Lake Wanahoo Dam






Latest Report - July 4, 2012


Lake Use Growing.  Under the able leadership of Dave Cavalieri Park Supt., Wanahoo continues to improve.  Fishing has been excellent.  Additional items that the public is requesting include:  A Swim Beach and a Playground.   Larger trees from planted grove next to Hwy 109 hopefully will be transplanted soon to provide shade for campsites and shelters plus perhaps parking areas.  A shower house is under construction and should be ready by mid-July.


April 28, 2012


LAKE OPENING BIG SUCCESS.   Estimates of 1,000 anglers.  Fish Caught.  Cool weather keeps crowds manageable.

 ANGLERS LINE UP EARLY.  Boats allowed in park to launch area early to avoid problems parking on county road.  Smooth launching.  Fishermen excited.  Wonderful Sight. Lincoln Journal Star article and pictures follows.

April 23, 2012

 Lake to open April 28th at 8am.  Visitors should be prepared for long lines and waits.  Have fishing permits and park permits purchased previously. 


March 18, 2012

Watch Northern Pike Tagging at the Lake 

This is from You Tube under Lake Wanahoo in the subject line.


March 10, 2012

Lake Wanahoo  Now Planned to Open on April 28th. 


January 14, 2012

Lake Wanahoo Could Be Newest Gem In State Park System.  Opening April 1st planned.  Report below from Lincoln Journal Star.



December 14, 2011

NRD updated their report on dam site preparation.    Park opening scheduled for April 1, 2012. 


STATE OF NEBRASKA Department of Roads now plans to let the bids to go around Wahoo to the west and the proceed across the top of the dam with the 4 lane highway.  Bid letting is now projected to be August, 2013.  Construction to start the following spring.

November 22, 2011

(New Pictures in Aug./Dec. 2011)  Seeding and spreading of hay to cover area.  New walking trail bridge.  Lots of cover laid over hillsides and slooped area. 


November 4, 2011


 Corp of Engineers declares campgrounds substantially finished.  With the exception of some minor cleanup and little things, grass planting that has to be done after Nov. and some additional decorative tree planting that might not happen until spring, the campgrounds and day use areas are declared completed.  Larger trees yet to be moved to provide shade.  Contractor still has equipment to remove.   A couple of new pictures under Aug./Sept. of Campground


October 19, 2011


New Pictures Under Aug./Sept of Campground 



September 30, 2011


New Pictures Under Aug./Sept 2011

Only 6 months until Lake Wanahoo Opens 



September 5th, 2011

Lake scheduled to open April 1st

Report from Lincoln Journal Star

August 15, 2011

See pictures of progress on day August 15th listed as August 15, 2001/Campground on the left side


July 7, 2011

NRD and Game Commission Discuss Lake Level

At recent meeting, Game Commission Reps wanted to be certain that everyone was clear that lowering the lake by 2 to 3 feet would not be acceptable.  Read Article below: 

 A fish review was conducted recently and the fish growth was found to be excellent.  The Game and Parks folks wouldn't say how much was happening, but just let us say from unofficial sources, it was fantastic.

May 26, 2011

6" Blue Catfish Stocked Today - 21,420


May 21, 2011

Water spills over Hwy 92/77 Again

NRD Manager Reports This Will Be Normal In The Event of Huge Rain. No dam can handle all water.

Project managers give NRD okay to lower water level by 2 feet. 

All concerned will meet about lowering lake level in the spring in the future to be ready for possible heavy rains.

 Wahoo Newspaper Report with Pictures

May 10, 2011

Lake Wanahoo reaches peak capacity


New Pictures under May, 2011


 New update from Nebraska Game and Parks

 Motorboat Access and Water Quality Features
2 - Off-Shore Breakwater (Shoreline Protection)
8 – Wind Breakwater/Jetties
2 – Islands
3 – Boating Lanes
14 – Underwater Shoals
2 -Fishing Piers, Handicap Accessible
Bottom excavation and Contouring
Wetland Excavation and Enhancements/Development
Seeding and Mulching
Engineering Related Services

Total Cost $1,866,667.33 [$1,400,000 Federal, Sport Fish Restoration (75%) $466,667.33 LPNNRD(25%)]

Fisheries Management
Watershed fish renovation conducted with 900 gallons of rotenone from Highway 79 to Dam in October 2009. Fish that were removed included carp, green sunfish, black bullhead and various minnow species.

Fish Stockings
500 - 8-10" Largemouth Bass Completed fall 2009
64,000 - 2-4" Largemouth Bass Spring/Summer 2010
640,000 - 1-2" Bluegill Spring/Summer 2010
20,000 - 4" Black Crappie Fall 2010
6,400 - 5" Blue Catfish Spring 2010
64,000 - 2" Walleye Spring 2010
64,000 - 2" Northern Pike Spring 2010

2012 Proposed Reservoir Fishing Regulations
Daily bag limit of 1 largemouth bass 21 inches and longer; daily bag limit of 15 panfish (includes bluegill and crappie); daily bag limit of one blue catfish; daily bag limit of four walleye 15 inches and longer, of which only one can be 22 inches and longer; and daily bag limit of three northern pike (changed to catch and release - all).

No Live Bait Fish will be allowed.


March 3. 2011

Filler Sheet Installed

  In order to be certain that sand and other soil doesn't bubble up near the channel below the dam a sheet is being installed and rock is being placed on it to hold it in place.  To make this work easier, the outflow tube has been shut and the lake is being allowed to fill.  When the rock placement is finished, the tube will be opened again to check the work and then closed to allow the lake to fill to expected level.  One result is that since there is now open water on the lake while most others are still frozen, thousands of ducks and geese are making Lake Wanahoo their temporary home. 

