bass

Kenzlie Eckhardt, Bennington, caught the largemouth bass in a lake by Plattsmouth.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will receive $200,000 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the Cool-Water Stream Management project.

The project involves cooperation with private landowners, government agencies and other organizations to manage and assess cold-water streams in Nebraska. It uses stewardship practices within watersheds and waterside areas, and stream enhancements to provide long-term benefits to landowners and aquatic communities.

Public and private streams will be managed, and appropriate stream areas will be demonstration sites, where information will be collected to evaluate effectiveness of management. This program will enhance cold-water stream habitats for at-risk fish species and trout. It also should provide angling opportunities, improve water quality and reduce soil erosion.

The project is one of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the trust this year.Of these, 85 were new applications and 32 are carry-over projects.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state.Leave babies alone

It is natural for some people who see a young wild animal apparently abandoned by its mother to want to rescue it. The correct course of action is to leave it alone.

Here are some rules of thumb from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission regarding wildlife babies:

» A lone fawn, or other young bird or mammal, may appear to be abandoned or injured, but the mother frequently is off feeding or drinking. Do not move it. The longer the fawn is separated from its mother, the slimmer the chance that it will be reunited with her. In some cases, other deer will adopt an orphaned fawn.

» It is normal for a doe to leave its fawn to keep it from being detected by predators. Predators can see the doe as it feeds, so she leaves the fawn hidden and leaves the area to draw attention away from the fawn’s location.

» Do not try to raise wildlife babies as pets. As animals mature, they become more independent and follow natural instincts to leave and establish their own territories. Rescued animals are poorly prepared for life in the wild.

» Most wildlife babies are protected by state or federal law and it is illegal to possess them.

Pony Express rides again

The Pony Express will ride again June 11 and 12 at two Nebraska state historical parks.

Each year, members of the National Pony Express Association recreate the Pony Express by carrying letters over the original trail in a commemorative ride over a 10-day period. The 1,966-mile, eight-state event is conducted 24 hours a day until the mail is delivered to its destination.

Riders will hand off the letters to a fresh team at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park near Fairbury at 1:45 p.m. on June 11. A handoff will also take place at Fort Kearny State Historical Park at 6 a.m. on June 12. Biscuits and gravy will be available for visitors at 5:45 a.m. free of charge.

For more information, visit nationalponyexpress.org or call Fort Kearny at 308-865-5305. A park entry permit is required.

Landowners can join program

Private landowners have until June 14 to enroll their land in the Open Fields and Waters Program. Through OFW, landowners can earn additional income for allowing walk-in hunting, trapping and fishing access on their properties.

According to John Laux, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s upland habitat and access manager, OFW is a “win-win” for private landowners and hunters.

“Participating landowners benefit from the extra income and our hunters and anglers, who help fund the program, have more places to go,” Laux said.

With more than 97% of Nebraska’s land in private ownership, obtaining access to private lands continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing today’s hunters and anglers.Increasing public hunting opportunities is a primary objective outlined in the Berggren Plan, Game and Park’s five-year initiative aimed at improving the pheasant hunting experience in Nebraska.

“Last year, we added nearly 60,000 acres and hope to continue to expand the program in 2019,” Laux said.

More than 700 landowners participated in OFW in 2018, opening over 316,000 land acres, 600 acres of ponds/lakes, and 42 miles of streams to public access across the state.

In addition to receiving annual, per-acre payments, participating landowners are also afforded protection from liability under the Nebraska Recreation Liability Act. Payment rates vary from 50 cents to $15 per acre, depending on habitat type and property location.

Rain affects some state parks

Most of the Nebraska’s 76 state park areas are open for outdoor recreation. But the most recent period of extended heavy rains has brought water levels back up in Nebraska, affecting some state parks and trails.

At Ponca State Park, Riverfront Campground is closed until further notice because of high Missouri River levels. The docks at the boat ramp have been removed until further notice, but the main boat ramp and the one at the park’s north addition are open.

At Indian Cave State Park, access roads to the boat ramp and the historic cave are closed temporarily because of impacts from the rising Missouri River. The cave access road is closed after a half-mile-long section of the river bluff slid onto the road. Portions of hiking trails 10 and 11 adjacent to the landslide area will be closed until they can be assessed for safe public use. The timeline for reopening the boat ramp, roads and trails has not been determined.

Riverview Marina State Recreation Area at Nebraska City still is closed as it has been underwater since the March flood.

Dead Timber State Recreation Area in Dodge County has flooded again and remains inaccessible.

Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area in Cherry County is only accessible via Nebraska Highway 97 from Valentine. The highway north from Mullen to Merritt is closed temporarily because of water on the road following recent heavy rains.

The latest section of Cowboy Trail to close is Oakdale to Neligh. A bridge just west of Oakdale was accessible after the March flood, but recent high flows of the Elkhorn River eroded away a 150-foot section of trail leading to the bridge.

For up-to-date information check outdoornebraska.gov/weatherclosures.

Calendar

SUNDAY

» Archery paddlefish season until June 30

WEDNESDAY

» Community Fishing Night, Benson Lake, Omaha

» Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Handgun Series, Platte River SP, Louisville. Also June 12, 19

THURSDAY

» Ride the Ridge, Fort Robinson SP, Crawford

» Community Fishing Night, Mormon Island SRA Lake No. 1, Doniphan; Oak Lake, Lincoln

» Discover Fly Fishing, Oak Lake, Lincoln

» Food Plot Establishment and MCM Techniques, Beede Outdoors, Unadilla

FRIDAY

» Final day landowners may apply for one elk permit

» Community Fishing Night, Birdwood Lake, North Platte

» Wildflower Walk, Wildcat Hills SRA, Gering

SATURDAY

» Hooked for Life, Red Willow Reservoir, McCook

» Introduction to Kayaking, Danish Alps SRA, Hubbard

» Tractor Show, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

To share your trophy picture or calendar item, send it to Outdoor Sports, World-Herald Sports Dept., 1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102 or email the photo and details to outdoors@owh.com. A daytime or cellphone number must be included.

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