Ever wanted to try ice fishing? Join the Niobrara National Scenic River and Valentine National Wildlife Refuge for the first Ice Fishing Clinic. The event takes place on February 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Watts Lake at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. Registration is required and registration will close on January 28, 2022. Please contact the Niobrara National Scenic River Visitor Center either by phone 402-376-1901 or email niobrara_nsr@nps.gov to ask questions and register. 

The Ice Fishing Clinic is geared for beginners and youth of all ages! From learning how to use an auger to learning about fishing rods and bait, you will walk away with a better understanding of ice fishing. Anglers under 12 years of age will be receiving their own ice fishing pole to take home. Plan on wearing warm clothes and bringing ice cleats. Watts Lake is located off 16B State Spur highway. Signs will be at the turn on Highway 83 and parking area for Watts Lake. In the case of inclement weather, we are planning a back-up date of February 19, 2022.  

People have cared for the Niobrara River for generations. They have cared for the waters, tributaries and lakes that led to the Niobrara River. Fishing is a small way to remember how to care for the waters. Ice fishing the lakes along the Niobrara River watershed is a time-honored tradition to many Nebraskans in the Sandhills.  

“The Niobrara National Scenic River is proud to partner with the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge to provide this clinic to community,” Acting Superintendent Susan Cook stated. “We are excited to engage local youth in our public lands in ways caregivers have for generations.” 

In accordance with CDC guidance and recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19, face coverings and social distancing are mandatory for all events.  

Niobrara National Scenic River has an exciting events planned for 2022. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (NiobraraNPS) and Facebook (Niobrara National Scenic River).