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Access Updates

I have a couple, three news releases I want to highlight.  These all deal with access to different fisheries and I know the news is making the rounds.  Yes, many of you already know about these.  But, I learned a long time ago that when a person thinks word has gotten around to everyone, it has not.  So, if you already know about these, just ignore me.  If not, this will affect some of your fall fishing:

Calamus Reservoir boat access limited

Extremely low water levels and underwater hazards have limited access to the lake and challenged boaters at Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area near Burwell.

Several ramps have closed or have restrictions due to low water and underwater sand movement. The reservoir currently is at 41% capacity, which is the second lowest level on record.

These conditions, in addition to wave action and power loading of boats onto trailers, have led to a large sand ridge forming in front of the Homestead Knolls boat ramp, on the northeast side of the lake.

On Sept. 19, Nebraska Game and Parks will begin removing the sand here to improve boater access to the reservoir.

“This is the lowest I have ever seen Calamus Reservoir, dating back to 2014,” said Tommy Hicks, North Central regional superintendent. The lowest level on record was reached during the drought of 2012, when the reservoir was at 31% capacity.

Hicks said the Twin Loups Irrigation District is at the end of its irrigation season and will stop releasing water into the canal system on Sept. 19. He expects reservoir levels to start rising by the end of the month.

Park visitors are asked to be cautious of underwater hazards as they utilize the lake.

For further updates, contact the Calamus park office at 308-346-5666.

Eric Fowler photo, Nebraskaland Magazine.

Emergency boat ramp repairs underway at Sherman Reservoir

The Marina Bay boat ramp at Sherman Reservoir near Loup City will be closed starting at 7 a.m. Sept. 19 until further notice so immediate repairs can be made.

Low water levels in the reservoir have exposed a significant settlement of the east lane, which has caused a nearly 5-inch lip to occur on the ramp. On the west lane, the ramp has cracked and needs immediate repair during this low water period.

Work is expected to take one week, with the ramps closed a minimum of an additional two weeks for the concrete to cure.

Boaters may use the Tradewinds Marina ramp to access the lake; all other ramps are closed at this time.

Farwell Irrigation District, who owns and operates the dam at Sherman Reservoir, is partnering on this project by reducing water inflows enough to allow repairs to be made before the ramp becomes submerged again.

Questions can be directed to ngpc.boatingaccess@nebraska.gov.


Burchard Lake road improvement project to affect access

Access to roads, the campground and boat ramp at Burchard Lake Wildlife Management Area in Pawnee County may be closed temporarily due to a road repair project there this fall.

This project consists of improvements to the interior WMA road, WMA campground road and to a portion of 615 Avenue from Highway 4 to the WMA.

Burchard Lake is closed annually to all access Oct. 15 through Jan. 14, except walk-in access for bank fishing along the perimeter of the lake during open water and ice fishing when safe ice exists.

Camping is only allowed in designated areas. The area is closed to all firearms and all hunting. Closures to the campground and interior road prior to Oct. 15 will be done by posting temporary signs and barricades so road improvements can be completed.

I know many of you will say “It’s about time” to that last one!  The road to Burchard has been nothing but potholes for a long time.  I believe the county is doing the road repairs, and am really happy they are finally doing it.

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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