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Angler Access Improvements

Quick blog post today; just want to again call attention to some angler access and aquatic habitat improvement projects that are underway–your angler dollars at work!

Project to Improve Angler Access at Sandy Channel SRA

LINCOLN – Anglers who fish at Sandy Channel State Recreation Area (SRA) in Buffalo County will soon have improved fishing access at three of the most popular lakes on the area.

Lakes No. 2, No. 4 and No. 8 all have projects slated to improve shoreline access and boat access.

Lake No. 8, the largest lake on the area, will have a handicap-accessible fishing pier installed, and more than 500 feet of shoreline will be cleared of brush and reshaped for easier access to the water’s edge. Lake No. 2 will have a concrete boat ramp installed and 400 feet of shoreline development to improve conditions for shore anglers. Lake No. 4 also will have a concrete boat ramp installed and an additional 500 feet of shoreline will be cleared of brush and walkways added for improved access to the water’s edge.

Construction began in mid-June and should be completed by early fall. Sandy Channel SRA will remain open during the project, but areas of the park may be temporarily closed because of construction.

The angler access project is made possible by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Aquatic Habitat and Angler Access programs. Those programs are funded by the purchase of fishing permits and supplemented with funding from Federal Sportfish Restoration Program funds collected from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.

Sandy Channel SRA is located 3 miles south of Elm Creek.


Merritt Reservoir SRA Boat Launch Facility Improvements Begin

LINCOLN – Work has begun on improvements to the Main Landing boat launch facility at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area (SRA).

Visitors will find construction equipment entering the Main Landing boat launch and Willow Cove Campground areas over the next several months. A new concrete ramp, boat dock and breakwaters will be built this summer and fall as water levels recede. In preparation for that construction, the delivery of rock rip-rap has started.

The new boat ramp will be built just to the south of the existing one. Once completed, it will provide boater and angler access at that location for a longer duration during the summer irrigation months. The original boat ramp was built in the 1960s and often went out of service by the first part of July.

A new breakwater is planned near the Willow Cove Campground area to the southwest of the new ramp. The breakwater will provide protection from southwest winds and slow sand from being deposited around the ramp. This breakwater also will provide some bank angler fishing access.

The project is being accomplished by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation. Funding has been provided by Game and Parks’ Aquatic Habitat and Angler Access programs, capital development maintenance funds, and U.S. Coast Guard boating safety funds.

For more information on the project, call Zac Brashears at 402-376-8080 or Steve Satra at 402-471-5446.

Merritt Reservoir SRA is located 26 miles southwest of Valentine in Cherry County. A park entry permit is required of each vehicle entering the park.


I have not been there recently, but also have heard that the Aquatic Habitat Rehabilitation project at Lake Helen in Gothenburg has been completed and that lake is starting to refill.  Re-stocking of fish is scheduled there for later this summer and fall; excellent fishing will be coming there in the next few years.

In Nebraska we have to get the most possible out of every one of our fisheries.  Our Aquatic Habitat Program and Angler Access Program exist specifically to accomplish those goals.  I will never tell you that us pointy-headed fisheries biologists have all the answers, but I hope anglers believe that we are doing our best to make Nebraska fishing as good as it can be!


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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