The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider 2018 waterfowl hunting season recommendations at its March 16 meeting in Columbus.
The meeting begins at 8 a.m. on the lower level of Pinnacle Bank, 210 E. 23rd St.
A public hearing is scheduled at the meeting for the waterfowl recommendations. The recommendation for white-fronted goose season proposes a change from a 74-day season to an 88-day season and from a three-bird daily bag limit to two. Most other waterfowl season recommendations include only calendar date adjustments.
Read more to see the proposed dates.
For a closer look at how waterfowl seasons and regulations are set, watch our latest video.
Rainbow trout being stocked across the state
Catchable-size rainbow trout are being stocked in city ponds, park lakes, and other waters across the state by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These stockings will enhance fishing opportunities this early spring.
It’s also a chance to get started on the Trout Slam challenge! Catch all four species of trout – rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat – and earn a certificate, pin and bragging rights.
The stocked trout are approximately 10 inches in length. See a full stocking schedule at our website.
Alliance angler is first Trout Slam recipient
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has its first official Trout Slam angler.
Justin Powell of Alliance was the first to meet the requirements of the new program, in which successful entries catch one of each species of trout found in Nebraska – rainbows, browns, cutthroats and brooks.
Although Powell has caught all four species in one day in the past, it took him two this time. He caught the fish in the Pine Ridge and North Platte Valley over a two-day period in early February, about a week after the Commission announced the program. Read more.
Plan to experience this year’s sandhill crane migration
Now is the time to start planning a Platte River trip to experience the annual sandhill crane migration.
Large numbers of sandhill cranes and waterfowl have begun arriving in the state with the recent mild weather. March marks the peak of the sandhill crane and waterfowl migration through Nebraska. Approximately 500,000 sandhill cranes stop to forage in the fertile lands along the Platte River and increase their weight for their continued northward migration. The Platte River and surrounding wetland habitats are crucial to the cranes’ successful migration.
Each year, 80 percent of the world’s sandhill crane population stages in Nebraska during their migration from their southern wintering sites to their northern breeding grounds. The Platte River and the surrounding area in central Nebraska provide essential food resources, as well as safe roosting sites, that sustain sandhill cranes for the rest of migration and for nesting. Largest concentrations occur in the central Platte River valley between Grand Island and Kearney as well as between North Platte and Sutherland and near Lewellen.
In addition to large concentrations of sandhill cranes, geese and ducks, wildlife viewers may get the chance to observe migrating bald eagles, trumpeter swans and possibly an early-arriving endangered whooping crane.
Popular crane viewing locations include the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center near Alda, and Fort Kearny State Recreation Area. Birds remain in central Nebraska until mid-April. For more viewing locations, visit Nebraskaflyway.com.
Learn more about sandhill cranes, including the proper way to view them, on our website.
Free workshops to focus on spring turkey hunting
Learn all aspects of spring turkey hunting at free workshops hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission across the state.
The workshops are designed for individuals with limited experience who want to expand their knowledge of turkey hunting. Topics will include strategies, equipment, turkey biology and ways to increase a hunter’s confidence and success.
With lots of birds, a long season and plentiful and affordable permits – including $8 permits for youth – Nebraska offers the best turkey hunting opportunities in the United States and is a great place for new hunters to get started.
See the full schedule online.
Game and Parks advises customers to be aware of websites selling permit information
The Nebraska Game and Park Commission advises customers that Nebraska hunting, fishing and park permits may be purchased online only at OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Several websites sell information about Nebraska permits and guides. These sites include fishinglicense.org; fishandgamelicenses.org; recreationallicenses.org; licenses.org; and hunting-license.org. Nebraska Game and Parks has no affiliation with these sites. Customers have reported completing transactions on these sites believing they were buying a permit, when, in fact, they purchased an informational guide.
Nebraska Game and Parks offers hunting and fishing guides at no cost in both printed and digital formats. You may also request printed copies or pick one up wherever permits are sold.
To buy any fishing or hunting permit, visit the Commission’s website, where you will be redirected to a secure sales site. Additionally, permits may be purchased in person at any Game and Parks office or at any official vendor location.