Outdoor notes: Mountain lion applications; Trout stocking; Free milkweed in Norfolk; October calendar

LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters have until Sept. 28 to apply for a 2019 mountain lion permit. Up to 640 permits will be issued via lottery by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, which has received 435 applications as of Sept. 23.

Hunting will be allowed only in the Pine Ridge Unit of northwestern Nebraska, which has an established population that can sustain a harvest. Hunters may apply for a permit in either of two subunits: the South Subunit (south of U.S. Hwy. 20) or the North Subunit (north of U.S. Hwy. 20). A person may not submit more than one application per calendar year for a mountain lion permit.

A drawing will allocate as many as 320 permits to each subunit, and only Nebraska residents can receive permits. As of Sept. 23, Game and Parks has accepted 242 applications in the South Subunit and 193 in the North Subunit.

Public land will be open to hunting in the South Subunit, but public land will be closed to hunting in the North Subunit. Landowners in the North Subunit are encouraged to apply in that area, and applicants who have not arranged opportunities to hunt on private land in the North Subunit are encouraged to apply in the South Subunit.

Mail applications must be received in Game and Parks’ Lincoln headquarters by 5 p.m. and online applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 28. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply online or download an application at outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting. A $15 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted with each application.

Up to eight mountain lions may be harvested in 2019, with up to four of those being females. In each of the two subunits, once four mountain lions, or two females, have been harvested in that subunit, the season in that subunit will close.

Dogs may not be used during the mountain lion season, which will run Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2019. If the limits and/or sub-limits have not been reached in a subunit by Feb. 28, an auxiliary season, allowing the use of dogs, will occur.

A harvest will allow the mountain lion population to remain resilient and healthy, while halting growth or moderately reducing the population size. This will reduce the population density in the Pine Ridge to one similar to that of other states that allow mountain lion hunting.

To read more mountain lion hunting regulations, go to outdoornebraska.gov/mountainlionhunting.


Rainbow trout stockings scheduled this fall

LINCOLN, Neb. – Catchable-size rainbow trout are being stocked in city ponds and lakes across the state by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These stockings will enhance fishing opportunities this fall and winter.

Trout fishing is a great way to introduce children to fishing because simple and inexpensive equipment may be used. A spinning or spin-cast rod and reel with a hook baited with a worm will work well. Add a split shot a couple of feet above the hook and a bobber a couple of feet above the split shot. Spinners, salmon eggs, dough baits and artificial flies also can catch trout.

The 90,000-plus stocked trout are approximately 10 inches in length. The following is a tentative stocking schedule, including quantities:

Sept. 24 – Elm Creek, Red Cloud, 1,000 trout

Sept. 25 – Gilbert-Baker Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Pond, Harrison, 600; White River, southwest of Fort Robinson State Park (SP), 750; Bridgeport State Recreation Area (SRA) Middle Pit, Bridgeport, 2,000

Oct. 2 – Carter P. Johnson Lake, Fort Robinson SP, 2,500; Laing Lake, Alliance, 1,500

Oct. 9 – Crystal Cove Lake, South Sioux City, 4,500

Oct. 10 – Fremont Lakes SRA Lake No. 2, Fremont, 5,000

Oct. 11 – Benson Park Pond, Omaha, 1,050; Lake Halleck, Papillion, 1,200

Oct. 15 – Hitchcock Park Pond, Omaha, 450; Towl Park Pond, Omaha, 300

Oct. 16 – Standing Bear Lake, Omaha, 3,750; Niobrara SP Pond, Niobrara, 1,000; Gracie Creek Pond, Burwell, 1,000; Ord City Lake, 1,500; Bessey Pit, Halsey, 500; City Pond, Auburn, 800; Stanton Park Pond, Falls City, 300; Pawnee City Pond, Pawnee City, 300; Humboldt City Park Pond, Humboldt, 600; North Morrill Pit, Morrill, 1,350; Middle Morrill Pit, Morrill, 450; South Morrill Pit, Morrill, 400; Riverside Discovery Center Pond, Scottsbluff, 900

