Fish and Crustaceans
Game fish in the Niobrara include channel catfish, carp, bluegill, green sunfish, grass pickerel, and many other fish species. Rainbow and brown trout are present in several spring-branch canyon tributaries.
Go to the Hunting & Fishing page for more information on sportfishing.
The Niobrara River drainage contains the largest number of fish species occurring in Nebraska. The Scenic River is unique in that it contains several species representing glacial relict populations, including the pearl dace and blacknose shiner. The latter species is almost entirely limited in Nebraska to the cool, clear side streams of the Scenic River. Blacknose shiners and pearl dace are currently state listed threatened species and status changes have been proposed for both species by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologists. Blacknose shiners are extremely rare in Nebraska, and the last known sighting of this species occurred in the Niobrara drainage. Previous studies on pearl dace populations within the designated reach and its tributaries found them to be more widely distributed and abundant in the Sandhills region than originally thought. In addition, the Niborara River and its tributaries also provide important potential habitat for other state listed sensitive species including finescale dace and northern redbelly dace.
Did You Know?
Six distinct ecosystems blend along 76 miles of river: eastern deciduous forest, Rocky Mountain montane forest, northern boreal forest, eastern tall-grass prairie, Sandhills mixed-grass and western short-grass prairie. Click "More" to visit the Niobrara National Scenic River "Nature & Science" page. More...