Outdoor notes: Valentine’s Day at state parks; Light Goose Conservation Order

LINCOLN, Neb. – This Valentine’s Day, plan something truly memorable and enjoy a getaway at a Nebraska state park. Several parks will offer romantic meals, lodging specials, gift packages and much more.

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP) offers a 30 percent discount on lodging Feb. 10-14. Make a reservation and add a Valentine gift package that includes a single stem rose, glassware, sparkling juice, Nebraskaland items, chocolates and more. On Feb. 14 only, sign up for the couples’ painting class or enjoy couples’ ice skating at the outdoor pavilion.

Platte River SP will hold a Valentine’s dinner at Walter Scott Lodge Feb. 14-15 with entrees such as steak, chicken, shrimp and grilled walleye. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for both families and couples, and comfortable cabin lodging is available for an extended stay.

Enjoy gorgeous lakeside views, a 30 percent lodging discount and Valentine’s gift packages including flowers, sparkling juice, chocolates and other goodies at Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area Feb. 15-17.

The ever-popular Birds and Breakfast event at Ponca SP Feb. 15-16 features birding tours, a Saturday morning breakfast, complimentary wine or cider and other activities.

Find further details online at Outdoornebraska.org/parkevents. Some restrictions apply. Reservations can be made at Outdoornebraska.org or by calling 402-471-1414 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. A park permit is required for each vehicle entering a state park.

Light Goose Conservation Order begins Feb. 11

LINCOLN, Neb. – Efforts to control the light goose population continue with the Light Goose Conservation Order, which begins Feb. 11, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The dates for the conservation order are: East Zone, Feb. 11-April 15; Rainwater Basin Zone, Feb. 11-April 5 and West Zone, Feb. 11-April 5.

White and blue-phase snow geese and Ross’ geese may be taken statewide during the conservation order, but different regulations apply in each zone. Read the 2018 Nebraska Waterfowl Guide, which includes regulations for the 2019 conservation order, at

There is a considerable effort to reduce the mid-continent snow goose population because of the damage it has caused to sub-Arctic and Arctic habitats. States annually are allowed a given number of days for waterfowl hunting. The need for additional hunting, for population control, requires a special action, such as the conservation order. The use of methods to increase harvest has resulted in more than a million snow geese being harvested annually since 1998.

There are no bag or possession limits during the conservation order and hunters may shoot 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Hunters may use unplugged shotguns and electronic calls during the conservation action.

Permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.