Commission approves 2019 bighorn sheep season

August 16, 2018 Jerry Kane

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved a bighorn sheep season for 2019. It authorized one auction and one lottery permit for the season at its meeting Aug. 16 in Valentine.

In addition, the drawing for the 2018 bighorn sheep lottery permit was held, with David Hunter of Auburn the winner. There were 2,279 applications in the lottery. The 2018 season is Nov. 27 to Dec. 22.

The other business, the Commission:

— took public input regarding the potential listing and delisting of state threatened and endangered species within District 6 (north-central Nebraska). Staff presented information for delisting the North American river otter and listing the flathead chub, plains minnow, and western silvery minnow.

— approved a plan for future releases of the Salt Creek tiger beetle on its properties in the Little Salt Creek and Rock Creek drainages of southeastern Nebraska in order to advance the recovery and delisting of the species. The beetle is listed as endangered by Game and Parks, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

— accepted the Thomas C. Matter tract in Richardson County as a gift from the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation. The 153.11 acres in two tracts will be designated the Thomas C. Matter Wildlife Management Area.

— approved a permanent easement request from the City of Norfolk to place a sewer line across Game and Parks’ northeast district office land.

— approved hunting seasons in Niobrara, Indian Cave, Platte River, Ponca and Eugene T. Mahoney state parks and Fort Atkinson, Ash Hollow and Rock Creek Station state historical parks.

— approved the proposed budget request for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

In addition, a presentation was provided about the Sandhills Task Force, including its history and a review of some of its ongoing projects.

Staff also reported on fisheries projects ongoing on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. The objectives are to improve water quality and conditions for all fish and wildlife, remove carp, install barriers to prevent re-entry of carp and improve water management tools.

The Commission also heard a staff preview of fall upland game hunting. As part of the 2018 upland game forecast, staff provided preliminary results from the July Rural Mail Carrier Survey.

Additionally, a presentation was made about the potential use of falcons for abatement.

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