LINCOLN — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will lift the temporary boating ban at Bridgeport State Recreation Area (SRA) effective Friday, June 12. The ban was enacted on May 15, when the presence of a moose was confirmed in the Panhandle park.
The moose was observed on the island in Bridgeport SRA’s Center Lake, as well as in the park and the surrounding vicinity, and she frequently swam back and forth between the island and the shore. Center Lake is a popular fishing and boating venue that contains several narrow areas between the island and the shore. These areas in particular created potential for a surprise and potentially very dangerous encounter between the animal and a boater. The moose’s affinity for swimming, combined with the popularity of waterskiing, jet skiing and other high-speed activities in the lake, caused Game and Parks to implement a boating ban for the safety of the public as well as the moose.
Game and Parks officials have actively monitored the park and determined that when there were no observations of the animal on the park area for a period of one week, the ban would be lifted. The last confirmed sighting occurred on Thursday, June 4. If the moose returns to the park, officials will assess the situation at that time to determine necessary actions.
Officials encourage people to remain watchful at the park and surrounding region and report any moose sightings to the local police department, conservation officer or nearest Game and Parks office. Signage will remain in the park to educate park visitors in case a moose again enters the area. Moose should not be approached, as they have been known to become aggressive toward people and pets.