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Commissioners approve sport fishing orders

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved sport fishing orders at its meeting Oct. 15 in Ogallala.

Approved sport fishing amendments include orders for two reservoirs under construction in Sarpy County – Big Elk Lake and WP-6. Each will be stocked only with smallmouth bass and yellow perch to create a unique fishery in southeast Nebraska.

Big Elk Lake and WP-6 each will have a smallmouth daily bag limit of two and maximum length limit of 12 inches to protect larger fish and allow harvest of smaller fish. The daily bag limit for yellow perch will be five.

The 13-acre Big Elk Lake and 34-acre WP-6 are Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District reservoirs located east of Prairie Queen Recreation Area.

Other sport fishing changes are:

• The addition of an exception for Pelican Lake on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge for muskie and tiger muskie that the daily bag limit of three not include more than one fish 34 inches or greater in length. A possession limit of three also is established for those species at Pelican Lake.

• Fishing will be permitted at Crane Lake on Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge during daylight hours from Nov. 1 through Feb. 15.

• There no longer is a 34-inch minimum length limit in place on northern pike at Hershey I-80 Lake WMA.

The Commission also:

• created Commission orders for wild turkey, which would contain season dates, bag limits, number of permits, shooting hours and areas open;

• removed the nonresident paddlefish permit fee increase from regulations approved at the August meeting;

• approved the acquisition of approximately 58 acres in Kearney County adjacent to Fort Kearny State Recreation Area as an addition to the area; and

• approved the acquisition of two small tracts totaling approximately 6 acres in Cherry County adjacent to Chat Canyon Wildlife Management Area as an addition to the area.

In addition, the commissioners approved their 2021 meeting schedule as follows: Jan. 12-13, Lincoln; March 16-17, Norfolk; April 19-20, Niobrara; June, TBA, Chadron; Aug. 26-27, Scottsbluff; and Oct. 21-22, North Platte.

Staff also gave updates on Lake McConaughy, bighorn sheep and the Berggren Plan for Pheasants.

There also were staff environmental updates on the Battle Creek Flood Risk Reduction Project, the Missouri River Planning Assistance to State Study, and the Platte-Republican Diversion.

Game and Parks enjoys great partnerships in Keith County regarding Lake McConaughy, so the commissioners presented separate Resolutions of Appreciation to Keith County Emergency Personnel and First Responders, the Lake McConaughy Advisory Committee, and the Keith County Visitors Committee.

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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