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Some Updates, July 27, 2020

Yes, there have already been news releases on these, and no, I am not letting anyone know before the weekend.  But, I am betting there are still some who have not heard.  So. . . .

Rock Creek Lake SRA, hatchery temporarily close after storm washes out road

LINCOLN, Neb. — Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area and Rock Creek Hatchery in Dundy County are closed until further notice after a Thursday night storm washed out access roads.

The storm dumped enough rain that Rock Creek Lake rose 10 inches, said Beau Licking, Enders and Rock Creek Lake SRA superintendent. The north entrance to the state recreation area, sections of Rock Creek Lake Road to the hatchery, and portions of roads within the park are impassable.

Park staff are assessing the extent of the road damage on Friday. Until roads are repaired, the park and hatchery will be closed to guest traffic, including for tours, camping or recreation.

“Visitor safety is our highest priority,” Licking said, “and we are taking the necessary steps to restore access in a timely manner.”

Parks staff also noted another severe storm is expected to pass through the area this weekend, potentially deteriorating roads further. If conditions change, updates will be made at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area has experienced back-to-back storms that have washed out roads in July 2020. | Photo courtesy Julie Fraley
Julie Fraley photo. Thanks, Julie!

Ironically, just two weeks ago, I posted an update about a drawdown and pending rehabilitation/renovation work to be done at Rock Creek Lake.  Then it rained 10 inches!

This next one is somewhat ironic too, but we are in the middle of irrigation season and that means water levels are dropping. . . .

Medicine Creek’s Trail 4 boat ramp closed during irrigation releases

LINCOLN, Neb. – Medicine Creek Reservoir’s Trail 4 boat ramp has been closed temporarily due to receding water from irrigation releases.

The ramp should be back in service in September or October, depending on inflows back into the Frontier County reservoir after releases are shut down.

“The closing of this ramp is typical for this time of year with irrigation releases from the reservoir,” said Aric Riggins, southwest regional park superintendent for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “It happens most every year and usually in July or August.”

Riggins said there are boat ramps available on Trail 1 and Trail 3 on the west side of Medicine Creek. Both will remain open during the drawdowns.

“The closed Trail 4 ramp does not have the length of concrete surface required to keep in service with drawdowns due to the quick drop in lake elevation at the existing end of the ramp,” Riggins said. “Using the ramp at this time could result in dropping the boat trailer off the end of the ramp during launch or load, and damage to that trailer would be possible.”

Similar irrigation releases are occurring at Swanson and Red Willow reservoirs, in Hitchcock and Frontier counties, respectively. The releases should not affect the use of all three ramps at Red Willow. At Swanson, two of the four boat ramps – Macklin Bay and Spring Canyon South – are closed during the releases. They likely will not be in use again until late spring/summer of next year.

A park entry permit is required of each vehicle entering the state recreation areas at Medicine Creek, Swanson and Red Willow.

To view an interactive map of boat ramps on waters across Nebraska, visit Maps.OutdoorNebraska.gov/Boating.

Eric Fowler photo. Nebraskaland Magazine

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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