In the Wild with Greg Wagner


Heading to the Gavins Point Dam Area? by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

A message and pics for those heading to the Gavins Point Dam Area in northeast Nebraska from my good friend Rich McShane of Omaha, NE who is with the Nebraska Walleye Association … 

These pictures were taken by me at 5:00pm on Saturday Oct 2nd below Gavins Point Dam at Yankton.  They show opening paddlefish snagging weekend anglers and how the opening of all 14 of the gates on the dam affects fishing downstream.  I believe the gates had not been opened since 1998 until being done so earlier this year. The area manager told me they are scheduled to remain open through November.  Unbelievable amount of water. I was up there for a walleye tournament and go back Oct 15-16 for paddlefish.
Rich   

Thanks a million Rich, appreciate the message and the photos! Let us know how you do with your paddlefish snagging, will ya’?  Never know, might see you up that way. Take care, be safe and wear your life jacket! GW.

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Katie’s Beyond B.O.W. Adventure by Greg Wagner

Guest blogger Katie Stacey here again to talk about last weekend’s Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman kayak adventure based at Niobrara State Park and on the Upper Missouri River. 

I drove from my home in Bellevue to the park on Thursday and arrived a little after noon. Already I wasn’t sure how the weekend would go. I had been detoured off Highway 12 because there was water over the road just east of Niobrara. Along the detour I saw both Bazile and Verdigre creeks rushing along over their banks. The lovely Niobrara was the color of chocolate milk and looked like it had developed a taste for human flesh. 

Photo courtesy of Dina Barta

I learned there had been a severe storm in the night, and around seven inches of rain had fallen upstream from where we wanted to launch. Still, we had a job to do. We loaded up the kayaks and drove around the area. There was water everywhere and we could see flattened grass where it had been even higher. The boat ramps on the Missouri were not accessible, and I wasn’t pitting my limited kayak skills against the Niobrara’s current mood. 

There would be no kayaking for our B.O.W. participants on Friday. Instead, we enjoyed a day at the park. Horseback riding, hiking, swiming or just kicking back at camp. We also loaded all who wanted to go into vans and visited Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. Even though I’m a Nebraska native, I had never yet been. We are incredibly lucky to have such a site in our state. It’s incredible to think, the glaciers that would have scoured it from the plains came to a halt only eight miles away. Eight miles! A miniscule distance for a glacier and all the knowledge gained from Ashfalls would never have been. 

Inside the Hubbard Rhino Barn at Ashfall Fossil Beds SHP

I bet you’ll never guess what happend while the group was finishing up with dinner in town that night. 

Photo Courtesy of Dina Barta

Oh yeah, more rain. But, it was a quick storm and the earlier flooding had all day to receed. We were still able to kayak the Missouri River the next morning.
We coudn’t have asked for a better day. The river rolled smoothly along as the group paddled and played on the strech from Sunshine Bottoms to the Verdel boat ramp. We had water fights and races. Nobody tipped over and fell in the river, although most of us were wet enough to have done as much.
In spite of the weather’s initial disagreeableness, I think of the weekend as a great success. Part of being outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen is understanding that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature’s whims. We have to be flexible with our plans and our patience will be rewarded with adventures we will remember all our lives.
 
For information on upcoming B.O.W. and Beyond B.O.W. adventures check out the Game and Parks Commission’s page at : http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/education/programs/bow/bow.asp
See you out there! – –  Katie Stacey


MIGHTY MO UPDATE by Greg Wagner

Just wanna show you how flooding is impacting areas along the Missouri River on our eastern border, especially near Omaha. These photos, courtesy of my good friend Brook Bench at Omaha City Parks, are all of N.P. Dodge Park on the northeastern edge of the city.

All areas that we are aware of on the Missouri River bottom are closed to access due to the extensive flooding.

Herb Angell, our Game and Parks Boating Law Administrator, is strongly suggesting that people stay off the Missouri River as it is beyond flood stage and dangerously high. The river is running is extremely fast, plus carrying a lot of debris. In fact, Herb says, there is so much bottomland flooding that the river is inaccessible by boat anyway.

Don’t forget though, state parks along the Missouri River like Indian Cave, Ponca and Niobrara are accessible by road and have high-and-dry campsites available for the weekend.  

Might see you out there, but not on the Missouri River!