Outdoor Report

April 12, 2024
The spring walleye spawn is underway, and Lake McConaughy is 6.6 feet higher than last year at this time.
OUTDOOR REPORT: The surface water temperature at the dam was 42° earlier this week. Anglers fishing the dam are reminded that from sunset to sunrise, April 1 to 30, any boat within 30 yards of Kingsley Dam must travel in a south-to-north (counter-clockwise) direction. Also, all boats are prohibited within 200 feet of the Kingsley Dam outlet and morning glory structures. 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.
LAKE MAC: Martin Bay (South), Martin Bay (Low Water), Divers Bay/Burma Road, Spillway, Lemoyne (Low Water),
LAKE OGALLALA: Lake Og Fishing Dock, Lake Og South, Lake Og North
WATER LEVEL: The water level is currently at 3,237.9 ft elevation or 1,040,800ac-ft (59.7% capacity). Water level information is updated at https://cnppid.com/lake-river-data

No reservations are required for camping at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Rec Areas outside of peak season (May 20 – Sept. 10).  Camping fees may be paid at the Visitors Center or at the self-pay stations. There are also lots of opportunities to stay at a hotel, cabin, or private campground – check www.ilovelakemac.com for listings!

WEATHER here can CHANGE VERY QUICKLY. Anyone may sign up for local alerts with Regroup, a FREE emergency notification service: https://embeds.regroupcloud.com/orgs/keithcountyne/signup_embed

A REMINDER:  If you have the need for law enforcement while at the lake, please call North Platte State Patrol Dispatch at 308-535-8047 or 911 for emergencies. The local Game and Parks number is 308-284-8800.

Be aware that Martin Bay and Arthur Bay are no-wake bays year round.
Remember to purchase your required vehicle entry permit and fishing permit ahead of time online at www.OutdoorNebraska.gov or via a local permit vendor to avoid lines. Non-Nebraska registered motorized boats are required to have an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) sticker, which can be purchased in advance as well.

Seasonal Fishing Overview :  With over 55 square miles of water (at full pool) and over 70 miles of shoreline, Lake McConaughy is Nebraska’s largest reservoir and a popular year-round fishing and outdoor recreation destination.

Spring: The walleye spawn at Lake McConaughy begins around the middle of April, and continues through the first part of May. From the middle of May to the Fourth of July, anglers target walleye and wipers using live bait or casting jigs to the shoreline.

Summer: Success with white bass, and small and large mouth bass can generally be found from May through the end of August casting jigs or lures to rocky points.  Walleye and wipers are targeted through August trolling lures and spinner baits.  Walleye and wipers are usually found off the face of Kingsley Dam or in bays off rocky points, although walleye are caught throughout the lake.  Yellow perch can be caught all summer throughout the lake.  Northern pike may sometimes be found at the west end of the lake casting lures and spinner baits. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and tiger trout can be caught in Lake Ogallala all summer, as well as in the river and supply canal. Anglers find success casting off boats or the shore as well as trolling.

Fall:  From Labor Day weekend through Thanksgiving, anglers slab for walleye and white bass on Lake McConaughy.   Catfish can be caught year-round, especially at the west end of the lake.

Winter:   Before the bays are iced in, success can still be found slabbing for walleye by Martin Bay or near Lemoyne.  Catfish can be caught year-round, especially at the west end of the lake. Trout can be caught from open water on Lake Ogallala all winter.  Anglers generally have success with fly-fishing small nymph patterns, as well as nightcrawlers and eggs on spinning tackle.

PLEASE BRING PFDs for the whole family and make sure everyone wears them. Life jackets save lives! PFDs are available for check-out free of charge at the visitor center.

• NEBRASKA STATE PARK ENTRY PERMITS are required for all vehicles. These are needed in addition to camping reservations. Save time by buying vehicle and fishing permits online in advance at https://OutdoorNebraska.gov.

•The possession and consumption of ALCOHOL IS PROHIBITED at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas.
• ATVs and UTVs are prohibited at the recreation areas.
• ALL PETS must be on a 6-foot leash at all times.
• BE AWARE that you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle in order to drive on the beach. Roads are not improved once you get off Shoreline Road.
• NO GLASS on the beach. PACK OUT everything you bring with you and leave only your footprints, please. Recycling locations: Lake McConaughy Visitor Center, Lemoyne Senior Center, Van’s Lakeview, Martin Bay, Sandy Beach, Lake Ogallala, Lone Eagle Campground, Little Thunder Campground, Eagle Canyon Campground.


Calendar of Events

8:00 pm Live Music at the Driftwood – Ty...
Live Music at the Driftwood – Ty...
Apr 26 @ 8:00 pm
Tyler Anthony will perform live at the Driftwood in Ogallala Friday, April 26 beginning at 8 p.m.  No cover charge. Full of gritty Southern Rock flare, Anthony’s influences include the Outlaw Country pioneers like Johnny[...]
9:00 pm Live Music at the Driftwood – So...
Live Music at the Driftwood – So...
May 3 @ 9:00 pm
Southern Fryed returns to perform live at the Driftwood in Ogallala Friday, May 3 beginning at 9 p.m.  $10 cover charge. Known as one of the Rocky Mountain region’s hottest country acts, Southrn Fried brings[...]
all-day Catfish Classic
Catfish Classic
May 11 all-day
Come fish the annual Catfish Classic tournament May 11 at Lake McConaughy!  Call Chad Vogl at 308-355-2321 for more info.