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NEBRASKAland Articles

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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Wild Game Cooking Seminar

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blogger Hank Shaw will visit Nebraska on this latest book tour. By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Award-winning Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blogger Hank Shaw will visit the Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center in Lincoln to talk about wild game on Oct. 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The seminar will show hunters how to get more out of their wild game and fish through new cooking tips and techniques, with a focus on upland birds. Shaw will …

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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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The Eclipse through the eyes of citizen scientists

Photograph taken during the middle of the day during the eclipse at Verdon State Recreation Area (SRA) in Richardson County. Kurrus, Aug. 15, 2017. Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

One year ago, for just a couple of minutes, the sky darkened in the middle of the day. The air cooled, stars and planets appeared, and the sun seemed to transform before our eyes. The 2017 solar eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But as fascinating as it was, not everyone had their eyes trained on the skies the whole time. There was a question that needed answering: how would animals and plants react to the eclipse? Life Responds That was …

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Another round of Carp-O-Rama

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) hosted its sixth annual Carp-O-Rama at Lake Maloney State Recreation Area (SRA) this month. The event was a huge success according to the smiles seen and laughter heard. Game and Parks staff was on hand to assist the public and answer any questions about carp fishing and those that have never tried it were inquisitive and excited about the process. On the other hand, some folks come to the event every year, just …

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Summer Wildflowers of the Sandhills

Yucca (Yucca glauca) adorns a sand dune in Cherry County. Also called soapweed, the plant’s crushed roots, when agitated in water, produce a lather used as a shampoo by Great Plains tribes. They ate the flowers, flower stalks and young seedpods raw or cooked.

Blooms on the Dunes From many Sandhills dune tops, one can see prairie stretching to the horizons. North America’s largest sand dune field, the wind-whipped Sandhills, covers more than 20,000 square miles of north-central Nebraska, ranging from low and rolling to steep and towering. The Sandhills is also our nation’s most intact grassland ecosystem – the wildflower-rich prairie, a vestige of times past. n 1795, James Mackay, working for the Upper Missouri Company, led the first European expedition into the heart of the …

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Our Own Danish Alps

Danish Alps SRA, State Park, Sunset, Boating, Lake

Dakota County’s Budding State Recreation Area Tucked away among the rolling hills of Dakota County, Danish Alps State Recreation Area (SRA) derives its name from the early Danish pioneers who first settled in the area. Its creation was part of a two-fold plan by the Papio-Missouri Natural Resource District (NRD): to stabilize the Pigeon/Jones Creek Watershed and to build the most thoughtfully planned recreation area possible. Plans for the SRA were drawn up in the fall of 2009, and the …

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Aquatic Habitat Program Celebrates 20 Years

Fisheries biologists Jared Lorensen and Caleb Huber conduct an electrofishing survey on West Brady Wildlife Management Area, one of seven interstate lakes recently improved for angler access.

To maintain, restore or enhance the capacity of a waterbody to produce and sustain fish. In the mid-1990s, Nebraska’s reservoirs constructed during the middle part of the 20th century were showing their age: Basins had filled with silt, shorelines had eroded, water quality had degraded, and less-than-desirable fish communities made for poor angling. Anglers wanted change. More than 650 anglers attended 19 meetings across the state beginning in 1993 to discuss problems and possible solutions related to aging reservoirs and …

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Grassland tribute

Supermoon over Sugarloaf Butte

In the May issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine, you will find a story and photos about one of my favorite places in the Panhandle – an area that might sometimes be overshadowed by its neighbor. The Oglala Grassland is a region in northern Dawes and Sioux counties that borders Nebraska’s stunning Pine Ridge and the South Dakota border. The region is designated one of the Panhandle’s 11 designated biologically unique landscapes in the Natural Legacy Project – the state’s wildlife action …

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