Open Fields and Waters enrollment period ends June 14

Private landowners in Washington County — and across the state — can enroll their land into the Open Fields and Waters (OFW) Program until June 14.

Through the program, enrolling landowners can earn additional income for walk-in hunting, trapping and/or fishing access on their property, according to a recent Nebraska Game and Parks release. Interested property owners should call their nearest Game and Parks District office for more information or to enroll. The Lincoln office's phone number is 402-471-5561, while the Norfolk office can be contacted by dialing 402-370-3374.

The Commission's upland habitat and access manager, John Laux, said the OFW is a “win-win” for private landowners and hunters.

“Participating landowners benefit from the extra income and our hunters and anglers (who help fund the program) have more places to go,” Laux said in the release.

Participating landowners will receive annual, per-acre payments and will be afforded protection from liability under the Nebraska Recreation Liability Act. Property owners can expect rates between 50 cents and $15 per acre, depending on the area's habitat type and location.

The OFW Program is a part of the Game and Park's Berggren Plan, which is a five-year initiative aimed at improving pheasant hunting in Nebraska. In 2018, 700 landowners opened up 316,000 acres to hunting and fishing through the OFW.

Commission releases June calendar

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recently released its June calendar. Here's a brief list of some notable dates:

June 1 — DeSoto Bend Bow Fishing Mentor Program, DeSoto and Boyer Chute national wildlife refuges

June 1-2 — Living History, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (SHP), Fort Calhoun

June 1-30 — Archery paddlefish season

June 5 — Community Fishing Night, Benson Lake, Omaha

June 10-28 — Residents and nonresidents may apply for one deer permit in any draw unit

June 10-28 — Residents may apply for one elk permit

June 10-28 — Residents and eligible landowners may apply for one buck or either-sex antelope permit in available units.

June 11 — Community Fishing Night, Walnut Creek Lake, Papillion

June 26 — Community Fishing Night, Prairie Queen Lake, Papillion

June 27 — Community Fishing Night, Kramer Lake, Bellevue

June 27 — Discover Fly Fishing, Kramer Lake, Bellevue

— Staff reports

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