Barbs and Backlashes

Blog Upgrade and Migration
October 12, 2010, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Fishing

The Nebraska  Game and Parks blogs will be migrating to a new and improved platform. We know our subscribers will enjoy the new look and enhanced functionality. All of our blogs will be moved into one great online news magazine called In order to make this transition, we need to delay our posts and your comments for a few days. We will not be posting articles or able to post your comments between Oct. 13-20. You can still access all of our blogs from their respective blog names or you can simply bookmark and find them there. We value your blog comments and appreciate your holding  any comments until our new site is live. Thanks for your patience. We’ll be back in touch in about a week.

See you out there….


“Using a Rapala?”
March 8, 2010, 10:47 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags:

OK, this one is just for fun.  I cannot wait for the new season of fishing shows each year, so I can see the new Rapala commercials!  Here is my “Roger Ebert”/Olympics review of the best Rapala commercials of all-time.

This year’s entry is a pretty good one . . .

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Weekend Plans
March 4, 2010, 3:03 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags:

I will try to hit the ice some more this week because I will be working this weekend.  Let me mention a couple of events in case you want to attend.

First of all the HUSKERland Muskie Hunters, is hosting a pool-side demo and pizza night this Friday night, .  This is a fund-raiser for our state’s only chapter of Muskies Inc.,  Not only is this a good cause but it is also a lot of fun!  You can learn a lot about different baits, the action they have, and the best way to fish them by sitting by a pool and watching them in the water.  For those of you who say “but, I am not a muskie angler”, I would say, “So what”?  Muskie baits are just super-sized versions of other baits, if you sit by that pool and watch, I will guarantee you will learn something.  There will be a bunch of anglers sit around and swap stories over some pizza after the pool demo; again that will be a good time and you might even learn something in the process.  I am planning to be there Friday night, if you make it, be sure to say “Hi”.  If you plan to go, please go to the “pizza night” link I posted above and let them know you plan to attend.

Yes! There are muskies in Nebraska!

Secondly, Bass Pro Shops in Council Bluffs is in the midst of their Spring Fishing Classic promotion.

As the flier says (listed under the Recycled Fish heading), I will be there on Saturday and Sunday “to discuss the 2010 fishing outlook for Nebraska”.  If you get a chance, stop by, see if you can spend more money at Bass Pro Shops than I do, tell me a story, ask some questions.

Home Water
March 2, 2010, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Fishing

Let me share one more thought with you from my ramblings around the state in the past couple of weeks.

As I have said before Nebraska is home to me; I have not fished all the waters in the state yet, but am working on it.  I love them all and will always tell you that I have so much water to fish, so many fish to catch and so little time.  Naturally there are some waters that I get to spend more time on than others and there are a bunch of waters that have special meaning to me.

Let me tell you about one of those that I got to fish a couple of weeks ago.

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Ramblings, March 1, 2010
March 1, 2010, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , ,

I have been out of the office quite a bit the past couple of weeks.  Had a couple, three different meetings to attend.

I worked in some fishing when I could (wink).

So let me give you a report.

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“Blinded me with science”, Feb. 25, 2010
February 25, 2010, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: , ,

Let me give you another summary of some Nebraska fisheries research that has been done and some that is still ongoing.

Our Game & Parks headquarters office sits on the west edge of the East Campus of the University of Nebraska here in Lincoln.  We frequently interact with the wildlife and fisheries professors and their students which are also here on East Campus.  I will admit that I do not get to spend as much time keeping up with fisheries research and all of the fisheries professional literature as I would like, so I love the opportunities we have to interact with the faculty and students here at the University of Nebraska.  I am always learning something from them.  A couple of those guys came over a few weeks ago to give us an update on some research that is still in progress.

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Reservoir updates, part trois
February 23, 2010, 10:19 am
Filed under: Fishing | Tags: ,


According to a story in the Kearney Hub, water is now flowing into Elwood Reservoir, .  I have not been to Elwood lately, but I do know there was some ice-fishing there this winter.  With water flowing into Elwood, you better double-check ice conditions if you plan to do anymore ice fishing there this winter.

There is enough water back in the North Platte system that the plans are to fill Elwood and deliver irrigation water out of it this summer.  That will mean filling Elwood by the first of June and then sending water to irrigators for the rest of the summer.  Elwood has always had significant summer drawdowns, but with water available it had some re-filling in the fall and then was filled all the way by the next June to start the whole cycle over again.  Those fluctuations may not be ideal for the production of fish, but at least that was better than the last few years where we were lucky to have any water diverted to Elwood.  Speaking of that, those water deliveries during the drought were pretty much done to keep the fishery alive.  Now that the reservoir will be filled again we will not have to “start from scratch”; in fact there is an excellent population of wipers in Elwood right now as well as some walleyes, channel catfish, white bass and other species.  I expect the fishing this year could be a challenge with all the terrestrial vegetation that will be flooded at Elwood, but there are fish there right now!  The water that was diverted into Elwood during the low water years was not free, angler dollars were used for some of that water, but that was done to buy us time until there was enough water to fill Elwood again.  Thank goodness we were able to keep at least some of the Elwood fishery alive through the drought and hopefully Elwood is well on its way back to being one of the top fisheries in the state!

With all the flooded vegetation at Elwood we have already stocked some yellow perch that normally would not have been stocked.  Additional stockings of panfish may occur this year.  The newly flooded terrestrial vegetation will provide ideal habitat conditions for those panfish species, and we will try to take advantage of that.  But, let me caution anglers that eventually that flooded terrestrial vegetation will decay, Elwood will at least have annual water level fluctuations, and over time habitat conditions for yellow perch and other panfish species will NOT be as ideal as they are now.  Anglers should expect a temporary boom in fishing for some species that thrive in the “new reservoir” habitat conditions, but do NOT expect the fishing for those species to remain at a peak for years to come.  “When life gives you lemon, make lemonade”, but over the long-term expect that Elwood will primarily provide the walleye, wiper, white bass, channel catfish and muskie fishery that it has provided in recent years along with a few other “bonus” species thrown in there.

Red Willow

I still have no real updates on the Red Willow situation–minimum pool, still investigating the extent of the problem and trying to figure out what can be done about it.  I have posted a link to Red Willow updates in one of my earlier posts, .  Everything I have heard indicates that this may take awhile; maybe years.  We will hope it does not take that long, but I thought I would mention it so folks do not expect a quick fix.

Hopefully we are on our way back to better days at Elwood Reservoir, days like this!