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September 11, 2014 Outdoor Report
After another record breaking summer here at Lake McConaughy unseasonably cold temperatures moved into the park last week but the forecast points to some beautiful fall weather.
We will begin winterizing park infrastructure over the course of the next 5 weeks as our time allows. While most of the park’s water systems will become winterized there are frost-free water hydrants available at Lake Ogallala west and Sandy Beach. The modern campground’s electrical systems are on year round.
Lone Eagle Campground will be closed to camping from September 15th to May 15th so that work can begin on our infrastructure improvement project which will make all 84 sites in Lone Eagle “full service” which means each site will have 50 amp electricity, water and sewer hookups.
We recently finished the installation of six new primitive restrooms scattered around Lake McConaughy. These new restrooms were built to begin complying with American’s with Disabilities Act and Department of Environmental Quality requirements. We currently have 53 primitive restrooms around the park of which 42 do not meet compliance.
A new fish cleaning station grinder was installed into Martin Bay late this summer after a large chain was dropped into the grinder which left it beyond repair. This grinder is a newer, larger model that NPGC is placing at many lakes around the state. It has performed excellent in its first months of use. The total cost to this repair and upgrade was around $8,000. We are planning on placing two more of these new units into other stations around the park this upcoming spring.
We are looking forward to a busy fall and winter season working to improve park infrastructure so that next year can be an even more enjoyable experience for our visitors.
The Lake McConaughy Visitor’s and Water Interpretive Center is open Monday to Saturday from 8:00 to 4:00 and closed on Sunday.
Fishing Report – Sept 8, 2014
Surface water temperature at the dam is 73° F. The lake elevation is 3237.5, which is 0.6 foot higher than last week and is 13.0 feet higher than the elevation last year on this date. This puts the reservoir 27.5 feet below normal full pool capacity. Inflow into Lake McConaughy is 1,873 cfs, similar to 1,792 cfs last week, with outflow at 783 cfs.
Fishing success for boat anglers remains focused primarily on the daytime bite for walleye trolling ‘crawler rigs’ or crankbaits with bottom bouncers in 30-40 feet of water along the south shoreline from the K1 cabin area west to Lakeview. A few anglers have begun to fish deep water along the north shoreline with jigging spoons or slabs. Surface activity for white bass remains inconsistent over scattered open water areas. A few 24-30 inch northern pike have been caught on crankbaits along the north shoreline in 5-15 feet of water. Some activity continues at night along the dam casting/trolling crankbaits or using live bait for wipers and walleye. The statewide daily bag limit for walleye is 4 fish with minimum size limit of 15 inches and no more than one fish over 22 inches. No more than one fish in combination over 16 inches is allowed for white bass, wiper or striped bass.
Channel catfish success from boat or bank has been good and is scattered over the entire reservoir. Fish up to 25 inches have been caught with anglers having the best success using crawlers, shad entrails, cut-bait or frozen shrimp. Additional ‘cats’ are taken while seeking walleye and white bass using crankbaits.
Usable concrete boat ramps for launching can be found at the Cedar Vue lakeside ramp, Lemoyne lakeside ramp, Martin Bay low-water ramp and Divers Bay. Boats can also be launched with four wheel drive vehicles from the beach at Lakeview and North Shore Lodge. Anglers and boaters also need to be aware of a new regulation that requires every vessel to drain all water from compartments, equipment or containers before leaving the launch area.
Surface water temperature is 68° F. Rainbow trout fishing success has been fair for both boat and bank anglers. Fish size ranges from 10-15 inches with some occasional larger fish up to 17 inches. Boat anglers are trolling or casting spinners or spoons primarily in the Keystone Pool area. Bank anglers are using worms, salmon eggs, dough baits or casting spinners, spoons or jigs. Fly fishermen have been using bead head nymph patterns, streamers or midge patterns. Anglers are reminded the daily bag limit for Lake Ogallala is 5 trout with no more than one over 16 inches.
Flow into the canal is currently 533 cfs, up slightly from last week’s 405 cfs flow. Angler pressure has been light and success for rainbow trout has been fair with an occasional larger fish up to 18 inches. The most popular technique has been drifting salmon eggs, crawlers or dough baits. The daily bag limit for the Keystone Canal is 5 trout with no size limit.
North Platte River below the Keystone Diversion Dam
Discharge from the Keystone Diversion Dam into the river is 250 cfs, up from 131 cfs last week. Success for rainbow trout up to 16 inches has been good with most anglers using worms, salmon eggs, dough baits or casting spinners or spoons. Fly fishermen have been some success with weighted nymph patterns, streamers or midge patterns. Again, anglers are reminded the daily bag limit in the North Platte River below the Diversion Dam is 5 trout with no more than one over 16 inches.
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Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area
1475 HW 61 N
Ogallala, NE 69153