LINCOLN – Goose Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located southeast of Chambers in Holt County, is open to public access effective immediately.

In September, the WMA was closed to all access because of a heavy infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive aquatic plant at the lake.

Eurasian watermilfoil can spread rapidly because a single fragment of stem or leaf can take root and form a new colony, and plants can grow up to 2 inches per day. Once established, the plant can form dense surface mats that interfere with boating, fishing, swimming, and other forms of recreation. Plant fragments can be transported on boats, trailers, and other aquatic sporting equipment, so the closure was necessary to assure that fragments were not transported to other bodies of water.

Winter recreational activities are thought to pose little risk of spreading the aquatic plant now that the lake has frozen over, but area users are reminded to guard against transporting any plant materials from Goose Lake to other areas.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is developing a plan to eradicate Eurasian watermilfoil from Goose Lake. Eradication has been successful for a number of lakes in other states.

The Commission reminds all water users to clean, drain, and dry their equipment (boats, trailers, waders, decoys) when they leave any body of water to prevent the spread of invasive species.

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