The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will accept archery paddlefish permit applications March 1-14.

The application period begins at 1 p.m. Central Time on March 1. Postal mail applications must be received in Game and Parks’ Lincoln office by 5 p.m. CST and online applications by 11:59 p.m. March 14.

A nonrefundable $7 application fee is due at the time of application. Applicants supplying valid email addresses will be notified when the draw is complete. Those not providing valid email addresses will be responsible for monitoring their status online.

Results of the draw will be made available by March 20. Payment for awarded permits is due by 11:59 p.m. April 5.

Permits will be issued in a random drawing based on preference points earned; applicants with the most preference points will receive the highest priority. Permits awarded but unpaid will result in the applicant losing preference points and forfeiting the permit. Unpaid or unawarded permits remaining after the drawing will be made available to the next resident applicant, based on the random draw.

An applicant will receive a preference point if he or she is not awarded a permit in the drawing. An additional preference point will be added each year he or she is unsuccessful in the drawing. Any person who is issued a paddlefish permit and any person who does not apply at least once during five consecutive years will lose all accumulated preference points. In lieu of participating in the draw, anglers may purchase one preference point per season during the application period. The cost is $10 for residents and $20 for nonresidents.

Two people – both residents or both nonresidents – may submit a joint application. That application will be assigned to the applicant with the fewest preference points.

A person may have no more than two archery paddlefish permits per year: one earned via application and one bought over the counter if unsold permits remain. Permits and their accompanying tags are not transferable. Anyone fishing with an archery paddlefish permit also must have a valid Nebraska fishing permit.

Starting this year, additional areas below Gavins Point Dam will be open to archery fishing during the archery paddlefish season; only the north wall of the spillway and the powerhouse discharge canal will be closed. See the 2024 Nebraska Fishing Guide for more information.

The 2024 archery paddlefish season is June 1-30. To apply for a permit, visit a Game and Parks office,, or use the form in the 2024 Nebraska Fishing Guide.

Catch these Game and Parks education events in March

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in March. Here are some opportunities:

Nebraska Nature Nerd Trivia Night is in Springfield

Grab your fellow nature nerds and join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as it hosts Nebraska Nature Nerd Trivia Night at 2 p.m. March 2 at Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewing in Springfield.

Nature is cool, so there is no shortage of topics questions could cover. Get your teams of no more than five players and be ready to compete for prizes. Registration is not required.

These events are for adults only and are free to attend with a purchase from Soaring Wings, 17111 S. 138th St.

For more information and or questions, email [email protected].

Flock to Birds of a Feather on March 5

Get ready to go birding by participating in the new Birds of a Feather program at 9:30 a.m. on select Tuesdays at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park’s new James Family Conservatory and Nature Center.

On March 5, the topic for this bird-related program for all ages will be Tools for Birding. Learn about the ways to connect with other birders and discover tools that will help you be a better birder.

This program is free but a park entry permit is required.

Wise and Wild is March 5 at James Family Conservatory

Wise and Wild is a new program for those age 55 and up who love the outdoors. It will be at 3 p.m. on select Tuesdays at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park’s new James Family Conservatory and Nature Center.

On March 5, the topic will be Sandhill Cranes and the Platte River. Learn about the crane migration and the species that inhabit the river in eastern Nebraska.

This program is free but a park entry permit is required.

Little Saplings presents Tracks and Scat on March 6

Adults looking to explore the outdoors with their young children are invited to Little Saplings, a monthly early childhood nature discovery program at Schramm Education Center near Gretna.

The 2024 series, which occurs the first Wednesday of the month, continues March 6 with the theme Tracks and Scat at 9 and 10 a.m. It is designed for children ages 2-5 and their adult caregivers. The cost is $4 per child and $5 per adult.

See the calendar event entry at for more information.

Wildcat Tales preschool program is March 12

Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will host the monthly Wildcat Tales preschool program March 12.

The program Powerful Prairie Dog will meet at the Nature Center at 10 a.m. Mountain time. It will include a lesson plan, story and hands-on activity specifically targeted for children ages 2-6 years.

The program is free, but a vehicle park entry permit is required. For more information, contact the Nature Center at 308-436-3777. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Wildcat Hills to host Powerful Prairie Dogs homeschool program

Come learn the role prairie dogs play in the prairie ecosystem during the homeschool program Powerful Prairie Dogs on March 14 at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area.

The homeschool program meets once a month at 10 a.m. Mountain time at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center. Topics change each month.

The program is free, but a vehicle park entry permit is required. For more information contact the Nature Center at 308-436-3777. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Homeschool Hikes set for March 20-21 at Schramm

Homeschool families are invited to join an outdoor educator on a guided hike at Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna during the Homeschool Hikes program at 9 a.m. March 20 and 1 p.m. March 21. This month's theme is Animal Signs.

Homeschool Hikes is a monthly nature exploration program hosted by the Schramm Education Center geared toward homeschool families and ages 5 and up.

Participants are encouraged to RSVP in advance through the event listing at

Webinar will discuss Unlawning Suburbia

Learn how and why to convert lawn to designed meadow gardens during a virtual webinar at 12:30 p.m. March 25.

The Unlawning Suburbia program, which will include plant research, garden installation and management, will be hosted by Benjamin Vogt, owner of the design firm Monarch Gardens and author of two books.

For more information or to register, visit the calendar event entry at Email any questions to [email protected].

Conservatory’s March hours announced

March hours for the James Family Conservatory and Nature Center at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 22 and March 29.

Visit the new addition to the conservatory and greenhouse. Naturalists will have nature-related activities available and a few live animals to share. See the plants and enjoy the warmth in the greenhouse.

Admission is free but a park entry permit is required.

Schramm Education Center busy in March

Several programs are planned in March for the Schramm Education Center, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 adults, $7 youth and seniors, and 3 and under are free.

  • Fly Tying for Beginners – On March 9, stop in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to give fly-tying a try. You’ll work with the Cornhusker Fly-Fishers as you make a fly of your own to take home.
  • M is for Mushrooms, Mycelium and March – At 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. March 12, join a hike around Schramm Park State Recreation Area to look for fungi, lichen and non-vascular plants.
  • Animal Signs in the Spring – At 10 a.m. March 15, naturalists will lead a hike to look for signs of animals out on the trails. You may know an animal has been around by the tracks they leave, the homes they have made or the scat they scatter about.
  • Discovery Trail Hike – At 10 a.m. March 19, hike with a Nebraska Master Naturalist, then share what you discovered through writing, sketching and note-taking in a field journal. This program is for all ages and creative ability levels.

Plan fishing trip using Game and Parks publications

Plan a fishing trip with the help of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission publications.

Prepare to make your trip the best by reviewing Nebraska fishing regulations and researching locations in our 2024 Fishing Guide and our 2024 Fishing Forecast.

The Fishing Guide is a summary of regulations and orders and includes a section detailing the state’s public fishing areas. The Fishing Forecast provides a look at where some of the best fishing, and maybe some of the biggest fish, may be found in Nebraska based on 2023 lake sampling.

Both publications are online at, and printed copies may be picked up wherever fishing permits are sold. Find additional planning tools, such as a fish stocking database, lake contour maps, and other fishing publications — or buy your annual fishing permit — at the same website.