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From the pages of NEBRASKAland Magazine.

How to Raise Big Walleye

New program offers improved survival rates, catch rates for walleye. For years, Game and Parks biologists have stocked walleye fingerlings in popular lakes and reservoirs across the state. Results have been mixed, with some waters yielding major benefits and others seeing poor survival. Southeastern Nebraska reservoirs fall into the latter category, where there has been limited success in building robust walleye populations, especially in waters with established largemouth bass populations. But a new way of raising walleyes for stocking is …

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The Nebraska Table: Autumn Recipes

Story and photos by Ryan Sparks The first cool days of autumn bring a nagging urge to be outdoors – a primal upwelling to hear the crunch of leaves underfoot, stare up at migrating flocks and breathe the sweet smell of harvest. Every fall I look forward to days spent hunting deer and quail, Cornhusker football games, trips to the pumpkin patch and rich meals of wild game. Like many Nebraskans who also love wild game, I often look for …

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DIY Fishing Rod Cases

Slamming car doors, shifting cargo, stumbling feet. Each has been unkind to my fishing rods more times than I care to admit. After a fly rod somehow broke while riding freely in my truck bed this spring, it was time to take action to keep it from happening again. Of course, many excellent rod cases are available from retailers. After some research, though, I found a simple design created from a favorite inexpensive building material – PVC pipe. Not only …

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Banding Canada Geese

Process allows researchers to monitor changes in survival, abundance and movement over time. By Tim Lyons and Mark Vrtiska Canada geese are perhaps one of the most easily recognized birds in Nebraska. From record lows in the 1960s, the goose population in Nebraska has rebounded, and geese are now common throughout the state. This growth has allowed increased recreational opportunities for hunters and wildlife-watchers, but also created problems in urban areas. Effectively managing the goose population, whether to sustain recreational …

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Tag a Monarch

Help Uncover a Mystery By Renae Blum, NEBRASKAland Contributor It’s one of the miracles of nature: each fall, millions of insects weighing less than one gram fly to overwintering sites in Mexico from across the United States, some traveling several thousand miles. This is the monarch butterfly, and the details of how this migration occurs are still surrounded by questions. Since 1992, Chip Taylor and his team at the University of Kansas have endeavored to find answers via a monarch …

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Success in the Salt Marsh

The sun sets as shadows fall over a saline wetland and a muskrat hut at the Little Salt Fork Marsh Preserve.

It is just before dawn in Nebraska’s eastern saline wetlands. You sit quietly on the edge of a salt marsh – a nearly level pan of sparse vegetation and mud. Just in front of you water laps in rhythmic beats at the shoreline. On the opposite shore, the growing light gently begins to fill in the dark spaces, giving definition to the dusky shapes that have been murmuring in the distance. They are a mixed flock of shorebirds and waterfowl …

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A Life Well Worn

boots

It wasn’t until I finally shot the turkey that I noticed what had happened to my boot. It was twice as large as normal, a clown shoe of sorts, and the first line of my internal dialogue was “I don’t feel injured.” Yet something still wasn’t right. Both of my feet were wet, as they often get when turkeys pitch down from their roost on the wrong side of the creek and I’m forced to quickly head them off. But …

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The Butterflies and People of Central Mexico: a Travel Journal

monarch

During the week of February 26 through March 3, 2017, my wife Shauna and I traveled on a grand adventure to central Mexico to view the overwintering population of Monarch butterflies. Shauna has been passionate about butterflies all of her life, gaining knowledge and interest about them while raising and releasing various species as a child in Denver, Colorado. I too have become concerned about the decline of all pollinators the last few years, and alongside other Nebraska Game and …

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A Crane Book For All Ages

Crane photo

An Interview with Jeff Kurrus, author of Can You Dance Like John? Article by Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley What was the inspiration behind the “crane books?” How did these stories develop? The first time I saw the sandhill cranes, there were a couple of things that stuck out. One was that there are 500,000 to 1 million of them on the Platte River each spring. Two, they all look alike. After doing a bit of research and finding out that they mate …

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Bighorn sheep capture

When I received the call from my co-worker, Justin Haag, about coming to the Panhandle to take photos of the bighorn sheep capture, I was more than ecstatic. I had always wanted to see how this process takes place and get close to the sheep. Along with that, who doesn’t want to travel to one of the most beautiful areas of Nebraska, the wildcat Hills and Pine Ridge. Not knowing what to expect, I went out to watch the crew …

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