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Conservation related articles and blogs from the staff of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Niobrara River Meetings

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The Niobrara River has its origins just across Nebraska’s western border.  Other than that, it runs entirely within Nebraska’s borders and is without a doubt one of the state’s most unique and important natural resources.  Its hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities are among the best not only in Nebraska, but in the country. If you have not had the opportunity to experience any of those Niobrara River recreational resources, you need to, as soon as possible.  But even if ... Read More »

Arctic Opener A Good Thing

Mark Matulka and son Joe brave cold temps to harvest a fine buck in western Nebraska.

Few things on this planet can rival the excitement of  opening weekend of the Nebraska Firearm Deer Season.  Small towns all across the state are a buzz with orange clad hunters making the annual pilgrimage to their favorite haunts to chase deer critters, share stories, spend time with families and just live like outdoorsmen and women for a few days. The recent arctic blast should prove to be a huge bonus for deer hunters this weekend.  Plunging temps should result ... Read More »

Game and Parks Projects Get Boost by AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps Team at Metcalf WMA

A special group of workers completed four and a half weeks of sprucing up Nebraska Game and Parks Commission properties in northwestern Nebraska this week. The seven workers of the team were enrolled in AmeriCorps, the federal National Civilian Community Corps program that provides intensive service learning opportunities for adventurous workers ages 18-24. The group joined Commission staff in completing a variety of projects to improve Walgren Lake State Recreation Area, Chadron State Park, Metcalf Wildlife Management Area and Chadron ... Read More »

Deep Water Mortality

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I am going deep with this blog post, no pun intended.  Have to start with a story. . . . Several years back on a late October day, I spent some time fishing Elwood Reservoir with the maintenance man from our headquarters facilities (yes, even our maintenance men hunt and fish!).  We found some baitfish in deep water, in fact I will never forget watching the depth-finder, jigging a Rattle Snakie in 51 feet of water, when I hooked a really nice fish–ended up ... Read More »

Garlic Mustard on Basswood Ridge WMA

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The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is planning a prescribed burn to improve wildlife habitat on Basswood Ridge Wildlife Management Area near Homer, Neb. on Thursday, November 6. Approximately 150 acres of this site will be burned to reduce the presence of undesirable plants. Area users should expect the prescribed burn to start in the late morning and last the remainder of the day. This prescribed fire is expected to be a low intensity burn, primarily consuming leaf litter and ... Read More »

Fall Fat Flatties

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Over the past few years I have blogged several times about some of the research being done on Branched Oak flathead catfish; for example, Some Field Work, 71.6 On Your Radio Dial–All Flatheads All the Time!, Branched Oak Flatheads.  A large part of that research has been the tagging of flathead catfish in Branched Oak Reservoir; over 1500 flathead catfish in Branched Oak are swimming around with tags on them. About this time last year I was lamenting that even ... Read More »

Summer/Fall 2014 Youth Fishing Newsletter

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Here is what has been happening lately with our Youth Fishing Program. If you need to see a copy of the .pdf of that newsletter here it is, fall 2014 Newsletter . Now, I fully realize that I am recycling something that some of you may have seen already.  If you are one of our certified fishing instructors, you have already seen the newsletter.  Sorry, but one reason I like to post these newsletters in my blog is to again say “THANK ... Read More »

Half Combo

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Got a little report to give you about a recent adventure.  I have a buddy from Iowa that I met through some turkey hunting I have helped him with ( Turkeys Down! Turkey Camp , Turkey Camp 2014 ).  I am always telling folks what a mixed bag capital Nebraska is, and this fall Don came back over to sample more of that.  He had a Nebraska archery pronghorn tag in his pocket, and figured while making the trip across our great state he ... Read More »

An Old Coot Trick

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It happens just about every year.  The ducks that are around have been around for a while and they seem to have it all figured out.  They not only avoid your decoys, many disappear during shooting hours and those that stick around land on the wrong side of the pond. Some call it the October Lull.  But all of us wildfowlers grumble bad words as we watch our lonely dekes bobbing in the water. We try our best to derive ... Read More »

Stripers!

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Some of you may know that we recently started stocking some striped bass in Nebraska, again.  There is more to the story. . . . Striped bass are a marine species that migrate into fresh water to spawn (anadromous is the big pointy-headed term for fish that live in the ocean but spawn in freshwater).  Sometime in the middle of the last century it was discovered that striped bass did not necessarily have to live in salt water, they could very ... Read More »