Flood Control & Recreation

Aowa Creek Flood Control Project

The Aowa Creek federal PL-566 Watershed project was initiated by Dixon County authorities and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) sponsorship of the project was later transferred to the Lewis and Clark NRD. The primary purpose is flood protection for the communities of Newcastle and Ponca, and the rural residents of the Aowa Creek watershed and its tributaries. Secondary benefits include erosion control, sediment retention, wildlife habitat, and recreation.

 

At the time of project consideration in 1969, there were 230 family farms in the watershed with an average farm size of 240 acres. 50 grade stabilization and flood control dams were completed protecting approximately 55,000 acres. Of the 50 structures; 10 are flood retarding structures and 40 are grade stabilization structures. Two of the 50 structures are managed as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and are open to public use; Buckskin Hills and Powder Creek.


Flood Prevention & Control

LCNRD has cooperated with various entities to construct flood control structures which protect the lives and properties of local residents and communities. 

 

The Lewis & Clark NRD has provided assistance to county governments to finance road structures and replace bridges with flood control dams. The Aowa Creek federal PL-566 Watershed project in Dixon County was completed with 50 grade stabilization and flood control dams. The project protects 55,000 acres and the communities of Newcastle and Ponca.

 

The Nebraska Natural Resources Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other partners assisted with funding and technical support for the construction of Buckskin Hills Lake (1980), Chalkrock Lake (1986), and Powder Creek Lake (2003). These structures located in Cedar and Dixon Counties not only provide flood control but also public recreation opportunities. These facilities are managed with Nebraska Game and Parks as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

 

Recreation

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission rules and regulation for hunting and fishing apply at all three WMAs. Boats are restricted to 5pmh (no wake). For more information about public access at LCNRD WMAs and other public access areas in Nebraska visit the Nebraska Game and Parks Website.


Chalkrock Wildlife Management Area

Chalkrock Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a 130-acre wildlife area with a 44-acre lake located near Menominee in Northern Cedar County. The lake was constructed in 1986 by JP Theisen and Sons, Osmond, NE as a flood and erosion control structure. The dam drains 11,500 acres, is 61 feet high, and has a flood storage capacity of 181 acre-feet above normal pool level. 

 

Photo of Landowners of Chalkrock.

Touring the newly completed Chalkrock Lake (1986) are the landowners (left to right: Virgil Schmidt, Harold Schaefer, John Mueller, Vern Zavadil-Perterson, and Stanley Schmidt) who donated land for its development.

 

Construction of Chalkrock Dam was made possible by landowners who donated property for development of the area. Stanley Schmidt, John Mueller, Vern Zavadil and Harold Schaefer (see photo above) donated ground for development of Chalkrock. The Lewis & Clark NRD sponsored the project along with the Cedar County Commissioners who provided funding for 25% of the cost. Grants from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Resources Development Fund provided funds for 75% of the project. Total project cost was $503,438. Annual benefits to protected county roads, farmland, and public use are approximately $14,400 per year.

 

The project was designed and engineered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It is operated and maintained by the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission as a Wildlife Management Area. The Chalkrock WMA is open to boating, hunting, and fishing. Hunting game includes deer, pheasants, and waterfowl. Fish stocked include Largemouth Bass, Bluegill and Channel Catfish. 

 

Chalkrock WMA is located 1 ½ miles east of Highway 81 on 895 Road https://www.nrdnet.org/rec-area/chalkrock-wma

 

Chalkrock WMA.


Buckskin Hills Wildlife Management Area

The Lewis & Clark NRD sponsored construction of Buckskin Hills in 1980 as an erosion and flood control structure for the Aowa Creek Watershed Project.

 

The project was designed and engineered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It is operated and maintained by the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission as a Wildlife Management Area.

 

Buckskin Hills includes 340 acres of public use land. The dam is 57 feet high with a 75-acre lake. The lake is stocked with Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Black Crappie, and Walleye. For the hunter there is excellent habitat with pheasants, quail, deer, waterfowl and dove. Other amenities include a boat ramp and ample areas for hiking around the lake.

 

bathymetric survey, which represents the current contours of the lake may help  fishermen determine the best places for fishing success. The survey was conducted with funding from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ).

 

Buckskin Hills is located 2 miles west and 2 miles south of Newcastle, NE. https://www.nrdnet.org/rec-area/buckskin-hills-wma

Brown wooden sign for Buckskin Hills WMA.


Powder Creek Wildlife Management Area

The Lewis & Clark NRD sponsored construction of Powder Creek in 2003 as an erosion and flood control structure for the Aowa Creek Watershed Project. The Wildlife Management Area (WMA) covers 467 acres including a 107 acre lake.

 

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission manage Powder Creek as a Wildlife Management Area. There are primitive camping sites and public restrooms on site. A boat dock makes this lake good for fishing.

 

The lake has been stocked with Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Black Crappie, and Flathead Catfish. Hunting opportunities include pheasant quail, deer, waterfowl and dove.

 

bathymetric survey, which represents the current contours of the lake may help  fishermen determine the best places for fishing success. The survey was conducted with funding from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ).

 

Powder Creek Lake is located 2 miles east of Newcastle on Highway 12 and 2 1/2 miles south on 585 Avenue. The address is 88082 585 Road, Ponca NE  68770. https://www.nrdnet.org/rec-area/powder-creek-wma

 

Picture of Powder Creek Wildlife Management Area


Missouri River Programs

The Lewis and Clark NRD borders Lewis and Clark Lake and the Missouri River. The LCNRD recognizes this unique natural feature and its value as a resource to the region. The Missouri River provides habitat for fish and wildlife, recreation opportunities, and it is a source of drinking water for local residents. Conservation and protection of this natural resource is essential to maintaining a healthy environment along the northern corridor of the district.

 

Missouri National Recreational River

The Missouri National Recreational River is managed as a National Park by the National Park Service in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers. Two free flowing stretches of the Missouri make up the National Park including the lower 59 mile stretch from Gavins Point Dam to Ponca, NE which runs along the northern border of LCNRD. LCNRD has been active in providing input on management decisions and strives to collaborate on issues affecting local landowners’ ability to project their property. The Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail is a boating trail that is sponsored by the LCNRD.


Section 32 Bank Protection

The Section 32 Bank Protection Projects were built in the late 1970’s under NRD sponsorship on 5 sites along the Nebraska side of the Missouri River. The Lewis & Clark NRD acquired easements for the demonstration projects. LCNRD continues to assist US Army Corps of Engineers on maintenance activities to reduce riverbank erosion losses.


Meridian trail

The Meridian Trail is a 1.2 mile walking and biking trail project that follows the scenic Missouri River along highway 121 near Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska side of the river. The LCNRD has acted as sponsor to construct the trail in cooperation with Cedar County and the City of Yankton. The trail runs from the east of Gavins Point Dam on the north side of Hwy 121 to Murdo’s Restaurant in Aten, NE  and is open to foot and bike traffic.


Corps of Discovery Welcome Center

The Corps of Discovery Welcome Center (CDWC) provides regional information to visitors of Northeast Nebraska and Southeast South Dakota. LCNRD in cooperation with Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) sponsors CDWC and continues to monitor operation of the facility. The CDWC is located on Highway 81 2 miles south of Yankton, SD.

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