outlined in the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project. By Olivia DaRugna, Watchable Wildlife Biologist The inconspicuous, pale-brown, buff-breasted sandpipers (Calidris subruficollis), or “buffies” as some like to call them, are one of the more than 30 shorebird species that …

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How to Avoid the Crowds When Going Camping

It’s camping season and my neighbors told me the other day they were thinking of heading out on a Friday night to camp at a popular state recreation area in order to “get away from it all” on a nice weekend. Hmmm … I wanted to tell them that most likely, they were heading to an area to where it all will be happening with quite a few people there. Admittedly, I don’t want to be around big crowds when …

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You ARE Going to be Releasing Fish, Might as well Do It Right!


I noted a week ago that the fish are biting, now.  The reports I am hearing and photos I am seeing have exploded in the past week.  May and June are some of the best open-water fishing months every year.  We are in the middle of that NOW! Have noticed some other things about all of those photos and reports, so I am going to blog about it again:  Best fish handling practices. Now, don’t you dare tune me out …

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