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Bike rentals, refreshed beaches among improvements at southwest state recreation areas

People ride bikes along the Red Willow SRA hike-bike trail.

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Guests visiting four southwest Nebraska state park areas this year will experience more opportunities for recreation, including with a new hike and bike trail and the chance to borrow bikes at Red Willow Reservoir State Recreation Area. The four parks — Red Willow, Swanson Reservoir, Enders Reservoir and Rock Creek Lake state recreation areas — all saw a variety of facility improvements. At Red Willow, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and local organizations are working to …

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Survey seeks input this spring, summer on state park areas

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska state park visitors will get a chance to share their experiences this spring and summer. Crews will be in parks conducting surveys every weekend from April 3 through Aug. 8. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is looking for feedback about visitors’ park experiences at 22 state parks, recreation areas and historical parks. It is contracting with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Bureau of Sociological Research to conduct the surveys. Feedback from the survey will help inform …

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Elm Creek to be stocked with rainbow trout March 31

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LINCOLN, Neb. – There is good news for south-central Nebraska trout anglers. Elm Creek in Webster County will be stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout March 31. The Calamus Fish Hatchery will stock the trout to enhance spring fishing opportunities. Fisheries biologists with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission evaluated the stream on Elm Creek Wildlife Management Area on March 29 and determined the flows were fairly high and the water clear. Several holes were found in the stream that will …

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No foolin’, annual walleye spawn is here

By Daryl Bauer Nebraska Game and Parks Commission LINCOLN, Neb. – Do you know what it means when the calendar approaches April Fool’s Day? No, it is not time to prank your fishing buddy. It is time for the walleyes to spawn. Many things can cue spawning in freshwater fish: weather, water temperature, moon phase, etc. One of the most important cues is the amount of daylight. For that reason, spawning tends to occur about the same time every year. …

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Collector’s edition of Nebraskaland hits newsstands

Park's Collector's edition magazine cover

LINCOLN, Neb. — A special collector’s edition of Nebraskaland Magazine now is available for purchase on newsstands and online. The edition, triple the average magazine size, celebrates the Nebraska state park system, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Packed inside the glossy magazine are features on the parks people know and love; tips for sought-after outdoor activities, outdoor cooking recipes and special memories from Michael Forsberg — who at one time worked for the Nebraska Game and Parks …

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Lake Minatare SRA reopens to the public

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Lake Minatare State Recreation Area has reopened to the public, effective immediately. The recreation area, home to the Panhandle’s largest body of water, recently was closed after a waterfowl die-off was reported March 12. Staff immediately responded, began collecting the birds and sent some to be tested for cause of death. The lab results received March 26 indicated the cause of the event was of low risk to public health. All of the dead waterfowl, primarily Canada …

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Nebraska Game and Parks Director Douglas announces plan for retirement

Douglas portrait

LINCOLN, Neb. — The director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recently informed the agency Commissioners he intends to retire this November. Director Jim Douglas said, “In April of this year, I will have served as director for nine years of my nearly 47-year career with the Commission. I want to provide extensive advance notice of my retirement to ensure the Commission has more than ample time to develop and exercise a robust recruitment and hiring process for my …

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Camping reservations required for Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Starting this summer, all campers will need a reservation to stay overnight at campgrounds and beach areas at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala state recreation areas during the peak season. The new reservation system will be in place starting in late April for the May 21 to Sept. 12 season. The rollout is part of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s implementation of the Lake McConaughy/Lake Ogallala Master Plan, a five-phase plan to address management of the …

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Lake Minatare remains closed to the public

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Lake Minatare State Recreation Area remains closed to the public until the cause of a recent waterfowl die-off can be determined. The decision by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission was made out of the abundance of caution for human and animal health. Results from the test are expected by March 26, and information will be released when it becomes available at OutdoorNebraska.org. Staff immediately responded to the March 12 report and have been collecting the waterfowl …

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New restaurant The View at Mahoney will open April 1

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LINCOLN, Neb. – The new restaurant at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, The View at Mahoney, will open April 1 and feature an Easter buffet April 4. For the month of April, guests who enter the park only to eat at restaurant will not be required to have a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission park entry permit. The View at Mahoney, located inside Peter Kiewit Lodge, will have a main menu, fine dining menu and kids menu. A gluten-free menu …

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