Niobrara flows OK’d

November 5, 2017

The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources recently approved an order granting an application to appropriate water for the purpose of instream flows on the Niobrara River to maintain habitat for the fish community.

The instream flow permit was granted to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resources District, the Middle Niobrara NRD, the Lower Niobrara NRD, the Upper Loup NRD and the Upper Elkhorn NRD for flows on the Niobrara River between Spencer Dam and the confluence with the Missouri River.

The appropriation was approved for seasonally adjusted flow amounts to coincide with the different life cycle stage needs of the fishery, including overwintering, spawning, rearing and growth. The flows also will meet habitat needs for whooping crane migration in spring and fall, and piping plover and least tern nesting in spring and summer.

The instream flows are part of the efforts by the Niobrara River Basin Alliance NRDs and the game and parks commission, along with the Nebraska Public Power District, to ensure the long-term sustainability of water in the Niobrara River basin for generations to come.