Anglers, if you have not seen it already, you MUST check out the July 2016 issue of NEBRASKAland. Of course, as always, this issue is packed with lots of great information and great photography. But, specifically what I want to call your attention to is a story by Jeff Kurrus on pages 58-63. On those pages Jeff chronicles, mostly using photographs, the construction of Prairie Queen Reservoir near Omaha. Seeing the Change at Prairie Queen consists of a number of “before and after” photos showing construction of the reservoir and its various fish habitat features. This is actually one time when you can see what is below the surface of the water!
If you fish or might fish Prairie Queen, you immediately know the value of the pictures in this article. However, even if you never fish Prairie Queen the photos will still help you visualize what is below the surface of any waters you fish.
Also let me say that the few small- to medium-size reservoirs being constructed these days, are built A LOT different than they were years ago. Although the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission does not build reservoirs, we can assist Natural Resource Districts and other entities that are building those reservoirs. Yes, we offer some additional funding for building those multi-use reservoirs. We also get to offer ideas during the construction phase, ideas that will produce and maintain water quality and fish habitat! For example, you see all the trees that are now left in new reservoirs, trees that once flooded provide great fish habitat. Years ago it was customary to grub all of those trees out of the bottom of a new reservoir, pile ’em up and burn ’em. And dam builders never even thought about wetlands, sediment/nutrient dikes, shoreline protection, breakwaters, or any of the several other water quality and fish habitat features we now build into reservoirs from the very beginning. Yes, we are making progress, we are learning all the time, and the result should be better fishing in reservoirs for longer periods of time!