I will tell you that the days of building big reservoirs are likely long past.  However, some relatively small reservoirs will continue to be built in Nebraska.  Most of them built by Natural Resource Districts (NRDs).  In most cases these projects are in urban areas to provide flood control and perhaps some recreation.  Fortunately, we, the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission Fisheries Division often are involved in the design and construction of these reservoirs.  Our assistance is provided for water quality, aquatic habitat and outdoor recreation.

Two recent projects are starting to fill with water.  These are the WP6 and WP7 projects in the Omaha metro area.  Neither of these will be large waterbodies, 34 and 13 acres of water.

Many of you know that one of these reservoirs will be called Big Elk and the other has been named Portal.

Here are some recent photos, they are starting to fill with water.  You can see what some of the habitat and bottom features will look like.  These first few photos are from Portal.

Portal Basin 1

Portal Basin Southeast Corner of Dam

Portal Sediment Basin 1

Portal Creek Channel by Fishing Pier 1

Big Elk has not filled nearly as much, yet.

Big Elk Basin Northeast Corner 2

Although both reservoirs are far from being full, fish have been stocked.  We like to stock fish as soon as possible.  They can take advantage of the newly-flooded habitat and new reservoir productivity.  Stocking desirable sport fish as soon as possible also means they can become established and help prevent the invasion of undesirable species.  We already have stocked smallmouth bass and yellow perch into both reservoirs.

These new reservoirs with good water quality and excellent habitat will offer some opportunities to try species like smallmouth bass and yellow perch.  We will see how successful they are and hopefully can provide some different, much-in-demand, fishing opportunities.

Photos provided by Aaron Blank.  Thanks, Aaron!

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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