February 13, 2013
Superintendent’s Note from Colby Johnson
Warmer weather has finally broke the cold snap that has sat on the Park for the last several weeks and visitors are beginning to exhibit signs of spring fever as they venture into the park for ice fishing, birding and hiking. Eagle Viewers and birders have had a respectable season down at Lake Ogallala and even up on the big lake. Eagles were very prevalent in the area once again this season and numbered as much as 300 at one point. Some of the eagles have vacated the area and more will likely leave the area in the coming weeks.
With the unseasonably cold weather causing a thick ice cap, ice anglers have ventured onto Lake Mac in search of walleye and northern pike. I recommend using extreme caution when out on Lake Mac or Lake Ogallala as the water fluctuations cause hazardous ice even at depths of 7-10 inches.
All modern campgrounds are open with electricity only with the modern facilities remaining closed until May. The Visitor/Water Interpretive Center is open from 8 to 4 pm and has had a few updates to the displays that are worth a look. CNPPID’s Eagle Viewing Center is still open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 2 pm.
Some anglers have been venturing into the cold weather to try some hard water fishing on Lake McConaughy. Light success on Northern Pike has been reported near the west end at Cedar Vue and Sand Point using tip ups. Anglers have also hit the east end at Martin Bay, Million Dollar Bay and around the Morning Glory and fish are being marked on the bottom anywhere from 30’ to 60’ but they are not in the mood to bite. Some groups have said that they have found moderate success on walleye using large flashing spoons with minnow heads.
Lake Ogallala has had both ice and open water fishing in the last month with scattered reports coming in. The handicap fishing corner at Lake Ogallala has remained open during most of the cold weather and anglers are having some luck either casting spinners or spoons and jigs with dough baits. Ice fisherman at the little lake are not seeing as much success as the open water fisherman. A few 8-9” Yellow Perch and some stocker trout at 9-11” have been caught on vertical jigs, Swedish pimples and spoons using waxworms and dough baits.
Visitor Center Hours:
The Lake McConaughy Visitor’s and Water Interpretive Center is now open Monday thru Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm and is closed on holidays. There is no fee to enter the Visitor’s and Water Interpretive Center.
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Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area
1475 HW 61 N
Ogallala, NE 69153