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Latest Issue

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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Platte River Water Trail

I’ve paddled many of the state’s rivers, mostly during the past 20 years creating stories on the state’s water trails in this magazine. But until 2018, I hadn’t floated the Platte, despite living a mere 30 miles from its course. By then, my wife, Theresa, and I had owned kayaks for five years, but we mostly paddled lakes around our home in Lincoln. On this day, it wasn’t long before we asked ourselves why we’d waited so long to float …

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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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The Pine Ridge Special

Step away from ordinary equipment to fly-fish Nebraska’s trout streams. Let’s get this out of the way early. When looking for fly-fishing advice, you might want to go elsewhere. Mind you, I have fly-fished many times, but when it comes to getting serious about catching fish, a spinnerbait or can of nightcrawlers is usually involved. My fly-fishing dates back to the 1990s when I was gifted a rod-and-reel combo package. As with all fishing, it was fun. Too often, though, …

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New Research on Eastern Redcedar

For decades, mechanical removal has been a key strategy to control eastern redcedar, an invasive species sweeping north across the Great Plains. But new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln indicates that this method isn’t as successful as previously expected. Eastern redcedar moves aggressively, with the ability to convert open grasslands to woodland in as little as 40 years, and it’s happening on a large scale. Our current strategies aren’t keeping pace with the rate of invasion, said Dillon Fogarty, …

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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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2019 Flood: $19 million in Damage

Game and Parks Still Working to Recover For many Nebraskans, 2019 was a tough year. Historic flooding in March sent nearly every river in the eastern half of the state out of its banks, washing out highways, bridges, dams, levees, farms and homes, and killing four people and countless livestock. Flooding along the Missouri River in southeastern Nebraska continued throughout the year. More floods hit south-central Nebraska in July and the northeast in September. It is estimated that the flooding …

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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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A Weekend of Exploration

My experience of Becoming an Outdoors-Woman As part of the communications team at Nebraska Game and Parks, I have been aware of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Weekend Workshop for a long time, a three-day event featuring a variety of outdoors skills workshops for women. Each year I received e-mails encouraging employees to attend, but always resisted. I’ll admit it: I am not an “outdoors woman.” My hobbies – reading, cooking fancy recipes, watching foreign films – are usually indoor ones. …

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Those Alluring Orbs

When photographing Nebraska’s great places, the moon and the sun are always welcome to the scene. Whether it be the fast-beating wings of a zigzagging teal or the earth-hammering legs of a sprinting pronghorn, a quick “trigger finger” is often necessary for capturing imagery of the region’s natural resources. Perhaps no photo subjects, though, get me in hot pursuit more than two that are the farthest from the camera. One is about 239,000 miles away. The other, almost 93 million …

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