Platte River Proposal Threatens Kansas Lakes And Rivers

 

Platte River Proposal Threatens Kansas Lakes And Rivers

TOPEKA – To meet Nebraska’s legal obligation to increase the flow of the Republican River into Kansas, the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District has proposed creating a connection in Nebraska between the Platte River Basin and the Republican River Basin. After entering northcentral Kansas, the Republican River feeds into Lovewell Reservoir and Milford Reservoir before joining the Kansas River near Junction City. The Republican River also connects with several other waterways in northcentral Kansas.

The State of Kansas opposes this project because invasive Asian Carp and White Perch in the Platte River could enter the Republican River (along with other nuisance species) if the two rivers are connected. As a result, the project could severely impact Kansas’ sportfish and native aquatic species, water-based recreation, tourism and the state’s fishing economy. There is no evidence that those two species currently live in the Republican River.

Asian Carp can grow to more than 40 inches long and weigh more than 50 pounds. One Asian Carp species, the Silver Carp, is known to leap up to 10 feet in the air when boats or personal watercraft pass over. They pose a risk of serious injury to boaters and skiers who may find themselves surrounded by dozens of large, heavy fish leaping wildly from the water. Asian Carp and White Perch also compete with sportfish, so Kansas’ $210,000,000 recreational fishing industry would be at risk from declines of sportfish such as bass, crappie and walleye. Asian Carp are filter-feeders that compete with other fish for food and space. They are prolific breeders, grow fast and can quickly become the predominate fish species in a lake or river. In other states, some lakes with Asian Carp have experienced sportfish population declines of more than 80 percent with corresponding damage to their fishing and tourism economies.

White Perch are native to the east coast of the United States, and they can produce overpopulated, stunted populations in reservoirs. Stunted White Perch are too small to be sought after by anglers and can be so numerous that they can clog cities’ water intakes if there is a die-off. In addition, these fish eagerly eat the eggs of other fish species.

Changes to the Republican River could also impact critical habitat for the Shoal Chub and Plains Minnow which are threatened species in Kansas. Both species release their eggs into flowing water where they would be susceptible to being eaten by White Perch.

To comment on this proposed project, submit written comments to: Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 94676, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4676. Your written comments must be received by 5 p.m. August 16, 2018. Be sure to include:

1) The application number about which you are commenting (A-19594)

2) An indication that your comment is offered under Option 1 (written comment)

3) Your name, address, and contact information

4) Your written comments

For complete information on submitting your comments, see A-19594 NOTICE.pdf at:

https://dnr.nebraska.gov/notice-interbasin-transfer-application-19594

Rogue Outdoorsman

My name is David Briggs. I am a 10th generation Sportsman and Naturalist. I created this website to provide accurate news and information to serve the outdoor sporting community. I never quite fully committed to any one outdoor sport. I did it all. I wanted to try everything. It made me a pretty well rounded sportsman. I chose to make my contribution to my family's tradition by creating an easy to use website to read about outdoor sports and wildlife news around the country. My goal is to create a place where readers can gain insight on the best practices and results discussed in our articles. Our family's tradition of caring for the land encouraged my ancestors to fan out across the country to find their idea of heaven on earth. I found myself settled in the Rogue Valley. I love to spend my free time exploring the forest and trying out new sporting activities. We provide news and information free of political statements. Our one hard and fast rule is politics free reporting. We present a story with multiple views and encourage our readers to form an educated opinion based on thoroughly researched supporting information.

error: Content is protected !!