Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version

August 1959


Presented at Meeting of Central Mountains and Plains Section of Wildlife Society Pingree Park, Colorado. August 25, 1959. Copyright © 1959 Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.


One important form of wetlands habitat in Nebraska is the “Fresh-water Basins”; their importance extends to both waterfowl and upland game. The fresh-water basins are located primarily in south-central Nebraska. They are closed drainages, usually from one to 40 acres but ranging up to 1,000 acres, formed in the gently rolling loess plains. Soils are silt loam and the somewhat impervious soils in flat or depressed position receive and retain the largest amounts of water. This caused leaching and concentration of clay in the subsoil forming a soil type peculiar to these areas known as "Scott silt-loam," a heavy clay-loam which forms a water-retaining soil from four inches to more than six feet thick in some cases. Run-off waters which collect in these basins are usually retained from a few days to several months. The primary loss is to evaporation (the evaporation rate for this general area is taken at 50 inches annually). Little water is lost to percolation.