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Some News Items, September 2017

A couple of news items I want to call attention to today.  These will affect anglers in a couple areas of Nebraska, so even though the news releases have been published already, I want to mention them in my blog too.

Merritt Reservoir

Merritt Reservoir’s Main Landing temporarily closed

September 8, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. – The construction of a new boat-launch facility at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area’s Main Landing has begun. The Main Landing area will be closed temporarily.

Reservoir water levels are typically at their lowest now, following irrigation season. This will facilitate the construction of the new ramp, as well as a protective rock breakwater adjacent to the parking area for the old high-water ramp.

Construction will continue into mid-October as the reservoir refills. An alternate fish-cleaning station is available at Beed’s Landing. The public should stay clear of the work area and construction equipment entering the Main Landing and Willow Cove Campground areas.

The new concrete ramp will provide improved boat launching and angler access for a longer duration during annual reservoir drawdowns. The current ramp, built in the 1960s, often has been out of service by early July each year.

This project, which has been postponed twice because of higher-than-expected water levels, is a cooperative effort of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Ainsworth Irrigation District and the Bureau of Reclamation. It will be paid for by Game and Parks’ Aquatic Habitat-Angler Access Program, Capital Development Maintenance Funds and matching U.S. Coast Guard boating safety funds.

Contact Game and Parks’ Loren Murray at 402-376-3320 for more information.

I will never complain about too much water in any of our larger, irrigation reservoirs, but ironically this boat ramp project at Merritt has been postponed a couple of years because there was not enough of a drawdown in 2015 and 2016 to get this done.  There may still be some lowering of the water level to get work completed this fall, but certainly this project is finally “off the ground”!


Stagecoach Reservoir

We also have an opportunity to make some improvements at Stagecoach Reservoir this fall.

Liberalized fishing regulations declared for Stagecoach Reservoir

September 11, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. – Stagecoach Reservoir will be drawn down this fall for the construction of a new boat launch facility. In addition, the fishery will be renovated and a public salvage will be allowed.

A 10-foot drawn-down will allow for the construction of a new, lighted boat ramp, gravel kayak launch, and a new breakwater to protect the ramp and increase access for shoreline anglers.

Stagecoach’s fishery has been degraded by the presence of common carp and gizzard shad. The renovation will be followed by restocking of largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, black crappie and walleye next spring.

From now until Nov. 22, 2017, anglers may salvage fish from Stagecoach for human consumption by any legal method, including snagging, hand fishing, spearing, legal baitfish seines, and landing nets. Use of electricity, explosives, poisons, chemicals, fish toxicants, firearms, and seines or nets not meeting legal specifications are prohibited. Length limits will be rescinded during this period but daily bag limits will be maintained.

In addition, due to concerns about the spread of aquatic invasive species and other unwanted species, salvaged fish cannot be sold or used for stocking into any other public or private water bodies. Anglers at Stagecoach must have appropriate fishing licenses and a park sticker.

As materials and equipment are moved onto Stagecoach State Recreation Area, roads to the boat ramp and dam area will be closed beginning Sept. 25.

The Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Fund provides funding for this project. Contact Jeff Jackson at 402-471-7647 for more information.

Stagecoach is located south of Hickman in Lancaster County.


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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