PERU – Skilled leadership and 50 years of planning were credited at Saturday’s grand opening of the Duck Creek Recreation Area.
State Sen. Dan Watermeier told an audience of over 200 attending that the cooperation from landowners was helpful, but there were still scores of obstacles for the Nemaha Natural Resources District managers to overcome.
Watermeier: “You have to be relentless and it shows up now with a beautiful project like this, so thank you Bob Hilske.”
Hilske said planning for the watershed project dates back half a century, but official drawings to construct the dam were not completed until 2004.
He said anticipation of moments like the grand opening kept him going.
The NRD has set a new record for its season passes this spring. Two weeks in, Hilske said, and we already surpassed more than we’ve sold.
He credited conservation work on nearby farms and trees in riparian forest along Duck Creek for notable water quality.
Hilske: “What we’re surprised with and happy with is the water quality of this particular lake, the clarity is beyond anything in southeast Nebraska.”
Representatives of the NRCS and Nebraska Game and Parks also spoke, as well as Dan Hodges of the NRD and Bryan Mellage of the Nemaha County Board.
Duck Creek is one of 900 watershed dams in Nebraska, but Mark Porath of Game and Parks said it stands out because of the excellent fisheries.