Wildlife Week 2017: Rivers of Nebraska

Nebraska rivers are lifelines for people, fish and wildlife.

They supply drinking water to much of our state’s population, and carry away the runoff from parking lots, streets and yards, along with treated waste from our sewers.

Tens of thousands of people canoe, kayak, tube or tank the Niobrara and other Nebraska rivers.

Catfish (Nebraska’s state fish), bluegill, bass, walleye and trout depend on our rivers. Smaller fish like the pearl dace and plains topminnow depend on those waters as well.

Sandhill cranes, ducks, geese, Whooping cranes, and other birds use the Platte and other Nebraska rivers as they migrate through our state twice a year. Piping plovers and Interior least terns nest on the sandbars in some of Nebraska’s rivers, and Bald eagles congregate near the Missouri and other Nebraska rivers when cold winters have frozen lakes and rivers further north.

River otters patrol many of Nebraska’s rivers, thanks to a Game & Parks reintroduction effort. Turtles and frogs use Nebraska rivers as well.

Photo by Donna Dewhurst, US FWS.

However you add it up, Nebraska rivers are vital for fish, wildlife and people.

You can celebrate Wildlife Week Nebraska by learning about Nebraska rivers and the fish and wildlife that depend upon them. Then get outside and find yourself a river to love!

Teachers can celebrate Wildlife Week Nebraska by checking out our ideas for curriculum activities that help teach about our rivers.

Teachers and individuals can also submit entries in our 2017 Grade 4-5-6 Wildlife Week poster contest. The deadline for our 2017 Grades 4-5-6 Wildlife Week poster contest is approaching, posters must be in our office by March 22. See more here: Wildlife Week Poster Contest Rules 2017