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Conservation

Mid-Winter Blues?

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I have still been on the ice every chance I get and again have had a chance to roam the state a bit. . . . Yes, ice conditions are variable.  With the stinkin’ mid-winter rains we have had, ice conditions in southeast Nebraska especially have not been nearly as good as many of us would like.  The run-off has softened the ice around shorelines and in some cases other parts of several waters.  In addition, our pits and interstate …

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Hunter Surveys: The Importance of Being Heard

Are you a hunter? Have you have received a couple emails from us at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission asking something about hunting surveys? If so, answer them, don’t delete or trash them! But, why? Why does Game and Parks care about what I think as a hunter or what wild game I put in my freezer during these past seasons? Well, let me tell you that our wildlife biologists are genuinely, genuinely interested in what you think about the different aspects of hunting here in Nebraska and how you did in the …

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State Record Summary, 2016

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At the end of each year I like to look back at the state record fish that were certified; kind of a “state record annual report”.  It is time to do that again. . . . We had 13 different fish certified as state records in 2016. Surface Spear-fishing No fish taken by surface spear-fishing were submitted for state records in 2016. Bow-Fishing The bow-fishing state record category was busy in 2016; six bow-fishing records were awarded.  In chronological order, …

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Big Enough

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At our ice-fishing clinic in Kearney last Saturday, during the classroom session, someone asked a question about the size of ice holes allowed in Nebraska, and what size ice auger a person should have.  Mostly for safety reasons, the largest diameter ice hole allowed on Nebraska public waters is 10 inches. While answering the question about what size of auger an ice angler should invest in, I started with one of my favorite answers, “It depends”.  There are more ice …

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Kearney Ice Clinic

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Just want to post up a few pictures from our ice-fishing clinic at Yanney Park in Kearney last Saturday.  We had a great time! The Kearney ice clinic is a little bit different in that we do a classroom session in the morning.  The Environmental Resource Center Building there right beside the pit makes a great setting for the classroom session and we had 60-some people packed in there.  Don Cox, Andrew Svoboda, Rob Greer and myself rambled about a …

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Fly-Fishing Primer

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I want to call to your attention to another fishing article in NEBRASKAland magazine.  The January-February 2017 issue is available on-line right now, and in it you will find an excellent article by Ryan Sparks on learning to fly-fish.  The title is Wading In, check it out! Unfortunately, many people equate fly-fishing with trout fishing.  The first thing I always say about fly-fishing is that it ain’t just for trout!  In fact, if you wish, and some fly-anglers do, you …

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Nebraska’s Other Pheasant Capital

As I wrote a while back, I have roots in a region long considered one of the nation’s premier pheasant-hunting destinations – southwestern Nebraska. Not only did my first hunting experiences involve pursuits of Rowdy Rooster, one of my first jobs was a part-time position at a McCook motel where I witnessed the influence the pheasant season can have on a local economy. Each November, it seemed every bird hunter and his dog from outside the area converged on that …

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Tax check-off benefits wildlife, habitat conservation

LINCOLN, Neb. – Tax season provides Nebraskans a unique opportunity to contribute to wildlife and habitat conservation. Line 42 on 2016 state income tax Form 1040N allows individuals to donate all or a part of their tax refund to the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund, ¬which focuses on saving Nebraska’s wildlife and wild places. “The check-off is one of the principal sources of state funding used to conserve more than 95 percent of fish and wildlife species that are considered nongame,” …

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Bald eagles break nest record again in 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. – In 2016, a record 159 active bald eagle nests were documented in Nebraska by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and its partners. It was the third consecutive year the number of nests has broken the previous year’s record. Bald eagles were on federal and state endangered species lists as late as 2007 and 2008, respectively. The species has gone from a nonexistent breeding species in the state to one that is relatively numerous in less than …

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Black Hole

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You would think as long as I have been ice-fishing, some lessons would have been learned a long time ago.  Yes, that should be true, but sometimes I am a little dense.  How many fish have you lost at the hole?  If you have been on the ice for awhile, I am betting more than one. It happened to me already this ice season; hooked a nice largemouth bass, I am guessing 18-inches plus, spent some time playing it, finally got …

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