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Hackberry Update

Got another news item today.  You may have seen the news release already.  If you have, ignore me.  If not, well, that is exactly why I am spreading this around:

Hackberry Lake to be chemically renovated Aug. 9

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hackberry Lake on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge will be chemically renovated the week of Aug. 9 as part of the ongoing Aquatic Habitat Project on the refuge.

The rotenone treatment is aimed to eliminate common carp, an undesirable species detrimental to aquatic habitat, water quality and sport fish populations. Restocking will occur later this fall.

Liberalized fishing regulations have been in effect the past two years on Hackberry, where length limits were rescinded but daily bag limits remained. This measure facilitated angler use of the existing fish in the lake.

Additionally, in preparation for the treatment, biologists have been salvaging game fish and relocating them to other lakes on the refuge.

The renovation date is weather dependent as dry conditions are advisable for chemical application. Recreational access within the treatment area is prohibited while rotenone is being applied.

The Aquatic Habitat Project is a joint effort of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This is nothing new.  If it is to you, you need to read all about it:  Valentine Refuge Update.

Our timeline got set back a couple of years due to water levels in the sandhills being higher than anything we have seen before.  Finally, water levels have dropped and we can get back on track.

I have commented and blogged about the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge renovations over and over again.  I am NOT going back over all of it again.  Simply put, common carp are an invasive species that have significant negative impacts on sandhill lake ecosystems.  Their abundance and feeding activity cause poor water quality, poor habitat conditions, and have huge impacts on fish and wildlife.  Left unchecked, common carp can comprise almost the entire fish community in a sandhill lake to the detriment of all other species.

Rotenone renovations have been an important fish and wildlife management tool on sandhill lakes and have produced some unbelievable fishing, some of the best in the country.  This current round of renovations on the Valentine Refuge will accomplish that again.  I cannot wait!  I am thrilled that we are finally able to continue!

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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