Anglers can start planning fishing vacations and strategies with the “2023 Fishing Forecast” from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
With about 450 lakes and streams open to public fishing, deciding where to fish in Nebraska can sometimes be challenging.
The Game and Parks annual forecast can help find the perfect place to go. The forecast contains research statistics and graphs to explain sampling information for important sport fish species sampled across Nebraska from the previous year along with useful tips from our fisheries division staff.
If you’re looking for a specific fish to target or if you want to find the largest fish, the fishing forecast can help you plan future fishing trips.
Game and Parks biologists annually sample fish populations. Some of the largest bodies of waters are sampled every year, while other fisheries are sampled once every few years.
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Sampling gives the agency information needed to manage fish populations, but that information also is a good predictor of the fishing that can be expected in the coming year.
The “2023 Fishing Forecast” may be found at the Game and Parks web site, outdoornebraska.org/fishingforecast, at permitting offices, or wherever fishing permits are sold.
If you’re new to fishing, Game and Parks has a basic fishing guide available online, which covers everything you need to know to get started in the rewarding sport of angling.
Topics include fishing equipment and tackle, casting and knot tying techniques, tips for targeting species you can catch from shore, fish identification and fishing regulations. Whether you’re curious about how to tell the difference between a bluegill and a green sunfish, or you’re looking for a refresher on how to fish a Texas rig — this guide has the answers.
Visit the Game and Parks fishing page at outdoornebraska.gov/goingfishing to find guides, articles, videos, interactive maps showing where to fish in Nebraska and much more.
If you plan to fish, don’t forget to purchase a 2023 Nebraska fishing permit. Permits can be purchased at any Game and Parks office, outdoor vendors and are available online at the Commission’s web page.
Mobile permits can be bought through smartphones, which is a fast and convenient way to get a permit before you go.
Like a paper permit, mobile permits must be displayed on a smartphone upon request by a conservation officer.
Great backyard bird count
If you love birds or just want to get outside, consider joining the great backyard bird count from Friday to Monday. This bird count helps scientists better understand and protect birds all around the world. Participating is easy and fun to do and can be done anywhere you find birds.
First, decide where you will watch birds; this could be in your own backyard on a nature trail or park. Then watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days. Identify all the birds you see or hear within your planned time and location.
If you’re new to birding, try using the Merlin Bird ID app to tell what birds you’ve seen or heard. Then record the birds you found to the eBird Mobile app or enter your bird list on the eBird website via desktop or laptop.
For more information about the great backyard bird count and ways to learn about birding and how to upload your information, visit the GBBC web page at birdcount.org/participate.
Bird houses for spring and summer
Now is the time to think about attracting birds to your backyard with bird houses.
Bird houses provide several benefits in our yards. While most of the benefits are for the birds that use them by providing a safe nesting area to lay eggs and rear young birds in, there are other benefits of bird houses that might not be so obvious.
Bird houses keep birds protected from all types of weather and most predators; they create a small ecosystem in your yard and in turn the birds eat weed seeds and insects and pollinate some plants. Birdhouses make great projects for families to do together and add beauty to backyards.
Some birds prefer to build their own nests on tree branches, out in the open and even under the eaves of our homes.
There are many nest builders, such as American Robins, swallows, orioles, great horned owls, hawks and eagles. On the other hand, there are birds that may need a birdhouse.
Birdhouses are great for birds that build nests out of twigs, feathers, weeds, grasses and other materials the birds find outside, and they are great shelters for those types of birds who are not nest-builders.
These types of birds search out holes or cavities to burrow into. these cavity nesters use abandon holes in trees, hillside cliffs and birdhouses. Some cavity nesters include woodpeckers, chickadees, eastern bluebirds, nuthatches, wrens and some owls like barred and screech owls.
The great thing about incorporation bird houses into a landscape is that you get the benefits of housing birds, watching them rear their young and seeing them thrive in your own backyard. Whether you purchase or make your own birdhouses, the outcome is still the same.
If you take on the task of building birdhouses there are many plans on the internet. This is one web page that I found to be good for birdhouses and information on birds along with the species of birds you can attract to your backyard, visit 70birds.com/birdhouses.
Once the birds of summer are finished with the birdhouse, clean them out and put some fresh nesting material like pine shavings in the bottom of the house; the birds that do not migrate during the winter will love to have a warm shelter to use when the weather turns cold.
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