Merritt Reservoir boat ramp project postponed

September 7, 2016 Jerry Kane

LINCOLN – The boat launch facility construction project scheduled to start this fall at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area has been postponed because of higher than expected reservoir water levels.

Water levels at Merritt this summer did not drop low enough to reach the level needed for construction. Construction will be attempted again in the late summer or early fall of 2017.

A new concrete boat ramp will be constructed at the main landing area. The facility will provide improved boat-launching and angler access for a longer duration during future summer reservoir drawdowns. The current boat ramp was built in the 1960s and is often out of service by early July.

In addition, as part of this project, a new breakwater is planned on the point near the Willow Cove Campground. This rock breakwater will protect the new boat ramp from southwest winds and slow the deposition of sand in Willow Cove. The breakwater will also provide bank angler fishing access. All rock rip-rap for the projects is already onsite.

This project is being accomplished in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and will be funded by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Aquatic Habitat-Angler Access Program, Capital Development Maintenance Funds, and matching U.S. Coast Guard boating safety funds.

Merritt Reservoir is located 26 miles southwest of Valentine in Cherry County. For more information, call Steve Satra in Lincoln at 402-471-5446.

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