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State & Municipal Government

BIG INDIAN LAKE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Lower Big Blue Natural Resources District
Gage County, Nebraska

Big Indian Lake (72 acres), located south of Beatrice, Nebraska, in Gage County, had issues of poor water quality, shoreline erosion, difficult fishing, and poor boat access.  In 2010, EA completed aquatic habitat and accessibility improvements that included outdoor activities and trail enhancements.  Design features included:

  • Three large sediment capture dikes at inlets to the lake
  • Nine hard armor breakwaters to protect boating access
  • Three new coves to provide fish habitat
  • Multiple fish scallops and shoals to provide in-lake fish habitat
  • Shoreline stabilization to prevent future erosion due to wave action
  • Removal of more than 100,000 cubic yards of sediment to improve lake depth and water quality.

EA provided full plans and specifications for construction, construction oversight, 404 permitting, a wetland mitigation plan, and consultation with multiple agencies; including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Historical Society, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.  EA also completed a required survey for migratory birds and state listed threatened and endangered species.  EA’s team identified early on that permitting was going to be a challenge due to impacts to wetlands and the areas available for onsite mitigation.  EA’s team worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a mitigation site that met the regulatory requirements.  EA also provided funding assistance that included meeting the requirements for project funding for 11 different entities and a grant application for a trail improvement project through the Recreational Trails Program.

Swimming area at Big Indian Lake Breakwater structures at Big Indian Lake
Swimming area at Big Indian Lake Breakwater structures at Big Indian Lake