Barbs and Backlashes

Reservoir Updates, August 9, 2010 by whitetips
August 9, 2010, 10:05 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , , , ,

We have some reservoir rehabilitation projects underway, and I have some updates from Steve Satra.  Steve keeps tabs on the Aquatic Habitat Program details around the state.  Thanks, Steve.


There have been delays due to winter snow melt and wetter than normal rainfall this spring and summer.  So far this year the reservoir has partially or  completely filled 2 or 3 times and pumping was needed in addition to opening the outlet structure to get the water back down where the contractor could continue work.  As of right now the Hedgefield project is 75% complete.  There has been 70,000 cubic yards of sediment removed.  A new boat ramp and protecting jetty is being constructed, and angler access improvements are progressing.  If things continue to go well, finish work with grading and seeding of the project site will be completed in late August.  The outlet structure may be closed and refilling may begin in Mid-August to early September.  Fish re-stocking may begin this fall.

Ironhorse Trail Reservoir

Wet weather again has delayed progress on this project as the reservoir has been completely drained and refilled twice.  Work has progressed when it has been dry enough to get into the reservoir basin and the project is approximately 65% complete at this time.  There has been 200,000 cubic feet of sediment removed, sediment basins have been completed on the north end of the reservoir and in the tributary arms.  Island construction has started, and most of the shoreline rip-rap placement has been completed.  Again, if things continue to go well, the reservoir could begin refilling yet this fall.  Fish stocking could begin this fall depending on progress, but next spring may be more likely.

Big Indian 11A

This project started in May and has been slowed by all the precipitation we have had.  Again pumping and draining has had to be done to remove water and dry the basin so work can be done.  At this point the project is only 25% complete.  Excavation is only 20% complete and the locations of sediment retention dams and breakwaters are just being prepared.  Approximately 35% of the rock needed for rip-rap is on site.  There is no projected completion date at this point and from what I can tell it is likely to be next year some time.

Leigh Lake

This is a new, 150-acre reservoir being constructed just northwest of the town of Leigh.  The dam and in-lake structures are 95% complete.  This reservoir was built with fish habitat in mind and has a variety of depths and drop offs, flooded trees, breakwaters, sediment basins and shoals.  Chemical renovation to remove rough fish in the reservoir and watershed has been completed and bluegill and largemouth bass fingerlings have already been stocked.  Recreation area developments are continuing around the reservoir.

I know if one of these waters was your favorite fishing hole, you probably are not too happy when they are drained and a rehabilitation project starts.  When a habitat rehabilitation project starts these waters will be “out of commission” for fishing opportunities for a few years, but they should be back better than ever!  There will be some short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.

We are working with Natural Resource Districts on all of these projects; the Lower Platte South NRD on the Hedgefield dam, Nemaha NRD at Iron Horse Trail,  Lower Big Blue NRD at Big Indian 11A and the Lower Elkhorn NRD on the Leigh Lake project.  Thanks to all of our partners for their work and funding!

Eric Fowler of our NEBRASKAland staff provided the recent aerial photos of all of these projects and I have to say “thank you” to him too!

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[…] .  A month ago I gave a quick update on some aquatic habitat rehabilitation projects, and right now I would like to add a few […]

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