Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gamebird Stockings in Nebraska

The following excerpts are taken from 100 Years of Game and Parks History, a timeline of significant events and accomplishments in the history of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (formerly the Nebraska Game and Fish Commission), 1901-2000:

  • 1931 – The Commission discontinued its three-year wild turkey stocking program along the Missouri River, “owing to the fact that it is extremely difficult to obtain wild birds for stocking.” A total of 253 turkey pairs had been stocked.

  • 1937 – The Commission established a game farm near Madison to raise pheasants, chukar partridge and bobwhite quail for stocking. A total of 2,700 birds were raised the first year. Two years later, the Commission established a second, smaller, game farm at Niobrara State Park.

  • 1958 – During the winter of 1958-59, 28 Merriam’s wild turkeys obtained from Wyoming and South Dakota were released in the Cottonwood Creek drainage of Sioux County.

  • 1961 – Rio Grande turkeys were stocked in central and southern Nebraska.

  • 1963 – Chukar partridge were released in the Panhandle.

  • 1970 – The last release of chukar partridge was made. Over six years, 27,456 chukars were released in an attempt to establish it as a game bird. Subsequently, the project was deemed unsuccessful.
  • In summary, there was limited stocking of Northern Bobwhite and Ring-necked Pheasants beginning in the 1930s, successful stocking of Wild Turkeys of nonnative origin beginning in 1959, and unsuccessful stocking of nonnative Chukar in the 1970s.

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