Lake McConaughy prime destination for summer fun
Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area (SRA) is bracing for a special summer. It will be the first summer in more than a decade that Nebraska’s largest reservoir will be at full pool. There are plenty of ways to celebrate that fact – and it starts with camping, fishing and boating.
Lake McConaughy near Ogallala, Neb., is one of the state’s premier outdoor destinations. The long list of amenities and attractions make it a prime spot for a family summer vacation or a weekend getaway.
This summer the lake will be full for the first time in more than a decade, ending a long recovery from a drought. All the amenities are available now, and people are flocking to Lake McConaughy for water sports fun.
“Lake McConaughy SRA is a major destination for anyone looking for some of the finest water sports recreation in the state and some of the best walleye fishing in the country,” said Roger Kuhn, Parks Division administrator for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The refilling of the lake, from heavier flows in the North Platte River system, has covered vegetation that grew in exposed areas during the drought. Those trees and shrubs now are fish-attracting underwater habitat, ensuring great fishing for now and in the future. The lake has an abundant population of large walleye, and it is drawing anglers from all over the region. Lake McConaughy anglers also pursue white bass, wiper, channel catfish and smallmouth bass.
The additional acres of water mean more room for water fun such as boating, water skiing, sailing and personal watercraft.
All recreation areas at Lake McConaughy are accessible and amenities abound. It has three modern campgrounds, many primitive campsites and 13 boat ramps available. There are modern restrooms, coin-operated showers, dump stations, vault toilets, picnic tables, shelters, fish-cleaning stations and boat rentals.
Aside from the fun in the water, there are the Visitor/Water Interpretive Center and adjacent Lake Ogallala SRA, with its modern camping and red-hot trout fishery. For history buffs, Ash Hollow State Historical Park is just west of Lake McConaughy. The city of Ogallala plans to operate a free shuttle bus route from town to the lake on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.
For more information on Lake McConaughy SRA or Lake Ogallala SRA, call (308) 284-8800 or visit OutdoorNebraska.org.
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