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Phillips Canyon

This news item will not affect a lot of Nebraska anglers, but I always know there are at least a few who will want to know. . . . The canal system in central Nebraska provides some great fishing opportunities.  Fish can be caught from the canal itself with water control structures or “checks” being some of the best spots.  In addition, as the canal winds through canyon country water has filled some of those canyons creating additional fishing opportunities.  There is not a lot of access to those canyon reservoirs, but some, and if you are one who fishes those waters you are glad.

Phillips Canyon is one of those canyon reservoirs.  It is downstream of Johnson Lake (actually Johnson Reservoir, but for some reason folks would rather call it “Johnson Lake”).  Anyway, I know at times Phillips Canyon provides some good fishing.  However, access there can be a challenge.  A minimum maintenance road is the only access to the area and in the clay, that road can be darned near impassable when it is wet.  In addition, there is a shallow spot at the end of the road to launch a boat, but not much more than that.

Eric Fowler photo, Nebraskaland Magazine.
Eric Fowler photo, Nebraskaland Magazine.

Until now. . . . plans are underway to improve access to Phillips Canyon.  This article in the Kearney Hub tells all about it, Access, Boat Ramp Upgrades Planned at Small Lake east of Johnson Lake.

Note that this project is just being planned now.  I do not have any guess right now when it will be complete.  Also note that access in the future will be on the opposite side, north side, of the canal.

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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