Burchard Wildlife Management Area will be opened to limited public access beginning July 1. An aquatic habitat rehabilitation project was completed earlier this year on this 150-acre reservoir in Pawnee County.
The water level was drawn down 11 feet to facilitate construction while protecting the quality fishery. The water level is between 8 and 9 feet below full pool. Access to the reservoir will be allowed for bank angling anywhere along the shoreline, but all vehicles must remain on roads or parking lots.
Launching of small water vessels, including small Jon boats, kayaks, canoes and float tubes, will be allowed as long as they are carried from the road and launched from the shoreline. Electric trolling motors will be allowed on these vessels; however, the use of internal combustion gas-powered engines will be prohibited at this time. Because of the low water levels, gas-powered engines could damage the new habitat features and access improvements. Use of the new boat ramp, dock and gas-powered engines will be prohibited until water levels return to normal pool elevations.
Many improvements were made during the rehabilitation project, including a new outlet structure and new boat ramps with a breakwater to protect the boat launch area from wind and waves. In addition, shoreline angler access has been improved and a handicap-accessible fishing pier has been installed.
Offshore breakwaters were placed to protect shorelines, and a sediment dike and basin were added on the reservoir’s north arm. Aquatic habitat was enhanced by deepening water levels near new breakwaters and by placing underwater rock shoals and cedar tree fish attractors in the reservoir basin.