I will tell you that I wish that Nebraska had more water for fishing and outdoor recreation. Since we do not, I believe it is extremely important that we maximize every opportunity, every resource we have. In some cases we have water bodies that are not large, do not support tens of thousands of anglers, and may not produce boat loads of trophy fish. But, I learned a long time ago that even those small water bodies, many of them community fishing holes, are very important, especially important to those folks who live nearby and use those areas.
For example, Lake Helen is a 20-acre community reservoir on the north side of Gothenburg. As part of our Aquatic Habitat Program improvements are planned at Lake Helen.
Lake Helen to Undergo Lake Rehabilitation
Lake Helen in Gothenburg has been chosen for lake rehabilitation. The lake previously had frequent fish kill events and poor water quality due to shallow water depths and high amounts of phosphorous contaminating the lake.
Myers Construction of Broken Bow will start the lake rehabilitation this week with construction to continue through June, 2015.
The project will involve deepening the lake for improved habitat, adding underwater rock shoals for habitat diversity, a new boat ramp with floating dock, an ADA fishing pad and a fish screen structure to keep unwanted species from entering the lake from the canal. The lake is scheduled to be stocked with game fish next summer.
Financial contributors include the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Aquatic Habitat Program funded through the purchase of Aquatic Habitat Stamps, Sportfish Restoration Program funded by the purchase of fishing gear and licenses and Motorboat Access funds from the purchase of boating gear along with the City of Gothenburg and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
Lake Helen is currently devoid of water in preparation for project work. On one of my trips through the state this summer, I stopped by and snapped some pictures. You can see the extent of the siltation that has occurred over the years.
Here is a view of the supply canal and inlet.
I cannot tell you the details of the Lake Helen project at this time. Those details have already been planned, but I do not have the blue prints in front of me. I know this, even with the reservoir de-watered, there were a group of boys there the day I stopped by; they had a dip net and they were puddling in the water that was left. When the habitat project is completed, the water quality, habitat, and fishing will be much improved and those boys, and a lot more Gothenburg kids, will have a much better resource in which to catch some fish!
“Making the Good Life Even Better”!