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Commission approves 2021 bighorn sheep season

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved the authorization of one lottery and one auction permit for the 2021 bighorn sheep season when it met Aug. 28 at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.

The Commission also approved recommendations to:

• increase various 2021 nonresident fees, including for small game (hunt), fish, deer, antelope and turkey permits, antelope applications and the Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp for nonresident boats;

• amend wildlife regulations to allow the agency director, in the interest of public health, to determine that physical check stations are not prudent during the November firearm deer season, October antelope or muzzleloader season or any elk season, and allow the animal to be checked via internet or telephone;

• amend wildlife regulations regarding threatened and endangered species to add the thick-billed longspur (formerly McCown’s longspur) and the timber rattlesnake to the threatened list and remove the river otter from the threatened list; and

• change sport fishing regulations to add the following areas to the list of those where no live baitfish may be used or possessed: Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area, Dundy County; Avocet Wildlife Management Area, Grant County; Wilbur Reservoir, Saline County; Big Elk, Sarpy County; and West Papillion 6, Sarpy County.

In addition, the Commission:

• approved the City of Chadron Deer Management Plan, a joint program with Game and Parks, to control the deer population with the use of Damage Control Permits;

• approved the permitting of some 2020 hunting in Niobrara, Eugene T. Mahoney, Ponca, Indian Cave, Chadron, and Platte River state parks, and Ash Hollow, Rock Creek Station and Fort Atkinson state historical parks; and

• approved budget requests for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

It was announced that Free Fishing and Park Entry Day will be Saturday, Sept. 12. This family-friendly day allows anyone to explore outdoor opportunities at any Nebraska state park, state recreation area or state historical park without the need to purchase a park entry permit for the day, and it also allows anyone to fish for the day without a fish permit.

The Commission also heard a presentation from the Nebraska Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, a membership organization working to protect public lands and waters through stewardship and education. The group shared its goals of working with partners to support access to public lands, hunting mentorship and passing on Nebraska’s hunting and fishing legacies.

Also, Director Jim Douglas expressed his gratitude to the Nebraska Big Game Society for its recent $39,000 donation to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission following its spring online auction of a resident/nonresident elk tag auction. The Society raises funds to support big game research and conservation, habitat restoration and improvements and hunting access in Nebraska.

To see the approved regulations and orders, visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/regulations.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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