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Lake McConaughy fisheries improvements continue

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is implementing a three-pronged approach to improve walleye fishing at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area.

These efforts aim to balance the needs and concerns of anglers with successful management of the lake resource.

Game and Parks will contract with the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to design and conduct an angler survey in 2022 and 2023. Anglers will be asked about the number of fish caught at the reservoir, including at night in April and May and during the day between April and October.

Information gathered from this effort will inform future management plans for the reservoir.

As it did in 2021, Game and Parks will stock both walleye fry and the larger, juvenile fingerlings by boat in areas less likely to result in death by predation to help establish a stronger community of fish. This will be a multiyear effort to account for varying lake levels and potential weather effects on stocking and survival rates.

Collaborative research work with the University of Nebraska at Kearney also will continue. Since 2015, researchers have assessed the reservoir’s fish population; they will continue looking at what affects fish populations at the lake and assist with evaluating stocking changes.

A public information meeting is planned for March 2022 at Ogallala to discuss ongoing fisheries research, changes in walleye stocking and angler surveys.

“In November, we had a positive, open discussion with a group of concerned Lake McConaughy walleye anglers in Sidney,” said Dean Rosenthal, fisheries division administrator. “We’re looking forward to repeating that experience in Ogallala so we can gain valuable input from our anglers and share how our management can improve fish populations and the angler experience.”

Additional information will be released closer to the expected meeting date at OutdoorNebraska.org.

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