Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Published in Nebraska Technical Series (1981) No.9, p. 1-54


Lake McConaughy is an important fishery resource of the state of Nebraska. The estimated fishing pressure in 1975 as determined from a postal creel census was 175,872 angler days (Morris 1977). This estimate is inflated compared to an on-site creel census conducted in 1977-78 which showed a total of 69,500 fishing trips annually (Madsen 1980). Not all fishermen were contacted so this estimate is undoubtedly too low. Regardless of which figure is accepted, the reservoir provides many man-days of fishing opportunity. Conservation and management of the fishery resource is necessary to maintain and/or improve its quality,

An important factor in the management of any fishery resource is the limnological characteristics of the water body. This knowledge is a necessity when coldwater species are part of the fishery. Considerable data have been collected on the limnology of Lake McConaughy (Kiener 1951; McCarraher et al. 1971). Prior to 1969 much of the data were temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles at a limited number of locations on the reservoir. After 1969 some additional data were collected but never thoroughly analyzed or published (Van Velson 1978; Morris 1976). As the result of a project designed to develop a model of the eutrophication process In Lake McConaughy (Taylor 1979), a considerable amount of physlcochemical data were collected from 1976 through 1978. This paper is directed toward the presentation of these data in conjunction with data from past investigations to provide basic limnological information to those responsible for managing the reservoir's fishery.