Keller Park State Recreation Area, northeast of Ainsworth on Bone Creek, is one of the few spots where anglers can pursue both rainbow trout and warm water species. Nestled amid rugged tree-covered bluffs, the 196-acre area offers excellent angling, along with camping, hiking and wildlife viewing, among other activities.
Keller Park SRA offers a variety of cold and warm water fishing opportunities in the five small lakes found on the area. These ponds range in size from .8 acres (Lakes 1 and 5) to 2.5 acres (Lake 4). Primary species found in Lake 1, 2, 3 and 4 include largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Good fishing exists for all these species and quality fish are present in these small lakes. Lakes 4 and 5 are cool water ponds and are stocked seasonally with rainbow trout. Trout can also be found in Bone Creek, which runs through the park and offers an occasional catch for the angler.
The lakes are typically steep sided and easily fished from shore. Boat access is available for small boats and non-powered craft such as canoes and kayaks utilizing primitive boat ramps on Lake 1 and 2. Watercraft are limited to non-powered watercraft or electric motors only. The use of gas motors is prohibited. Access to Lake 3, 4, and 5 involve crossing a foot bridge over Bone Creek. A canoe or kayak can be portaged or carried over to use at those lakes. Access to lakes 1 and 2 is via county road off Highway 183 just north of the Park.
Statewide regulations are in effect for all the ponds and that includes a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass with a 5 fish daily bag limit, a 15 fish daily bag limit on bluegill and a 5 fish daily bag limit on channel catfish. The rainbow trout daily bag limit is 5 fish with only 1 fish greater than 16 inches allowed daily.
Other angling opportunity within easy access from Keller Park SRA include Long Pine SRA, Long Pine WMA, and Pine Glen WMA all on Long Pine Creek which offers very good angling for brown and rainbow trout. In addition, Bobcat WMA and Fred Thomas WMA are accessible via county roads within 15 miles east and west of Keller Park SRA. Bobcat WMA is located on lower Plum Creek and can offer brown trout while Fred Thomas WMA is located on the Niobrara River. The Niobrara River is excellent fishing for channel catfish. Consult the Game and Park public access atlas for exact location of these areas.
For more information on fishing opportunities here and at parks across the state, visit the interactive public fishing areas map. This map provides detailed information on available species, regulations, public boat ramps, fish cleaning stations and ADA-accessible boat ramps and docks, among other features in reservoirs, lakes, streams and rivers statewide. Lake contour maps are available for some lakes, as well.
Only electric motor and non-powered boats are permitted at Keller Park. There primitive boat ramps on Lake 1 and 2 for kayaks and canoes.
Hiking is a popular activity at Keller Park, and a rustic footbridge across Bone Creek adds charm to the stroll.
Keller Park is a mecca for all sorts of wildlife, from songbirds to whitetails and an occasional mule deer. During the spring and fall migrations, whispering wings will include ducks such as mallards, teal and shovelers, as well as hawks and perhaps an eagle or two. Sharp-eyed bird watchers might spot sandhill cranes as they fly overhead and maybe even a rare whooping crane stopping over on the nearby Niobrara River.
Keller Park offers beautiful spots for picnicking and has 54 picnic tables, 45 grills and one shelter (without electricity).
Campers will find 25 Electric all-weather pads, 15 Basic and 10 Primitive campsites. Each campsite has a fire grate and picnic table. Water pump and primitive restrooms are available. Self-registration boxes are at the entrance for campers to deposit their overnight camping fees. Camping is all first-come, first-served and stays are limited to 14 consecutive days in a 30 day period.
Camping at Keller Park is all first-come, first-served and campers register their nightly camping fees in a raised, locked box called an Iron Ranger. Self-service envelopes are provided at each Iron Ranger station. Check or cash only. Iron Rangers are generally located near the park entrance or in the campground area. On-site camping informational signs are provided to help guide campers with the self-registration process.
A park entry permit is required and may be purchased at statewide Game and Parks offices and permit vendors or in advance of your arrival online.VIEW ALL PARK FEES
Address: Keller Park SRA | Ainsworth, NE 68714-0508
From Ainsworth, Keller Park SRA is 5 miles east and 9 miles north of US Hwy 20 on US Hwy 183.
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