Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Surveys

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission have big designs to drastically alter the fish communities on Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.  The plan is to remove common carp, a nuisance species, from part or all of the refuge.  The approach:  1) mapping water movement on the refuge, 2) installing barriers to fish movement at strategic locations, 3) renovating lakes, beginning “upstream” and moving “downstream”, and 4) re-stocking sportfish into the renovated lakes.

It is anticipated that these management actions will alter catch rates of sportsfish and likely increase angler use of this refuge.  To document the degree that these management actions will alter catch rates and fishing pressure, we have begun an assessment of recreational use of this refuge.  Our first step is to gather baseline data for future comparisons.  Baseline data include fishing pressure and catch rates, as well as general information on use of this refuge for other outdoor recreational activities, especially activities that may compliment recreational fishing (e.g., hunting, wildlife watching, and hiking).