Oct 20, 2021 3:12 PM

Commission will consider Free-earned Landowner Elk Permit Program

Posted Oct 20, 2021 3:12 PM

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider amendments to wildlife regulations that would create a Free-earned Landowner Elk Permit Program at its Oct. 22 meeting in North Platte.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at Mid-Plains Community College North Campus, W.W. Woods Building, 1101 Halligan Drive.

If approved, a person who owns or leases at least 80 acres of farm- or ranchland for agricultural purposes would qualify for an either-sex elk permit following the verification of 10 general antlerless elk harvests; immediate family members would be eligible for the permit.

The Commission will consider the procedures and required documentation for the program.

The free-earned landowner elk permit was created during the 2021 Legislative Session. The goal is to increase hunting access opportunities and antlerless elk harvest, and to benefit landowners who regularly have elk on their property but can’t always draw a landowner permit.

Staff also will recommend the Commission approve an elk management plan, which describes the agency’s goal of managing elk at acceptable population levels while providing Nebraskans with quality hunting and viewing opportunities.

The Commission also will consider amending park regulations to increase the nonresident vehicle park entry permit fees to two times the resident vehicle park entry permits. Technical language regarding the resident disabled veteran park permit also would be updated.

In addition, the Commission will consider amendments to sport fishing orders regarding bag limits, possession limits, length limits and open areas as follows:

Black bass – A proposed change would expand the area where there is no minimum length limit on smallmouth bass to: the NPPD Canal starting at the Sutherland Reservoir outlet to the confluence with the South Platte River in Lincoln County, including Lake Maloney.

Bufflehead Wildlife Management Area and David City Ponds would be added to the list of waters where the minimum length limit on largemouth bass is 21 inches.

Striped bass, white bass and striped bass hybrid – Wagon Train Reservoir would be removed from the list of waters where the exception for bag limit is three fish in the daily bag.

Channel catfish – Box Butte Reservoir would be added to the list of waters where the exception for bag limit states it shall not include more than one fish 30 inches or greater in length.

Archery fishing – Technical language would be updated on Missouri River seasons and closed areas.

Lake McConaughy – It would be illegal to possess wipers on Lonergan Creek from its junction at the lakeshore of Lake McConaughy upstream to and including the culvert under Highway 92.

In other business, the Commission will consider:

• allowing hunting in some state parks and state historical parks;

• approving a permanent 100-foot-wide right-of-way easement to Cherry County for maintenance of a road at Cottonwood-Steverson Wildlife Management Area; and

• the proposed meeting schedule for 2022: January, Lincoln; March, Niobrara State Park; April, Ogallala; June, Lexington; August, Sidney; October, Broken Bow.

Staff also will report on an elk hunting season update, west-central Nebraska outreach efforts, an environmental report, and results of the Education Workgroup Community Survey.

A complete agenda is available at OutdoorNebraska.gov/commissioners.