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Aquatic Habitat and Boating Access project to begin at Standing Bear Reservoir

Standing Bear Lake is being drawn down in preparation for a much-anticipated Aquatic Habitat and Boating Access project.

The water level will be lowered about 20 feet in the 135-acre northwest Omaha lake so work can start in early spring of 2023. Visitors can expect the boat ramp and part of the northeast access area to be closed once construction starts.

The project will focus on improvements to the boat ramp on the south side of the lake and angler access on the north side.

The boat ramp will be upgraded to a double ramp with two separate docks. The ramp will be protected from wind and wave action with an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible jetty.

A separate kayak launch will be developed to help relieve congestion at the boat ramp.

Angler access to the north shore will be improved with a series of “bump outs” and a wooden pier. The main lake basin will be enhanced with underwater rock shoals, rock vegetation barriers and weighted cedar trees enhancing the diversity of habitat conditions for sport fish.

Information is displayed on billboards at several locations around the reservoir depicting the improvements and trail closures. Construction is expected to be completed by early fall.

Chemical renovation of the remaining fish will be conducted with Rotenone in the spring and stocking of largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie and channel catfish will start after water levels start to improve. 

During the drawdown this winter, ice fishing is strongly discouraged as water levels will continue to drop, making ice conditions unpredictable.

The floating trail will be closed for safety concerns until the project is completed and water levels return to normal.  Water levels are expected to remain low through the fall of 2023 as refilling is dependent on rainfall. 

This is a cooperative project by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, City of Omaha Park and Recreation Department, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Funding is provided by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Aquatic Habitat and Angler Access Fund and Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration. Questions can be directed to

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