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Aquatic Habitat Updates

I have been doing a poor job of giving updates on aquatic habitat and angler access improvement projects.  There are a bunch of them to tell you about, let me try to get ’em all into this one blog post:

South Boat Ramp Replacement at Pawnee Reservoir

Mooring docks without wave protectionPawnee2017

Rock Creek Boat Ramp

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. –  A new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved boat ramp, parking area and vault restroom is soon to be constructed at Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area (SRA) near Parks, NE by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.  In order to facilitate construction of the boat ramp by the selected contractor, 5 Star Land Restoration & Development Company, it will be necessary to lower the lake elevation by approximately six-feet from its current level. Although inconvenient to anglers, this draw-down will speed the construction process and promote a better product upon completion.

The draw-down is scheduled to begin in March following ice-out, with construction to begin once water levels are lowered.  When the draw-down process begins, the lake will be closed to ice fishing in the event of a late season freeze for public safety.  Lowered lake elevations can lead to dangerous air pockets under the ice.  During open water, the SRA will remain open; however, the boat ramp and any construction areas will be closed to the public during construction.

In addition to new boat launch facilities, maintenance work to remove trapped silt from the sediment basin located at the upper end of the reservoir will be performed.  Sediment will be removed and spoiled on-site with all disturbed areas restored.  Sediment basins are designed to trap silt as it migrates toward the lake and hold it rather than allowing it to flow into the main lake.  These structures help maintain lake depth and greatly increase the life of impoundments.  The project is expected to be completed by May, 31 2018.

The improvements were made possible by the Nebraska Game and Park’s Aquatic Habitat and Angler Access Programs funded by the purchase of fishing permits and Federal Sportfish Restoration Program funds collected through an excise tax on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel and by the Capital Maintenance Fund that come from a state sales tax on motorboat and UTV purchases.

Rock Creek Lake SRA aerial view

Fort Robinson Ponds

Grabel 2 before project

Johnson Lake Inlet Area

JohnsonInletSection needing ADA access and expanded pad

New Interactive Map

Let me finish by mentioning a new tool we have on our website–an interactive map with updates on Aquatic Habitat, angler access improvements, and new reservoir construction.  Follow the link to Fisheries Projects and you cannot miss the map there.  Give it a second to load.  You can hover around the map and see recently completed projects and projects in progress.  Click on the markers for information on each individual project, and best of all, some photos!  Every photo I included in this blog I found through the interactive map!

Anyway, check it out, I think you will be impressed with both the work being done and the new tool we have for telling you about it!


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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