The following letter contains recommendations for Enders Reservoir in Southwest Nebraska. The letter pertains to fish and wildlife management as well as the reservoir management. I am not trying to tell you how to do your job and I am not trying to be critical of the job you have done, I just what to express my opinion. To help you better the Southwest Nebraska lakes.
· Revenue reevaluation. The revenue generation of the southwest Nebraska lakes has shifted. It has gone from the irrigation revenue to the recreational/wildlife generation. With this shift in revenue the resources dedicated to the lake should be reevaluated.
· Limited recreation areas. Southwest Nebraska has very little to offer in ways of water recreation areas, I believe it is one of the attractions that get people to travel to SW Nebraska. So why not maintain that.
· Reopen roads. The roads on the south side of the Enders Lake should be reopened. There doesn't seem to be any reason for this closure. If the Bureau is worried about the liability of someone getting hurt on these roads, why not put up a sign that states that the road is a not a regularly maintained road and that people should travel at your own risk.
· Mark some of the underwater hazards. These are truly a hazard and should be marked. I realize, as proper a safety rule of driving a boat is to make sure you know the hazards of the lake. If the hazards are not marked, how would an out of town person who is trying out Enders Lake know where the hazards are? You could ask some one but how good is that information, and what if that person forgets to tell you something? Then you are stuck. Once again, I believe that a sign should be placed at the boat dock stating basically that you should boat at your own risk. But a buoy could save someone's life. However, this would not be a hazard if the lake were not low.
· Water usage. I realize with the dry conditions in SW Nebraska, don't help the level of the water. Why can't we subsidize the farmers for one year's crop and don't let water out for a year. Secondly could the water rights back from the farmers by using revenue from sportsman i.e. fishing licenses and etc? These are just suggestions and I know there are complications to both of them, money being the most prevalent. With the lawsuit filed by Kansas for water right that just adds to the complexity of the situation.
· Open up some of the beach area again. This area was an excellent place for families to camp and have outings and still be able to catch fish off of the shore. One of the main attractions of camping is to get away from it all. That is hard to do when everyone is stacked up at the boat dock and the other camping areas at Enders. I realize that driving on the beach is a problem. And that the situation at Lake Mac was the whole reason for shutting down the beach roads. There are ways of restricting driving on these roads, like using guardrails, cables and law enforcement. This would allow people without boats and campers to once again enjoy the outdoors.
· Tent camping at Enders is very difficult and frustrating when you are in a tent and a campers generator exhaust is blowing into your tent all night long because it is parked so close to you. It isn't a pleasant experience. Yes, the tent was moved but that was Friday night of a holiday weekend and finding a spot on Saturday morning was very difficult. If the beaches were open then you could park up top and carry your tent and supplies onto the beach and only having to hike a few hundred yards with your kids, not a few miles like it is now. The main reason that the public was told these roads were closed was for habitat. But then the park service clears trees and shrubs out at the boat dock camping grounds to accommodate the number of people there. How is that keeping habitat? I realize that it takes more manpower to keep up a larger area. But if the number of people coming declines then the revenue declines with it. The people are looking for places to get away from it all. If the Rocky Mountains are the place to get away from it all then people will go and spend their money there and not in a crowded Nebraska Park or reservoir.
· Going to a campground reservation system would limit the amount of people you could have staying at one time. Why not require a park pass in all areas and expand the amount of space that can be used?
· Better fish management. What does this mean?
· Do something different with the boat dock. The boat ramp could accommodate up to 3 different vehicles/boat combinations at one time. But with the boat dock located on the ramp it has limited it just two vehicles/boats. I realize that handicapped people need access, so why not limit the new dock to just handicapped people and still maintain the old one. This would ease the dock congestion when a storm is approaching.
· Build a boat ramp on the South side of Enders next to the cabins. This would alleviate some of the traffic on the North side boat ramp.
· Stop placing so many restrictions/rules that limit things. Place a higher fee on the park pass and use the revenue to expand not limit.
· I do believe that Southwest Nebraska lakes have a lot to offer, but I think that people are looking for a place to get away from it all. It is a tough job trying to "please all the people all of the time" with limited budgets. NGPC and US Bureau of Reclamation is doing a good job but offering places that cater to the needs of the outdoor person could increase the revenue that NPGC and US Bureau of Reclamation could collect and improve Southwest Nebraska lakes even more.
Once again this letter is not meant to criticize but it is meant to help improve the Southwest Nebraska lakes.
Thanks for you time.
Eric D. Spady
Last Updated: March 12, 2013