I have a few “odds and ends” to share.
2011-2012 Fishing Guide
First of all, we have been hearing a few reports about some folks throwing out their “old” Fishing Guides and looking for the “new” Fishing Guides. Take a close look at this. . . .
Notice anything? I am sorry if I sound like a smart aleck when I say this, but the cover of the current Fishing Guide says “2011-2012″ for a reason. There is no “new” 2012 Fishing Guide, the Fishing Guide we now have is the Fishing Guide for 2011 AND 2012.
There are a number of reasons we went with a 2-year Fishing Guide last year. First of all, it saves us some printing costs as we only have to print Fishing Guides once every two years instead of every year. Of course if folks throw away their 2011-2012 Fishing Guide thinking that there is a new one coming in 2012, then that kind of ruins some of the savings we had by printing Fishing Guides only half as often. Secondly, I will tell you from a pointy-headed fisheries biologist standpoint that having a two-year fishing guide is a good idea because it short circuits some of the knee-jerk reactions to changes in fish populations and fishing from year to year. Fish communities are dynamic, always changing. The only constant in nature is change. We have to adapt and adjust fisheries management strategies all the time, and at times immediate actions are necessary. But, most of the time, there is not a need to make immediate changes in fishing regulations and changes in fisheries management strategies are almost always more effective when we take the time to analyze the situation and then make informed decisions based on science. Sometimes it takes time to collect the information needed and come to the right decisions and having a 2-year fishing guide gives us some of that time.
Here is a little trivia question for you, just for the fun of it: Who is the person snapping the photo on the front of the 2011-2012 Fishing Guide?
Our Missouri River in northeast Nebraska is a beautiful, scenic stretch of river and one of our best fisheries. If you have not spent some time on that water, you need to. A person could spend years exploring the river and catching fish. Much of that stretch of the Missouri River has been designated as a National Recreational River. Following is a news release from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service on future conservation efforts along the Missouri River between Nebraska and South Dakota. If you are a landowner along the river in that part of Nebraska or a recreational user, you should try to make it to one of these public meetings, http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/pressrel/2012/02062012-missouri-river-conservation-efforts-meeting.html .
United States Department of the Interior
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Mountain-Prairie Region Missouri National Recreational River
P.O. Box 25486, DFC 508 E. 2nd Street
Denver, Colorado 80225 Yankton, South Dakota 57078
For Immediate Release
Date: February 6, 2012
Nick Kaczor (303) 236-4387
Steve Mietz (605) 665-0209
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service to Host Public Meetings Regarding Conservation Efforts with Willing Landowners along the Missouri River in Northeast Nebraska and Southeast South Dakota
Public Scoping Comments Regarding This Conservation Effort Will Be Accepted Until
March 12, 2012
Efforts will be focused upon the Missouri River between Ft. Randall Dam to the Running Water Bridge and upstream the Niobrara River to the Spencer Dam. This area is referred to as the Niobrara Confluence. The other area, called the Ponca Bluffs, is centered on the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam to Sioux City, Iowa.
The FWS and NPS will work with local communities and willing landowners to conserve stretches of the Missouri River that have significant natural resource, recreational, or cultural value. The opportunity to preserve, and even improve, important natural river processes and habitats for fish and wildlife would benefit the visitors, neighbors, and local communities of the Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs areas, now and into the future. Through a combination of actions along a spectrum from restoration efforts, conservation easements, or land acquisition, the unique nature of the Missouri River would be maintained and in some cases, restored to its former glory. These efforts would not result in increased regulations or alter dam operations; but provide for increased wildlife habitats, protection of culturally and historically important sites, and improved recreational access.
Individual or group representatives may visit the project website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/niob-ponca) to learn more or to provide comments. The FWS and NPS will gather public input as part of public scoping during the month of February. Public scoping comments will be accepted until March 12, 2012. Received public comments will be considered by the NPS and FWS during development of a Land Protection Plan. There will be another opportunity to comment on the draft Land Protection Plan in the fall of 2012.
Public meetings regarding the proposal will begin with an open house at 5:30 p.m. local time where individuals can meet one-on-one with the FWS and NPS staff; followed by a short presentation at 6:30 p.m. with time for additional discussion afterwards. The meetings will be at the following dates and locations:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
The Outdoor Campus
4500 S. Oxbow Ave.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Thursday, February 23, 2012
5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
W.H. Over Museum
1110 Ratingen Street
Vermillion, South Dakota
Friday, February 24, 2012
5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Spruce and Park Avenues
Information will broadcast via local radio stations in the event of a cancellation or postponement. For more information or to provide comments, contact:
Nick Kaczor, Planning Team Leader
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, Colorado 80225
Steve Mietz, Superintendent
National Park Service
Missouri National Recreational River
508 East 2nd Street
Yankton, South Dakota 57078
North Platte Outdoor Expo
I do not have a lot of details about this event, sorry, but I will tell you what I know. The Platte River Mall in North Platte is hosting an Outdoor Expo this coming weekend, February 10-12. Hours will be 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday. I know they have a bunch of exhibitors that will be spread out throughout the mall, and I know they have some seminars scheduled. The last I heard I am scheduled to give an Ice Fishing seminar Friday at 5:00 p.m. and will be giving another seminar on the 2012 Fishing Outlook at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. I think they have some other seminars scheduled including a BAR-BE-QUE seminar, but I do not know the times (I believe there is an admission fee for the BBQ seminar). Anyway, if you are in the North Platte area this weekend, swing by the mall and check it out. My seminars are free and maybe that is what they are worth, but come by and say “Hi” anyway!