Since the 1970s, the Lower Big Blue NRD has been involved with the construction of several large dam and reservoir projects. These projects were designed as part of the NRD’s effort to preserve and protect the natural resources. These dams and reservoirs aid in the prevention of floods and soil erosion, facilitate groundwater recharge, and provide opportunities for groundwater research.
As these dams and reservoirs were originally built to protect our natural resources, they have come to serve so many other purposes. These purposes include a natural habitat for fish and wildlife, and an abundance of recreational activities that can be utilized by the public year-round.
The Lower Big Blue NRD manages nine of these recreation areas. These areas are: Bear Lake Wildlife Management Area, Big Indian Recreation Area, Clatonia Public Use Area, Cub Creek Recreation Area, Leisure Lake Wildlife Management Area, Swanton Wildlife Management Area (Swan 67), Walnut Creek Public Use Area, Willard L. Meyer Recreation Area (Swan Lake), and Wolf Wildcat Wildlife Management Area. These areas provide the public with opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and many other outdoor activities.
The Lower Big Blue NRD will close recreation areas to camping and vehicle traffic for the winter season on October 26th, 2020. The recreation areas will still be open to foot traffic for hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, etc. Designated areas will remain open for vehicles. See the news release below for full details on the closing of our recreation areas.
- No park permit is necessary at any Lower Big Blue NRD managed area - All activities must only occur according to Lower Big Blue NRD rules and regulations - All hunting, fishing, and trapping must adhere to rules and regulations of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission - Large gatherings or reservations require a special use permit from the NRD
- No open fires except in places provided - All pets must be on a leash - Hunting and the discharge of firearms is prohibited from June 1 through August 31. - Vehicles are confined only to roadways and parking areas - Swimming allowed in designated areas only - 15 M.P.H. speed limit - Camping registration required at entry - Remove all trash or place in an appropriate trash receptacle or dumpster if provided - No Fish - Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am
- All campers must register (this include motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and tents) - Fee is $10/day (electrical) or $5/day (non-electrical) - A late fee of $100 will be charged in camper is not registered within 30 minutes of arrival - Campsite permit expires at 5:00pm. Campsite must be vacated by 5:00pm unless you re-register - Camping is first come, first served. No reservations. - Tent camping sites are not marked - Camping is not allowed under picnic shelters - Camping is limited to 14 days per 30 day period - Only one camper allowed per electrical campsite - Detach and place receipt on post or windshield where visible - Insert fee inside provided envelope, and deposit in registration drop box - Checks can be made to (LBBNRD) Lower Big Blue NRD
- No lifeguard - Swim at your own risk - Deep water - Watch your children - No swimming or wading past the buoys - No open fires, glass, or pets - Fishing is prohibited - Swimming hours: sunrise to sunset
Use the interactive map below to view the Lower Big Blue NRD Recreation and Wildlife Management Areas. Clicking on the area will show the list of amenities. For more information, click on each area's page from the list below.