I know the big Independence Day holiday is now past us and I know that there have been news releases on these items already.  I am not trying to “break” the news here so much as just trying to spread it:

Goose Lake

Of course high water and flooding have made access to Goose Lake in Holt County nearly impossible this year.  That has improved and the road is open again now; the boat dock is in place.  Now all of that could change with more rain, but that is the situation right now.

While I am on the topic of Goose Lake. . . .There is still some fishing opportunity at Goose.  No, the numbers of sport fish are not near what they were a few years back, and the numbers of common carp are exploding.  There still are some nice pike, largemouth bass and panfish present; just do not expect it to be as good as it was.  Likewise, the water clarity may be less than it was.  But, if you still want to give it a try, there are some fish to be caught there including some big fish.

Goose Lake largemouth bass from a few years ago.

Drawdown set to begin at Powder Creek Reservoir in Dixon County

LINCOLN, Neb. – Water levels at Powder Creek Reservoir in Dixon County will begin to drop July 8 as the beginning of a project to restructure the lake’s fish population.

The fishery has been dominated by small panfish in recent years. A drawdown to reduce the lake volume by 40% will crowd predator and prey species. The desired effect is higher predation on panfish, a reduction in the panfish population, and, in the near future, faster growing and larger fish.

“In essence, this is an attempt to hit the reset button on the fishery,” said Jeff Schuckman, Northeast District fisheries manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “Summer drawdowns are a proven fish management technique and have been utilized at nearby Buckskin Hills Lake with a positive result.”

Another product of the drawdown is the promotion of emergent vegetation growth along the lake edges, which should benefit the largemouth bass population.

The boat ramp likely will be unusable during the drawdown period. The lake will be allowed to refill in mid-September, and supplemental stocking of bass and walleye will take place in October.

I have caught some nice bass from Powder Creek too, but I do not have any pictures of them; an aerial shot will have to do:

Powder Creek Reservoir
Eric Fowler photo, NEBRASKAland Magazine.

Apply for paddlefish snagging permit through July 14

LINCOLN, Neb. – Applications may be made for Nebraska paddlefish snagging permits through July 14.

Snagging of paddlefish and nongame fish is permitted Oct. 1-31 in the Missouri River from the Gavins Point Dam west of Yankton, South Dakota, downstream to the mouth of the Big Sioux River at mile marker 734, west of Sioux City, Iowa. All inland waters in Nebraska are closed to paddlefish harvest.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has authorized 1,520 permits for residents and 80 for nonresidents. There is a nonrefundable $7 application fee. If a permit is awarded, the remaining permit cost is $26 for residents and $50 for nonresidents, which includes an issuing fee. Also, all anglers must have a valid 2019 fishing permit.

Visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply or use the form in the 2019 Fishing Guide. Applicants must be 12 years of age by this Oct. 1 to be eligible for a permit. Mailed applications must be received in Game and Parks headquarters in Lincoln by 5 p.m. on July 14. Online applications end at 11:59 p.m.

Permits remaining following the first drawing will be sold over the counter on a first-come basis beginning at 1 p.m. Central time on Sept. 1.

Yes, water flows in the Missouri are more than likely going to be high right through this fall.  Yes, that might make the paddlefish snagging more challenging.  On the other hand, I am always reminding folks that periodic high water is a natural event on rivers and streams and provides many benefits for those ecosystems.  Riverine fish species benefit from high water events and there will be a lot of fish on the move both up- and downstream during high water events.  We have seen some monstrous paddlefish caught in previous years after periods of high water and already this year we saw our archery paddlefish state record broken (State Record Update, June 2019).

Get those applications in!

Ken Bouc photo, NEBRASKAland Magazine.

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