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Jeffrey Reservoir Update

I again completely realize that I am “recycling” some information that has already been released and some folks already know about.  However, again I want to spread the word as much as possible and if you use Jeffrey Reservoir south of Brady you need to know about this:

The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District

(HOLDREGE, Neb.) – The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District is making preparations for a dredging project at Jeffrey Lake that will begin in early May. Central intends to remove a large amount of sediment that has accumulated in the lake over the years. The project will result in significant improvements for recreation, aquatic habitat and hydropower operations.

Central has leased a dredge specifically designed to remove the accumulated material. It is expected that the dredge will remove about 100,000 cubic yards of material during three months of dredging operations. The material will be moved via floating pipeline over the top of the dam at the north end of the lake and deposited inside of a containment structure partially on property owned by Central and partially on land owned by Mr. Ward David of Lubbock, Tex., who graciously agreed to temporarily lease the property to Central for the project.

Due to the presence of the dredge and the floating pipeline in the project area, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s public boat ramp located in the Jeffrey Lake Wildlife Management Area on the northeast side of the lake will be out of service for about three months, beginning with project initiation on May 2.

However, to facilitate recreational use of the lake on the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends, Central intends to pause the dredging project and open the boat ramp for public use on those two weekends.

Jeffrey Lake, a regulating reservoir for the Jeffrey Hydroplant immediately below the lake, is located on Central’s Supply Canal about ten miles south of Brady. Since the hydro-irrigation project began operating in 1941, sediment carried into the lake in the Supply Canal, as well as contributions from bank erosion, has accumulated in the northern part of the lake, primarily between the lake’s inlet and outlet canals.

As a result, the water is less than three feet deep over a large area, which restricts travel by boat from one end of the lake to the other, except through a narrow channel that Central has tried to maintain over the years.

Gothenburg Division Manager Kevin Boyd, who is overseeing the project, said, “Central regrets any inconvenience to the public while dredging is underway, but we are confident that the project will result in significant improvements to recreational opportunities at Jeffrey Lake.” (###)


News Release Contact:
Kevin Boyd
Gothenburg Division Manager
Office: (308) 537-3582
E-mail: kmboyd@cnppid.com

I completely realize that this will put a “kink” in some folk’s plans to use Jeffrey Reservoir this summer.  Believe me, when access to one of our fisheries is restricted I ain’t happy about it!  But, I also know that Jeffrey has an incredible siltation issue, it has for as long as I can remember, and this has to be done periodically.  Yes, it will be a hardship, but when the dredging is complete, conditions will be better for some time.  Until then, there are a lot of other fishing options in the area, explore them!


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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