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A levee breach on the Platte River near Ashland on March 17. Flooding along the Platte in March closed Fremont Lakes and Two Rivers State Recreation Areas.

Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area has reopened to the public, and it’s due in part to the efforts of volunteers, Nebraska Game and Parks staff members say.

On April 27, roughly 250 people showed up at a volunteer cleanup day, removing debris, garbage, sticks and logs. They also planted flowers, painted and removed flowerbeds.

About half of the volunteers belonged to several local Boy Scout troops. Staff put them to work at Lake 20, one of the hardest-hit areas by this spring’s flooding.

“They had miles and miles and miles of sticks and cornstalks and general garbage that they raked up for us,” said Jeff Fields, a Nebraska Game and Parks regional superintendent. “They did a really, really awesome job.”

Fields and Fremont Lakes Park Superintendent Bill Booth were touched by the turnout.

“It was pretty emotional for both Bill and I just to see this big group of people there. In Fremont, there’s still people that aren’t even in their homes yet that were out there helping out. That shows a lot,” Fields said.

Visitors are advised that while much of the park is open, several areas will remain closed or have use limitations in place as repairs continue. Restricted areas:

» A no-wake, 5 mph speed limit is in place on lakes 10, 15 (Victory) and 20 because of snags, trees and other potential boat hazards. Normal recreational boating activities are expected by the end of May.

» Fisherman’s Point Campground in the north camping area will be closed to all camping until further notice because of high lake levels and roadway damage.

» Access to the Pathfinder Campground will be from west side of the area just off County Road 19.

Portions of roadways damaged by flooding have been closed. The public is reminded to observe cautionary signage and barricades.

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Free fishing, park entry day

Free Fishing and Park Entry Day in Nebraska is Saturday. Enjoy fishing or state park activities without the need to purchase a fishing or park entry permit for the day.

Several family-friendly activities are scheduled in state park areas across the state to celebrate Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, including:

» Wildlands Day, Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area: This daylong celebration includes a bird hike, wildflower walk, kids crafts and more.

» Youth Fishing Clinic, Platte River State Park: Youths can take part in a free fishing clinic, with loaner fishing poles available on a first-come, first-served basis.

» Bird Hike, Smith Falls State Park: Participate in bird identification along the Niobrara River.

The grand opening of the Schramm Education Center at Schramm Park State Recreation Area also is scheduled for Saturday, so visitors can visit the new facilities without a park entry fee.

Saturday is a great opportunity to participate in the Take ’em Fishing challenge, in which anglers pledge to take new or inexperienced anglers fishing. Fish permits typically are required for anglers age 16 and older — but not on Free Fishing and Park Entry Day. Visit outdoornebraska.gov/takeemfishing/ for more information.

Citizen science training

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will host two citizen science training sessions in June to prepare volunteers to assist with the monarch and regal fritillary surveys project.

This workshop is for anyone interested in completing transect surveys looking for monarch and regal butterflies between June 15 and July 15.

The first training session will be June 11 from 10-11 a.m. at Nine-Mile Prairie near Lincoln. Contact Alie Mayes at alie.mayes@nebraska.gov for more information.

The second training session will be June 17 from 10-11 a.m. at Wildcat Hills Nature Center near Gering. Contact Amanda Filipi at amanda.filipi@nebraska.gov to sign up.

Calendar

SUNDAY

» Mother’s Day Buffet, Ponca SP, Ponca; Platte River SP, Louisville; Fort Robinson SP, Crawford

» Community Fishing Night, Riverside Discovery Center pond, Scottsbluff

FRIDAY

» Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, Experience Fort Robinson SP, Crawford

SATURDAY

» Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, statewide

» Bird Hike, Smith Falls SP, Valentine

» Wildlands Day, Wildcat Hills Nature Center, Gering

» Wildlife and Bird Identification, Mormon Island SRA, Doniphan

» Free Family Fish Day, Ash Hollow SHP, Lewellen

» Feeder Fun, Pawnee SRA, Emerald

» Kids’ Fishing Derby, Fort Robinson SP, Crawford

» Youth Fishing Clinic, Platte River SP, Louisville

» Fly with the Birds, Medicine Creek Reservoir SRA, Cambridge

» Bill Morris Memorial Fishing Derby, Ponca SP, Ponca

» Schramm Education Center Grand Opening, Schramm Park SRA, Gretna

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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