Outdoor notes: Registration open for Indian Cave’s Mushroom Run; Science workshop set for April 20

Outdoor notes: Registration open for Indian Cave’s Mushroom Run; Science workshop set for April 20
World-Herald News Service

LINCOLN, Neb. – Registration is open for runners to enter the Mushroom Run at Indian Cave State Park. The run will be held in conjunction with the park’s annual Outdoor Adventure on April 27.

The run includes the Morel Mile and 5-kilometer races. Each begins at 8 a.m. The $20 entry fee includes a T-shirt and biscuits and gravy breakfast. Register at outdoornebraska.org.

Other family events for the Outdoor Adventure include a mushroom hunt contest, fish fry, musical entertainment, hayrack rides, raptor exhibit, half-price youth lifetime permit drawing, and demonstrations of Dutch oven cooking.

Indian Cave is located 7 miles northeast of Shubert in southeastern Nebraska. A park entry permit is required of each vehicle entering the park.


Salamander citizen science workshop set for April 20 at Indian Cave State Park

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and University of Nebraska-Lincoln invite the public to attend a Salamander Search Citizen Science Workshop on April 20 at Indian Cave State Park.

UNL herpetologist Dennis Ferraro will give a presentation on finding, identifying and recording salamander sightings and contributing that information to this citizen science project. At sunset, participants will join Ferraro and Game and Parks staff to survey for salamanders throughout the park.

The free event begins with a potluck dinner at 5 p.m. Participants are encouraged bring a side dish or dessert to share.

A park entry permit is required. Contact Alie Mayes at alie.mayes@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5631 for more information on the workshop.


Bighorn sheep lottery applications begin April 15

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will accept applications for a 2019 bighorn sheep lottery permit beginning April 15.

The application period ends Aug. 2, and the permit will be drawn Aug. 28. A $29 nonrefundable application fee must accompany each application. Only Nebraska residents are eligible for the lottery.

Apply at a Nebraska Game and Parks office or at OutdoorNebraska.org. The 2019 bighorn sheep season is Dec. 3-22.


Public meeting March 20 to discuss plan for Goat Island

LINCOLN, Neb. – A public meeting regarding future uses of Goat Island, located within the boundary of the Missouri National Recreational River near Vermillion, S.D., will be hosted by the National Park Service on March 20.

The open house meeting will be held at the W. H. Over Museum, 1110 N. University St., Vermillion, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The meeting is an opportunity for the public to learn about and provide comments on a proposed Management Plan and Environmental Assessment for Goat Island (also known as Jake’s Island). The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has been involved in development of that draft plan.

People who cannot attend the meeting can review the documents and provide comments through April 10, 2019, at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/goatislandplan.

Outdoor recreational activities evaluated and considered as alternatives in the plan include, but are not limited to, hunting, fishing, trapping, kayaking and primitive camping.

Commissioners approve waterfowl season recommendations

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission approved 2019 waterfowl hunting season recommendations at its March 15 meeting in Nebraska City.

The approved recommendations moved the early teal season approximately one week later than in 2018 to accommodate weekend days. All other waterfowl season recommendations included only calendar date adjustments.

The 2019 waterfowl seasons are:

Early Teal – Low Plains: Sept. 7-22; High Plains: Sept. 7-15; Daily bag limit: six; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Youth Waterfowl – Zone 1: Oct. 5-6; Zone 2: Sept. 28-29; Zone 3: Oct. 19-20; Zone 4: Sept. 28-29; Daily bag and possession limits same as regular duck season

Duck and Coot – Zone 1: Oct. 12-Dec. 24; Zone 2: Oct. 5-Dec. 17 and Jan. 6-27; Zone 3: Oct. 24-Jan. 5 and Jan. 6-27; Zone 4: Oct. 5-Dec. 17; Daily bag limit: six (with restrictions); Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Dark Goose – East Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Niobrara Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; North Central Unit: Oct. 5-Jan. 17; Panhandle Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Platte River Unit: Oct. 28-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: five; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

White-fronted Goose – Statewide: Oct. 5-Dec. 8 and Jan. 18-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: two; Possession limit: Three times the daily bag limit

Light Goose Regular Season – Statewide: Oct. 5-Dec. 25 and Jan. 18-Feb. 9; Daily bag limit: 50; Possession limit: none

Light Goose Conservation Order – East Zone: Feb. 10-April 15; West Zone: Feb. 10-April 5; Rainwater Basin Zone: Feb. 10-April 5; Daily bag and possession limits: none

Crow – Statewide: Oct. 15-Dec. 15 and Jan. 13-March 14

Falconry – Concurrent with teal, youth and regular duck season dates, plus, Zone 1: Feb. 25-March 10; Zone 2: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 3: Low Plains: Feb. 25-March 10; High Plains: Concurrent with all duck season dates in High Plains Zone; Zone 4: Feb. 25-March 10

A public hearing was held for input regarding the listing and delisting of state threatened and endangered species in the Commission’s District 1, which is southeast Nebraska. Staff made a presentation on the North American river otter, which is proposed to be removed from threatened status in the state, and the timber rattlesnake, which is proposed to gain threatened status. Also highlighted were the flathead chub and the plains minnow, which are proposed for threatened status, and the sicklefin chub and Western silvery minnow, which are proposed for endangered status.

The commissioners also approved recommendations to:

— increase the Cash Change Fund at Victoria Springs State Recreation Area (SRA) and Schramm Park SRA, and to eliminate the Cash Change Fund at Lake Wanahoo

— remove wildlife management area designations at Upper Brownville Bend, Hamburg Bend, Kansas Bend, William Gilmour, and Langdon Bend effective Oct. 1, 2019

— clarify wildlife regulations to allow late-season doe/fawn antelope hunters the ability to legally carry a centerfire rifle or handgun while hunting, and to clarify the process for landowners to obtain a damage control permit for deer, antelope, elk or game birds

— amend orders to change to the woodcock hunting season to the Saturday closest to Oct. 5 through the Monday closest to Nov. 18 to better align the season with the species’ peak migration

— move mountain (bighorn) sheep open seasons, permits authorized, bag limit, shooting hours and areas open from wildlife regulations to orders

The commissioners heard several staff reports, including a big game review of 2018 and preview of 2019. Another presentation included update on the state’s Berggren Plan for Pheasants and a review of the first season of the Nebraska Upland Slam. Another report presented the various wildlife, fisheries and state park area opportunities in District 1.

Staff from Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc., of Louisville, Nebraska, displayed a woodchuck as an example of wildlife the organization rescues.

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