Waterfowl hunters can attend a class on hypothermia safety Sunday at Niobrara State Park.

The class covers basic facts of hypothermia, different scenarios hunters might encounter and how to respond. Participants will then head to the park swimming pool to practice water safety in a controlled environment.

Niobrara State Park superintendent Mark Rettig developed the class after seeing numerous hypothermia-related rescues of hunters.

“When the water’s cold, it doesn’t take long for accidents to happen,” he said. “This class provides the opportunity to start thinking about safety ahead of fall hunting season.”

The class will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants are asked to bring chest waders, hunting gear and a life jacket. The class is free.

For more information, call the park at 402-857-3373. A park entry permit is required.

Lottery for Platte River hunting

Hunters may enter a lottery to gain deer hunting access to Platte River Recreation Access lands in the central Platte River Valley, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

In early September, 47 hunters will be chosen from a random drawing and allowed to hunt deer on designated PRRA lands Nov. 16 to 24.

Applications, limited to one per person, will be accepted by mail or in person at the Game and Parks service center in Kearney through Aug. 31. Hunters can apply to hunt three areas but will only receive permission on one area. Lottery winners will be notified by Sept. 20. Hunters are required to obtain the appropriate deer permit and habitat stamp in order to hunt.

Health alerts issued over algae

The state has issued new health alerts for harmful algal blooms, also known as toxic blue-green algae, at Rockford Lake in Gage County and Wagon Train Lake in Lancaster County.

An alert continues at Willow Creek Reservoir in Pierce County. The alert has ended at Harlan County Reservoir.

Samples taken earlier this week at the three lakes were above the state’s health alert threshold of 20 parts per billion of total microcystin, a toxin released by certain strains of blue-green algae. The alerts will continue at the lakes for at least two more weeks, because lakes that are on alert must have two consecutive weeks of readings below the threshold before the alert is discontinued.

When a health alert is issued, signs are posted to advise the public to use caution, and designated swimming beaches are closed. Boating and fishing are permitted, but the public is advised to use caution and avoid exposure to the water, particularly avoiding any activity that could lead to swallowing the water. People can still use the public areas for camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Pay for paddlefish permits

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds individuals who successfully drew 2019 paddlefish permits that they must pay for their permits by 11:59 p.m. on Monday.

Applicants can check their permit status and make payments by logging into the online permit system at ngpc-home.ne.gov. Permits also may be purchased at any Game and Parks permitting office. A complete list of permitting offices can be found online at OutdoorNebraska.org/locations.

Unpaid paddlefish snagging permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis to Nebraska residents beginning Aug. 19.

Big game permits available soon

Hunters may purchase 2019 big game permits on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Monday at 1 p.m. through the end of big game seasons. These include buy-unit permits, forfeited draw permits and unsold draw permits.

Residents, nonresidents and eligible landowners may purchase remaining deer permits, and residents and eligible landowners may purchase remaining elk and antelope permits.

Following the drawing, three elk permits, four antelope permits and 113 deer permits were forfeited and are available for purchase.

To view the entire list of big game permits available, go to OutdoorNebraska.org.

Calendar

SUNDAY

» Living history, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Fort Calhoun

» Waterfowl hunting/cold water hypothermia safety class, Niobrara State Park, Niobrara

MONDAY

» Hunters may purchase 2019 big game permits at any Nebraska Game and Parks Commission office or online beginning at 1 p.m.

FRIDAY

» Community Fishing Night, Fort Kearny SRA Lake No. 6, Kearney

» The Cheyenne Trotters, Fort Robinson SP, Crawford

SATURDAY

» Perseid Meteor Shower, Danish Alps SRA, Hubbard

» Hooked for Life, Red Willow Reservoir, Kiwanis Point, McCook

» .22 Steel Plate Challenge, Platte River State Park, Louisville

SUNDAY, AUG. 11

» Director’s Cup Archery Tournament, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

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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