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Lake Minatare remains closed to the public

LINCOLN, Neb. — Lake Minatare State Recreation Area remains closed to the public until the cause of a recent waterfowl die-off can be determined.

The decision by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission was made out of the abundance of caution for human and animal health. Results from the test are expected by March 26, and information will be released when it becomes available at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Staff immediately responded to the March 12 report and have been collecting the waterfowl since. An estimated 300-500 waterfowl died, and clean-up will be completed before the park reopens.

The public should avoid all contact with dead birds and report them to Game and Parks.

The Central Flyway, which stretches from Mexico to Canada across the Great Plains, experiences approximately 24 avian mortality events, such as this one, each year. In 2020, Nebraska saw four avian mortality events affecting about 625 birds. These mortality events typically are caused by disease, trauma or emaciation and tend to occur during migration.

Lake Minatare is the Panhandle’s largest body of water and serves as a stopover location for migratory fowl, including Canada geese, snow geese, ducks and swans. It is located about 15 miles northeast of Scottsbluff.

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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