Oct. 17 – Bowling Lake (south pond), Lincoln, 400; Holmes Lake, Lincoln, 3,000; TaHaZouka Park Pond, Norfolk, 1,500; Pawnee Park West Lake, Columbus, 1,500; CenturyLink Lake, Eugene T. Mahoney SP, 1,500

Oct. 18 – Standing Bear Lake, Omaha, 3,750; Heartwell Park, Hastings, 900; Such’s Lake, Grand Island, 650; Curtis Golf Course Pond, Curtis, 150; Lexington City Lake, Lexington, 750 Lake Helen, Gothenburg, 2,000; Windmill SRA Pit No. 2, Gibbon, 600

Oct. 19 – Oxford City Lake, Oxford, 300; Holdrege City Park Pond, Holdrege, 2,000; Fort Kearny SRA Pit No. 6, Kearney, 1,200; Melham Park Lake, Broken Bow, 875; Ansley City Pond, Ansley, 1,200

Oct. 22 – Humphrey Pond, Ogallala, 600; Bridgeport SRA Northwest Pit, Bridgeport, 1,400

Oct. 23 – Steinhart Park  East Pond, Nebraska City, 1,200; Weeping Water Pond, Weeping Water, 1,500; Bowling Lake (south pond), Lincoln, 400; Grove Lake, Royal, 1,500

Oct. 24 – David City Park West Pond, David City, 600

Oct. 30 – Birdwood WMA, North Platte, 4,000

Oct. 31 – Rock Creek Lake SRA, Parks, 3,000

Nov. 1 – Crystal Springs Middle Lake, Fairbury, 1,000

Nov. 5 – Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 4,000

Nov. 7 – Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 4,000

Nov. 9 – Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 4,000

Nov. 12 – Lake Ogallala, Ogallala, 3,000

Dec. 20 – Birdwood WMA, North Platte, 4,000

Visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/fishing for more information on fishing in Nebraska.


Game and Parks to give away free milkweed seedlings in Norfolk

LINCOLN, Neb. – Help preserve the monarch butterfly by planting milkweed. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will give out free milkweed seedlings Sept. 29 in Norfolk.

The seedlings, planting instructions and monarch educational information will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Game and Parks’ Northeast District Office, 2201 N. 13th St.

Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch. This means monarchs only lay eggs on milkweed and milkweed is the only plant monarch caterpillars will eat. The last 20 years has seen a drastic decline in the monarch population.

Contact Jamie Bachmann for more information at Jamie.bachmann@nebraska.gov.


Angler access area closed at Lake Ogallala

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — The Lake Ogallala angler access area located in the northwest corner of the lake will be closed starting Monday, Sept. 24 to undergo restoration.

The restoration project will address the existing shoreline protection structures and eroding sidewalks.

The project is slated to be complete next summer. Once finished, the project will complement the new 125-foot floating fishing bridge that was installed in 2017, along with enhancing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) amenities and angler access to the area.

Anglers wishing to utilize the area will still have access to the floating bridge from the north stairwell until early 2019.

The Keith County Visitor’s Committee, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission provided funding for this project.

October outdoor calendar

LINCOLN, Neb. – The following is a listing of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission events and important dates in October. Get more event details at Calendar.OutdoorNebraska.gov. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for a list of hunter education classes and boating safety classes.

