Regional Reports-Midwest

Lake Ogallala

Fat, sleek rainbows and husky browns are back in impressive numbers in Nebraska's Lake Ogallala, a 590-acre impoundment located just below Kingsley Dam and Lake McConaughy. Lake Ogallala suffered a decline in its fish population in the 1980s and '90s, mostly due to overpopulation. In October 1997 the lake was renovated using some six tons of rotenone-a chemical that kills gill-breathing fish. Once the competition for food was gone, the lake was stocked with rainbows and browns averaging about three-quarters of a pound, and the trout have grown fast. "By late 1999 the largest rainbow we checked weighed 5.5 pounds and the largest brown had already reached a hefty 6.3 pounds," says Monte Madsen, district fisheries supervisor for the Game and Parks Commission at North Platte. Lake Ogallala is stocked with 10,000 rainbows monthly from April through July and 10,000 in September and October. A total of 20,000 browns are stocked each year-10,000 each spring and fall. The combined daily trout limit on the lake is four, with a possession limit of eight. There is no size limit on the rainbows, but browns must be at least 20 inches in length. Contact: Nebraska Game and Parks Comission, Wildlife Division (402-471-0641).