The Nebraska Parks and Games Commission approved a five-year plan to recruit, retain and reactivate outdoor enthusiasts at its Oct. 21 meeting in Broken Bow.
This 2023-2027 Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation Plan provides goals, objectives, and strategies to help Game and Parks engage outdoor participants in outdoor opportunities.
The plan focuses on boating, fishing, hunting, parks, and shooting sports, as well as maintaining widespread support for conservation and recreation.
At the meeting at the Broken Bow Public Library, commissioners also approved changes to wildlife regulations that:
- added the Pine Ridge Mule Deer Conservation Area to the draw unit list, added the non-resident antelope archery permit to the antelope draw permit list, and allowed archery antelope hunters to non-residents apply for a preference point or archery permit;
- added turkeys to the list of animals that must be checked within 48 hours of harvest; Y
- Added language to allow hunters, starting in the spring 2023 season, to cancel and verify their electronic turkey permits on their mobile devices immediately after harvest.
Commissioners approved a change in fishing regulations to simplify the application process for special fishing permits for disabled anglers and allow annual renewals to be purchased through the online permit system.
They also approved changes to Sport Fishing Orders that:
- added Ansley Lake, Flanagan Lake, Alda DOT, Birdwood WMA, East Sutherland WMA, and removed Victoria Springs Lake SRA from waters that require a 21-inch minimum length on black bass;
- changed the designated location on the Republican River above the Harlan County Reservoir for bag limits for channel catfish and size limits for walleye, dachshund, and dachshund;
- eliminated the catch-and-release designation for Lake Flanagan, placed a no-take restriction on northern pike, and created maximum length limits on bluegill, red-eared sunfish, and crappie; Y
- added walleye to the species prohibited from possession in Lonergan Creek at Lake McConaughy and added Otter Creek to the restrictions and set the deadline from April 1 to June 30.
Commissioners also approved changes to a variety of boating regulations regarding references to personal flotation devices, boat weight limits, and updating body of water lists for wake/no wake rules and boating hours, towing and other boating safety restrictions. Learn more by reading the Notice of Public Hearing at OutdoorNebraska.gov/pubicnotices.
In other business, commissioners heard reports on the Parks and Games Capital Maintenance Fund, an update on the fall season at state parks, and an overview of the City of Kearney’s new whitewater park.
The commissioners recognized Commissioner Bob Allen of Eustis, whose term on the board ends this year, for his eight years of leadership.
The Haumont family of Broken Bow was recognized for their contributions in hosting the annual Nebraska Youth Smallbore Silhouette Invitational in the Pressey Wildlife Management Area in Custer County.
The Commission also approved the meeting schedule for 2023: January 19-20, Lincoln; March 16 and 17, Kearney; April 20-21, Fremont; June 8 and 9, Alma; August 3 and 4, Valentine’s Day; October 12-13, Fort Robinson State Park.