Nebraska’s landscape is dotted with lakes, rivers and streams, providing plentiful and diverse fishing opportunities for serious anglers, youth trying the sport for the first time and everyone in between. The following resources are designed to help anglers of all abilities and interests find the perfect spot.
There are many great fishing spots that are open to the public across the state of Nebraska. Use this interactive map to find locations and plan your next outing. Information on water body size, fish species, regulations and more is also available for each map location.
Interactive public waters map
I wonder how deep the water is here? This is a common question for anyone who enjoys time near or on the water. The underwater landscape of lakes are mapped for a lot of reasons – for fisherman interested in structure attractive to their favorite species, for hunters looking for areas attractive to waterfowl, for water managers needing to know how much water is being stored, and for biologists looking to improve aquatic conditions for the creatures that lurk beneath the waves as well as those who seek them by boat or land. Here is a great source of information on waters where bathymetric surveys have been completed.
The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. It flows roughly 2,320 miles from its headwaters in Montana to its convergence with the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. In Nebraska, more people live within an hour drive of the Missouri River, which flows for approximately 400 miles along the state’s eastern border, than any other river (or lake) in the state. The Missouri River and lands open to public access on its banks offer excellent fishing, boating and more. Our Missouri River Outdoor Recreation Access Guide provides details about more than 160 public access sites on both sides of the river along Nebraska’s border.
Missouri River access guide
With about 450 lakes and streams open to public fishing, deciding where to fish in Nebraska can sometimes be challenging. Daryl Bauer, Game and Parks fisheries outreach program manager, has provided some useful tips on the best places in Nebraska to catch walleye, white bass, wiper, channel catfish, and much more.
Top places to fish
Family friendly lakes
Family Friendly Lakes are safe, comfortable and have great fish-catching potential. These locations have a combination of barrier-free fishing access, fishing piers, fishing trails, groomed park areas, concessions, playgrounds, picnic shelters and highly maintained fish populations. If you are planning a family fishing adventure, use our interactive map to locate family friendly lakes.
ADA fishing accomodations
Whether you want to catch trout, bass, bluegill, northern pike or catfish, a lake near you with ADA Fishing Accommodations will likely include one or several of these fish species. ADA- approved fishing piers, trails, boat launch facilities and parking accommodations are included where appropriate in all recent and new aquatic habitat, angler access and sportfish restoration projects. Other lakes may have older handicap accommodations. Contact your local NGPC Game and Parks office or see the current fishing guide to inquire about these opportunities.
A wide breadth of fishing opportunities exist across Nebraska. From bluegill in Omaha’s urban lakes to brook trout in the Pine Ridge streams of the panhandle, Nebraska has what you’re fishing for. Reference the following guides for fishing opportunities east to west.
NEBRASKAland Magazine’s Fishing the Metro
Fishing Across Nebraska: A guide to public fishing in the I-80 corridor
Trout Fishing in Nebraska’s Streams
The Open Fields and Waters program seeks to increase hunter and angler participation in Nebraska. This program provides financial incentives for allowing public access and the opportunity for private landowners to work with Game and Parks biologists to improve wildlife habitat. These programs have opened more than 372,000 acres of private land including 549 acres of open waters and 45 miles of river to public hunting and fishing in Nebraska.
View Public Access Atlas