Fish Sampling Program - Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
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Fish Sampling Program


Statewide Results:

With about 450 lakes and streams open to public fishing, deciding where to fish is one challenge for Nebraska anglers. Graphs and text are provided to explain sampling information for important sport fish species sampled across Nebraska from the previous year. Fishing forecasts are provided for regions of the state, as well as for individual species.

Here's a good article on why we survey fishing areas:

Anchored in science, fish surveys are an
invaluable part of fisheries management and provide both short- and long-term estimates regarding the health of a water body.

Download 2010- 2014 Lake Sampling Documents Below

requires Adobe Acrobat for viewing

Download Area Lake Maps

2014 Sampling Reports

Omaha Metro | Salt Valley | Sherman Reservoir | Harlan | Calamus
Lewis and Clark | Sandhills Lakes | Sutherland | Lake Maloney | Jeffrey
| Elwood | I-80 Lakes (Lincoln & Dawson Counties)
I80 Lakes Grand Island to Elm Creek | Valentine National Wildlife Refuge | Red Willow | Swanson | Medicine Creek | Enders | Merritt Fall Survey | Davis Creek | Westsandhills Lakes | NW Irrigation Reservoir

2013 Sampling Reports

Irrigation Reservoirs | Sandhills Lakes | Merritt Creel |Merritt Fall Survey |Omaha Metro Forecast | Salt Valley Fishing Forecast |Sherman Creel |Sherman Reservoir | Lincoln and Dawson County I-80 Lakes|I-80 Lakes Grand Island to Elm Creek| Lake Maloney | Davis Creek | Elwood Survey |Harlan Creel S |Harlan Fish Population | Jeffrey | Johnson | Sutherland | Calamus web data and creel |NE Flood Control Report | Swansons | Enders | Medicine Creek | Red Willow | McConaughy |Fremont | Lewis and Clark

2012 Sampling Reports

Harlan | Harlan Creel | Sherman Creel | Sherman Reservoir | Merritt Creel | Merritt Fall Survey | Omaha Metro Forecast | Salt Valley Fishing Forecast | I-80 Grand Island to Elm Creek | Jeffrey | Johnson | Maloney | Sutherland |Elwood | I-80 Survey Summary | Enders | Medicine Creek | Swanson |Northeast Flood Control Reservoir Report | NW Irrigation Reservoirs | West Sandhills Lakes | East Sandhills Lakes | Box Butte Reservoir Creel | Davis Creek Summary | Calamus Creel

2011 Sampling Reports

I80 West| I80 East | Jeffrey | Maloney | Sutherland | Davis Creek | Sherman Creel | Sherman | Harlan Creel | Harlan | Medicine Creek | Canyon Reservoir | Elwood | Johnson | Johnson Lake Creel | Enders | Swanson | Merritt Creel | Merritt | Minatare |Box Butte | Box Butte Creel | Sandhills Lakes | Calamus Creel |

2010 Sampling Reports

Davis Creek | Elwood | Harlan | Harlan Creel
I80 Lakes E. of Gothenburg
| Johnson | Sherman
Box Butte
| Merritt Creel | Merritt | Minatare | Willow Creek |
Sutherland | Jeffrey | Medicine Creek | Enders |
I-80 Lakes West of Gothenburg
|Red Willow | Maloney |Swanson Reservoir

Previous Years Sampling 2008 and 2009 Lake Sampling

For more information about Nebraska's fish sampling program, please contact one of the Game and Parks Commission District Offices in your area:

Northwest Nebraska: Alliance District Office, 308 763-2940
Northcentral Nebraska: Basset District Office, 402 684-2921
Northeast Nebraska: Norfolk District Office, 402 370-3374
Southwest Nebraska: North Platte District Office, 308 535-8025
Southcentral Nebraska: Kearney District Office, 308 865-5310
Southeast Nebraska: Lincoln District Office, 402 471-7647

If you don't find your favorite fishing hole in the graphs, it's not because it doesn't hold any fish. Not every lake is sampled every year. And whether a lakes show high densities of fish or not, it's still up to the angler to be in the right place at the right time and use the right techniques to catch fish. Fisheries biologists use a variety of methods to sample fish populations across Nebraska, including electrofishing for largemouth bass, trap nets for bluegill and crappie, and gill nets for walleye, white bass, and channel catfish.

Fish populations are sampled at most major reservoirs every year, while smaller waters are sampled less often. Results are provided on this web site so that anglers can compare lakes statewide, and determine trends at specific sites. Graphs are used to display fish sampling information,and show total catch rates divided by different length categories. The statewide graphs show information for major fish species at waters sampled the previous year. Graphs for individual waters show trend information for species at that lake over the past 5 to 10 years. Sampling can be influenced by a variety of factors, most notable weather. However, the sampling results provide anglers with at least a ballpark idea of fish abundance and sizes at various locations. If you don't find your favorite fishing hole in these graphs, it's because not every lake is sampled each year. Also, even if a lake shows high densities of fish or not, it's still up to the angler to be in the right place at the right time and use the right techniques to catch fish.

Individual Waters:
Fish populations from some lakes and reservoirs are sampled annually or on a regular basis. Results from these waters allow anglers to review trends in the fish populations over time. These graphs and text show results for major fish species in individual waters for the past 5 to 10 years. Again, text is provided to explain the graphs and provide fishing forecasts.


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