 February 11, 2011

 Boat Ramp Completed

 Boat Ramp successfully poured the week of December 4th.  Following that, significant amounts of digging were under taken to the north of the ramp up to the walk way with the bridge.  That dirt was removed to allow for a pool of water for boats to be around the boat ramp.  The dirt was hauled into the new campground area, put in piles and will be spread this spring.  We have been unable to learn if the NRD is allowing the water to rise in the lake as they had planned.  The work on the campground and the day use area should start as soon as the weather cooperates and the allowing of the Lake to rise to full level will not hamper that construction.




 November 3, 2010

 Significant Tree Removal

The area around the site for the boat ramp has has a large number of trees removed, burnt and buried.  The hole for the boat ramp has been dug.  Almost all the the area on the west side of the lake that is for camping has had the top soil removed and piled to be replaced later. 

 Fish Stocking - More fish stocked end of October, 2010.   See latest report.  



  Oct. 8, 2010

Work on Boat Ramp Area

The contruction company that won the $4 million bid to build the boat ramp, RV park and Day Use Center has started on the project.  They have begin to move dirt around the Boat Ramp Area.  They expect to have the Boat Ramp Area finished by the end of the year.



Sept. 17, 2010 

Dam Contract Completed

Saunders County crews have finished spreading rock on top of the dam, building a 2-lane county road.  This not only offers a great county road for farmers hauling crops, it provides a wonderful view of the lake and the cement structures that are in place for water release and flood control. 

The contract for the Lake Wanahoo Dam expired on August 31 and if it was not completed, a $1000 per day penalty was to apply.  Part of the work was not completed and we don't know if the penalty was enforced or waived.

The seeding and spreading of hay to hold the topsoil which was not finished, has been now completed as has the specialized process to stop erosion in ditches by placing straw bales across the ditch to act as mini-dams to stop rapid run off.

If you look at the level of the lake in the first picture on the home page, that is about the level of the lake as of today.  This is, of course, to allow for the construction of the footings and the boat ramps.

From Wahoo Newspaper


August 31st report from the Lincoln Journal Star

 August 31st report from the Omaha World Herald

August 20, 2010

 In the latest report, the construction of the dam is almost finished.  Next will be construction of the boat ramps and docks.


 August 5, 2010

 The construction on the dam phase of the lake is winding down with contract ending, August 31st.  Only 3 more wells need to be finished, grading and seeding completed and a rock parking area put into place below the dam.  The bid for the campgrounds and day use area has been let and the paperwork is being prepared.  Money for this part (see 7/8) has be worked out as not as much was needed to put this into motion.

The lake has been drawn down to April/May levels before the heavy summer rains and the first part of the next project will be to shape, grade, ready the area for the boat ramps.  Footings and the ramps will be poured immediately thereafter.  That work should begin very soon.

Fish Report.  The walleye were stocked in April/May as fry, about the size of one's little fingernail.  That could be done because there were no large fish in the lake to potential eat them.  There was a electric shock check just recently and the walleye that barely looked like fish are now 1 1/2 inches to 1 3/4 inches in length.  That is a much better than expected growth rate.  It would seem that the other species would be doing as well.


July 8, 2010 

Cap has been poured on lake outlet walls bringing them to proper height.  (March, 2010 pics show rebar to be covered.)  Lake is being allowed to draw down so that recreation work (boat ramps, etc.) can be constructed.   Estimates are that lake can go down 3 inches per day.  Presently it is about half way up the wall (March, 2010 pictures of overflow walls)

Bids were opened for recreation, campgrounds and one-day use area.  NRD report some recreation area to be worked on yet in 2010, the rest being constructed in 2011.

Money is a problem.  Although the low bid came in $350,000 under the engineer's estimate, the Corp of Engineers which will be building this part and providing half of the money requires that the remaining half be available up front.  This will require that the NRD board and staff use creative ideas to get the money ahead of the construction.  The money has been pledged, however, some of it is on a reimbursement plan, not on an up front one.  It will be worked out, it will just take some planning.



June 17, 2010

Flood News - Saved $500,000

Lake Wanahoo held up fine during the recent heavy rains.  While not getting as much water as some areas to the north and west, the Lake was filled to present capacity in about a 3 day period due to rains that were received. 

Estimates are that the dam saved $500,000 in damage to land and crops.  Also, veteran observers were certain that had the lake not been in place that water would have been over Hwy 77/92 at least for four days.


The dam was holding 593 surface acres and when it is completed, by raising the overflow, it will be 662 surface acres.

Eventually, it is expected to hold 7,150 acre feet of storage, and during this high water time it had about 5,381 acre feet in storage.  They will be letting the water out so they can finish pouring concrete on the overflow and do the boat ramps.


The concrete for the top of the stair step overflow, the ogee wier has now been finished (6/17/10) to bring the top part to the correct grade.

Next, will be the pouring of the cap on the overflow to bring it up to grade which is adding about 18 inches to the top.  View March, 2010 to see the overflow and see how the water could have gone through the rebar.



 Aerial Pictures of Lake Wanahoo

See page 2 


Fish Stocking Reports

Enter County - Saunders 



Lake Filling Delayed. (5/10)   Due to continuing work on the dam the lake filling has gone slower than previously.  Reported 5/7/10, that until work is finished on the dam that the water can not be allow to get to the final depth.  Presently, the water covers approx. 210 acres.

Most of the fish that were scheduled to be stocked in the spring/summer have been stocked.

Well drilling has be slowed due to sand filling into the hold prior to casing being installed.  Bigger equipment is scheduled to put the casings in as drilling is being done rather than after.