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Update on Merritt Reservoir Boat Ramp Project

I know folks who fish Merritt have been wondering about our boat ramp improvement plans, there are some details in this old blog post, Angler Access Improvements.  Getting that work accomplished is dependent on end-of-summer water levels at Merritt.  So, the bad news is that water levels again this fall are too high for the work to be accomplished.  On the other hand, you will never hear me complain about water in our Nebraska reservoirs, so the good news is that water levels in Merritt this fall are again too high for the boat ramp and angler access work to be accomplished!

Merritt Reservoir Boat Ramp Project Postponed

LINCOLN – The boat launch facility construction project scheduled to start this fall at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area has been postponed again because of higher than expected reservoir water levels.

Merritt water levels dropped this summer but not low enough to reach the level needed for construction. Construction will be attempted again in the late summer or early fall of 2017.

When constructed a new concrete boat ramp will be relocated at the main landing area and will provide improved boat-launching and angler access for a longer duration during future summer reservoir drawdowns. The current boat ramp was constructed in the 1960s and is often out of service by early July.

In addition, as part of this project, a new breakwater is planned on the point near the Willow Cove Campground. This rock breakwater will protect the new boat ramp from southwest winds and slow the deposition of sand in Willow Cove. The breakwater will also provide bank angler fishing access. All rock rip-rap for the projects is already onsite.

This project is being accomplished in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and will be funded by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Aquatic Habitat-Angler Access Program, Capital Development Maintenance Funds along with matching U.S. Coast Guard boating safety funds.

For more information, call Steve Satra in Lincoln at 402-471-5446.

One thing I know about living in Nebraska, you never know what next year will bring.  We could have another wet year with lots of water left in Merritt, or we could have a dry year with a significant summer drawdown next summer.  I know of no way to predict that and all I can tell you is to “stay tuned”.


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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