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NEBRASKAland Magazine

Published by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission since 1926, NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to an engaging mix of outstanding photography and informative writing, highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parks, wildlife, history and people.

A 50-inch Minimum

Merritt Reservoir has long been one of Nebraska’s top fishing destinations. Merritt is an irrigation reservoir, but unlike some others, it fills every year because of the ample flow of the Snake River. It consistently has great water quality and abundant prey fish. And with this year’s adoption of a 50-inch minimum for what many consider to be Nebraska’s greatest fish, the muskellunge, Merritt has entered rarefied air as a trophy fishery. “Merritt has alewives, white suckers and various panfish,” …

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Just an Eagle

Last spring, I received a call from conservation officer Matt Seitz who asked me to pick up an eagle that had fallen from a nest near Barneston. Although I was on vacation at the time, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold a baby eagle. I said I would get it and went out to meet the farmer who knew where the bird was located. Gary Remmers was working in his field on April 27 when he noticed something …

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Fighting for Every Acre

The Joint Venture and the Rainwater Basin By Jeff Kurrus Late this fall, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Rainwater Basin (RWB) Joint Venture Coordinator Andy Bishop, who toured me through the Basin, meeting ranchers and landowners who have very intimate knowledge of this landscape and how they benefit from the wetlands, and how the wetlands benefit from them. I also had the chance to spend some time on the basins myself, shotgun in hand in search …

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Spring Fishing

6 Things to Try This Spring When Fishing I’ve been catching fish for more than 60 years, and I’m always looking for something new to try. Whether you’re new to fishing or “seasoned” such as myself, here are a few things you should try this spring. Braided Line If fish are breaking your 15- to 20-pound monofilament, consider 50-pound braid. It has the same diameter as 15- to 20-pound mono, with more than twice the strength for big fish. This …

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2019 Photo Contest

With more than 2,000 entries, the 2019 Nebraskaland Magazine Photo Contest drew a record number of stunning images from your fellow Nebraska photographers in the categories of Wildlife, Flora, Scenic, and Recreation. The Nebraskaland Magazine staff found it difficult to pare down the excellent images – especially the Best of Show winner, which went to Eric Wellman and his image, “Perseverance.” We thank everyone who participated and made this exciting feature possible in our magazine. We look forward to seeing …

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Survival On the Missouri

A Warm Day It was Nov. 30, 1998. Three of my childhood friends were coming back to duck hunt – a tradition we had done since the mid-1980s. I’ve known one since kindergarten, the rest of them fifth and sixth grade, more than 50 years. We grew up hunting together with BB guns, so we spent a lot of time in the field getting to know one another. This probably had a lot to do with the fact we’re still …

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Advancing Groundhogs

Look Out Nebraska! Groundhogs, whistle pigs or woodchucks are all synonymous with a large squirrel commonly active during the day and seen frequently on the edges of woodlots, rivers, streams, fields and even in backyards across eastern parts of the United States. Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania is likely the most famous woodchuck of all, and along with other individuals from the Eastern United States, supposedly predicts the length of winter based on seeing its shadow (or not) on Groundhog Day, …

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How to Clean a Pike (and Recipe)

Pike Almondine I stumbled across this recipe while surfing and fishing North Carolina’s Outer Banks. A woman selling freshly caught fish out of her home recommended the black-bellied rosefish her son had caught that morning. Having never heard of the fish before, I asked her how she would cook it. She rattled off a list of ingredients, but being in a remote area with no grocery store we told her we didn’t have much to work with. Without a thought …

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Walk This Way

Just like the shape of its bill, a bird’s feet can tell us a lot about its ecology and the habitat in which it lives. Birds do a lot with their feet – they can perch, walk, preen, feed, carry/hold objects and even swim. These animals are considered digitigrade, meaning they generally walk on their toes, not their entire foot like people do. Most birds have four toes, or digits, while some species only have three. These digits are arranged …

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Thoughts on Waterfowl

It’s just my humble opinion, but I believe those of us involved in fish and wildlife conservation on a professional level are “wired” a bit differently than the rest of society. There’s some innate draw or attraction to wild and natural things and places that is difficult to explain, let alone understand. That attraction has led us down a path of life that isn’t just a job or a career, but a vocation that is inexplicably intertwined with our lives, …

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