WATER SPORTS

WATER SPORTS

sandy shorelines, clean water and big sky

In Central Nebraska, the rivers run cool and clear.  Water bodies provide the excitement of fishing and recreation.  Valley County welcomes water sport enthusiasts whether they prefer the meandering simplicity of a clear stream or the excitement of reeling in the big catch.  You can view the serenity of the Sandhills from your own tube, tank or kayak along one of our three primary water trails.  Livestock feeding or watering tanks are outfitted with seats for riders, a great way to relax in the clear Nebraska air.

Davis Creek State Recreation Area  

Being described as Central Nebraska’s hidden gem means that you can have the pristine gorgeous 1,000 acres of water to yourself.  The ideal of a quiet prairie lake, you can enjoy the surroundings on one of the non-electrical RV or tent spots overnight or for a day trip at the picnic area.  The 2,000 acres of wildlife refuge ensure spotting of some fauna during your visit.  Sport fishing includes largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, yellow perch, channel cat and bullhead.

Water Trails: North Loup River, Calamus River, Cedar River

The North Loup, Calamus and Cedar rivers are part of the Loup river system, which contains 1,800 miles of streams.  The North Loup, fed from springs from the underground Ogallala Aquifer, maintains its flow throughout the year, including during the hot, dry summers.  The North Loup flows at a moderate pace along the fertile valley floor. Flanked by green rolling prairie, your view from the river offers a chance to see bald eagles, river otters, whitetail deer, beaver, woodchucks, least terns, piping plover, kingfishers and more.

Calamus Reservoir & State Recreation Area  

The state’s newest large reservoir and state rec area, Calamus offers 5,000 acres of water reservoir surrounded by white sand beaches.  Its name, taken from the calamus plant or “food of the muskrat,” clues you in to the breadth of wildlife using its shores for its home.  An outstanding collection of prairie animals including pheasant, deer, grouse, mourning doves, cottontail, waterfowl and a pair of bald eagles.  A primary draw for the reservoir is the sport fishing for a wide variety of species including walleye, white bass, wipers, channel cat, carp, drum and crappie.  Rainbow trout are stocked regularly in adjoining Gracie Creek Pond.  Calamus is also the area’s premier spot for camping, whether on one of the 122 hard-surface spots with electrical hook-ups or the numerous primitive sites available for those ready to rough it.

For those looking to view the origination of the stocked fish from Nebraska’s lakes and ponds, the Calamus Fish Hatchery at the base of the dam is a must-visit.  Opened in 1879, the hatchery is a great place to spend half the day feeding and learning about the variety of Nebraska’s fish breeds.  The Calamus Hatchery has two times the water of the other four Nebraska hatcheries combined.

Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area  

The area’s second-largest lake, Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area hosts a 2,845-acre lake and 4,721 land acres.  Drainage ways provide the lake with interesting bays and coves from which sport fisherman may catch walleye, crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike.  The lake also provides great opportunities for power boating.  For those looking to extend their trip to the area, the 360 non-paid, primitive sites welcome you home for a chance to get away from it all.  Additional recreational areas abound throughout the land acres.  The area provides a variety of terrain, leading its 10 hiking trails winding through both wooded areas and prairie.

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