MITCHELL — Anglers, fish and a diverse set of wildlife will soon enjoy a new stretch of trout stream in the western Panhandle.

Construction is underway to add nearly three-quarters of a mile of trout stream on Dry Spotted Tail Creek just west of Mitchell in Scotts Bluff County. The new stream section, which is being constructed to receive water from the creek’s existing straightened channel, will result in new wetland habitat for many aquatic species and terrestrial wildlife on the Platte River Basin Environment’s 1,360-acre Spotted Tail wildland between Mitchell and Morrill.

Next year, workers will construct a permanent structure to divert the bulk of the flow from the old channel to the new stream section.

This structure will be unique among Nebraska’s trout waters.

Mark Porath, Aquatic Habitat Program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said the project is a collaboration between the Commission, Platte River Basin Environments, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. Funding for the project is provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust ($275,000), the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program ($400,000), National Water-Quality Assessment ($100,000), Trout Unlimited ($39,000), Platte River Basin Environments ($35,000) and Pheasants Forever ($2,000).

The construction zone is closed to visitation, but the public may attend an open house at the site from 6-8 p.m. MT Sept. 10.

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