LINCOLN — The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will consider recommendations for a 2022 mountain lion hunting season, as well as a 2021 river otter harvest season, at its Friday, June 11, meeting in Chadron.
The meeting begins at 8 a.m. Mountain time at Chadron State Park’s Central Building, 15951 U.S. Highway 385.
Staff will recommend a mountain lion season in the Pine Ridge, identical to the 2021 season, that would have a maximum harvest of four mountain lions, with a sublimit of two females. The objective is to allow a harvest opportunity for mountain lions that allows the population to remain resilient and healthy while limiting future growth or moderately reducing numbers.
The commission also will consider adopting a Nebraska River Otter Management Plan. The goal of the plan would be to maintain resilient, healthy and socially acceptable river otter populations that are in balance with available habitat and other wildlife species. Changes to commission orders and regulations will be proposed to implement a harvest season that would allow the trapping of river otters. The proposed season would be Nov. 1, 2021, through Feb. 28, 2022, or until 75 otters have been harvested.
The proposed regulations may be viewed at nebraska.gov/nesos/rules-and-regs/regtrack/index.cgi. The proposed changes to commission orders may be viewed at outdoornebraska.gov/regulations.
Commissioners also will consider staff recommendations to approve or reject:
— A proposal to allow the Game and Parks to manage 234 acres of land owned by Pheasants Forever Inc. which is adjacent to commission-owned Jack Sinn Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster County. These additional acres would be open to public access and follow the same regulations as the adjacent wildlife management area.
— Changes to sport fishing regulations regarding the application and purchase of paddlefish preference points and where a paddlefish permit is valid.
— Changes that would add DeFair Lake Wildlife Management Area in Grant County to the list of water bodies where it is illegal to possess or use live baitfish while fishing.
— Changes to wildlife regulations that now prohibit the possession of a firearm while archery and muzzleloader hunting. This change would allow these big game hunters to lawfully carry a handgun with a barrel of no longer than 5 inches.
— Changes to clarify hunting restrictions pertaining to the use of bait for big game and turkey.
— Changes to add an option to hold special depredation seasons for deer, antelope and elk.