Harlan County Lake project to remove sediments, invasive species

By: - January 29, 2024 11:16 am

A blue heron stands near the edge of a lake. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

ALMA, Nebraska — Work is underway on a $9.25 million project to improve fishing and aquatic habitat on the state’s second largest lake.

Construction began last month at the 13,000-acre Harlan County Lake to remove sediments that blocked access to the popular Methodist Cove near Alma and create spawning and overwintering areas for fish.

Removal of invasive species, including salt cedar, is also part of the work, a joint project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Other work, according to a press release from the Corps, includes excavation and dredging to create fish passage and spawning areas, installation of breakwaters and rock groins to control erosion and deposits of sediment and the installation of artificial structures and vegetation to improve aquatic habitat.

Cedar trees removed during the project will be used to create fish habitat within Methodist Bay.

Construction work is scheduled to continue through 2024 and into early 2025. Access to Methodist Cove and surrounding public lands may be restricted.


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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.