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Two Rivers Trout Lake Renovation

Let me give you a little update on a recent renovation that was completed.  Again, let me start with the news release:

Two Rivers Trout Lake fish renovation completed

LINCOLN, Neb. – Lake 5 at Two Rivers State Recreation Area has been renovated to remove unwanted species that invaded the lake during the 2019 spring flooding, which connected the lake to the Platte River.

The 9-acre lake, commonly known as the Trout Lake, was treated Aug. 17 with rotenone, a toxicant used to eliminate fish. Biologists sampled multiple undesirable fish species during post-flood assessments, which led to poor water quality. Anglers should expect improved water quality and fishing conditions after the renovation.

In preparation for the treatment, biologists salvaged smallmouth bass and relocated them to Two Rivers Lake 3 as well as Big Elk and Portal lakes, two newly constructed reservoirs in Papillion.

The trout stocking program will not be interrupted and will resume in the spring of 2022. Smallmouth bass also will be restocked after the renovation.

Funding for the project was provided by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund. For more information, contact the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Southeast District field office at 402-471-7651.

I do not have any photos of the work to show you, but I do have some of the aftermath. . . . Usually we do NOT pick up dead fish following a renovation.  Nothing in “nature” goes to waste, and dead fish are recycled back into the system.  However, in this case, on a heavily-used State Recreation Area, our Parks personnel chose to dispose of some of the dead fish:


I went over the next day.  There were still lots of dead fish on the shorelines.

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There were a lot of dead gizzard shad:

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Lots of small bluegills and crappies too as well as a surprising amount of small bullheads.  Yes, there were some dead goldfish:

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I know many of you will wonder about the smallmouth bass.  Remember that smallmouth bass were collected from the Trout Lake and transferred to other waters before the renovation.  Apparently, most of the smallmouth were removed prior to the renovation.  I saw a grand total of one dead bass:

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Now know this, the number of adult smallmouth bass salvaged from Two Rivers Trout Lake was a few dozen, not many.  As the news release says, those few dozen fish were split between three stocking locations–none of them received very many adult bass.  However, yes, some of those were nice-sized smallmouth bass; some were really nice!

Aaron Blank photo. Thanks, Aaron!
Aaron Blank photo. 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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