In the Wild with Greg Wagner


I’m helpin’ our conservation partners in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service get  the word out that the popular DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Blair, NE opens to spring outdoor recreational activities this Thursday, April 15th.  Here’s the amended press release from them to help answer your questions.


Missouri Valley, IA/Blair, NE  – DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) begins its fishing, boating, and mushroom season on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Anglers need either an Iowa or Nebraska license and are reminded that minimum length limits and creel limits are in effect. The 875-acre, 7-mile long oxbow lake’s walleye population is in good shape. White bass numbers and size structure have both improved. The crappie population is not yet up to par. A wheelchair-accessible fishing pier is located at the South Gate Recreation Area.

Due to flooding of DeSoto Lake, only the Middle Boat Ramp will be open. The other boat ramps will reopen when conditions improve. Boating speeds are limited to no-wake, not to exceed five-miles-per-hour, to protect the shoreline from excessive erosion. Motorized boats are allowed throughout DeSoto Lake to allow fishing access, but a “no-anchor zone” is located at the aeration system in the lake, and marked with buoys.

Designated mushroom picking areas will be open April 15 – April 16 and April 19 – May 31. A map showing these areas is available at refuge entrances. The central portion of the refuge is closed to all public use to provide sanctuary for nesting birds and white-tailed deer during the fawning period. On April 17 and 18 the Refuge will be closed to mushroom hunting  during a special youth spring wild turkey hunt.

Check our website, for updates on boat ramp openings as well as summer public programs and activities.

An entrance permit is required for all vehicles. The daily entrance fee for private vehicles is $3.00. Permits may be obtained at the pay stations near the entrances or at the Visitor Center. The charge for commercial vans and buses is $20, or $30 if 21 or more people are aboard. Annual permits, including the $15 DeSoto Refuge Pass, can be obtained at the visitor center.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge encompasses some 8,362 acres and is located 25 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska on U.S. Highway 30, between Missouri Valley, Iowa and Blair, Nebraska. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except federal holidays. For more information contact 712/642-4121 or e-mail the refuge at

Fishing jetty at DeSoto Refuge Lake.

I’ll see you out there, at the refuge!


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