LINCOLN – A boat ramp project scheduled to start this fall at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area in Cherry County has been postponed because of higher than expected water levels.
Reservoir water levels dropped this summer following this year’s abundant precipitation, but not enough to reach the goal elevation needed to significantly reduce costs. Construction will be attempted again in the late summer or early fall of 2016.
Visitors are reminded that over the next several months construction crews will continue entering the Willow Cove Area to deliver rock rip-rap in preparation for the project.
The new ramp that will be built as part of this project will be repositioned to provide improved boat-launching and angler access for a longer duration during future summer water drawdowns. The current boat ramp was built in the 1960s and has often been out of service by early July.
In addition, a new breakwater is planned at the mouth of the cove. It will be located southwest of the new ramp, near the Willow Cove Campground. That breakwater will protect the boat ramp from southwest winds and slow the deposition of sand in the cove. The new breakwater also will provide bank angler fishing access.
This project is being done in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and will be paid for by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Aquatic Habitat-Angler Access, and Capital Development Maintenance funds, as well as U.S. Coast Guard boating safety funding.
For more information, call Zac Brashears at 402-376-8080 or Steve Satra at 402-471-5446.