Oct. 1 – Prairie Blacksmith Convention, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (SHP), Fort Calhoun

Oct. 1 – Triumphant Return of White Pirogue II, Niobrara State Park (SP), Niobrara

Oct. 1-31 – Paddlefish snagging season in specific area of Missouri River

Oct. 2 – Waterfowl hunting workshop, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Oct. 3, 10 – Wednesday Walkers, Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area (SRA), Fremont

Oct. 4 – Wild game cooking workshop, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Oct. 5 – New hunter education instructor training, Wildcat Hills SRA, Gering

Oct. 6 – Dark goose hunting season opens in North Central Unit

Oct. 6 – Light goose hunting regular season opens statewide

Oct. 6 – White-fronted goose hunting season opens statewide

Oct. 6 – All-season hunting workshop, Mormon Island SRA, Doniphan

Oct. 6 – Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zones 2 and 4

Oct. 6 – Halloween is Brewing with Fun, Eugene T. Mahoney SP, Ashland

Oct. 6-7 – Youth waterfowl hunting season in Zone 1

Oct. 6-7 – Living History Weekend, Heritage Days, Fort Atkinson SHP, Fort Calhoun

Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 21, 27-28 – Living History Weekend, Arbor Lodge SHP, Nebraska City

Oct. 9 – Upland bird hunting workshop, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Oct. 12 – Trick or Treat at the Town, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

Oct. 12 – Photography Show, Fremont Lakes SRA, Fremont

Oct. 13 – Youth Hunter Education Challenge, Platte River SP, Louisville

Oct. 13 – Halloween campsite decorating contest, Chili Cook-off, Fremont Lakes SRA, Fremont

Oct. 13 – Howl in the Hills Night Hike, Wildcat Hills SRA, Gering

Oct. 13 – Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zone 1

Oct. 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 – Haunted Hollow, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

Oct. 13, 20 – Hallowfest Ponca SP, Ponca

Oct. 13, 20, 27 – Halloween campsite decorating contest, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

Oct. 13-28 – Firearm antelope hunting season in specific units

Oct. 15 – Crow hunting season opens statewide

Oct. 15 – Kayak Kids Essay Contest deadline, Swanson Reservoir SRA, Trenton

Oct. 20 – Jack-O-Lantern Junk and Craft Market, Trick or Treat by the Buses, Pink Pumpkin Walk, Indian Cave SP, Shubert

Oct. 20 – Trick-or-Treating, Branched Oak SRA, Raymond

Oct. 20 – Harvestfest, Fort Atkinson SHP, Fort Calhoun

Oct. 20 – Pumpkin Carvers Festival, Calamus SRA, Burwell

Oct. 20 – Living History – Ranch Life, Rock Creek Station SHP, Fairbury

Oct. 20-21 – Youth waterfowl hunting season in Zone 3

Oct. 20-21 – Youth pheasant, quail and partridge hunting season statewide

Oct. 21 – New hunter education instructor training, Sidney

Oct. 23 – Deer hunting workshop, Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center, Lincoln

Oct. 24 – Deer hunting workshop, Chadron State College, Chadron

Oct. 25 – Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zone 3

Oct. 26 – Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting, Kearney

Oct. 26-27 – Spooktacular Halloween, Two Rivers SRA, Waterloo

Oct. 26-28 – Camp and Treat, Red Willow Reservoir SRA, McCook

Oct. 27 – Pheasant, quail and partridge hunting seasons open statewide

Oct. 27 – Trunk and Treat, Fort Atkinson SHP, Fort Calhoun

Oct. 27 – Trunk or Treat, Calamus SRA, Burwell

Oct. 27 – Halloween at the Hollow, Ash Hollow SHP, Lewellen

Oct. 27-28 – DeSoto October muzzleloader deer hunting season

Oct. 28 – Oktoberfest, Fort Atkinson SHP, Fort Calhoun

Oct. 29 – Dark goose hunting season opens in East, Platte River, Panhandle and Niobrara units

Oct. 30 – Dove (all species) hunting season closes

Oct. 31 – Archery and firearm bull elk hunting seasons close

Oct. 31 – Antlerless elk hunting private land and public land seasons close

Oct. 31 – Eurasian collared-dove only hunting season opens

Oct. 31 – Raccoon and Virginia opossum hunting seasons close

Oct. 31 – Bullfrog season closes

We strive for accuracy. Report a typo, inaccuracy, or mistake here.

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