Many streams in eastern Nebraska are deeply incised. Compared to historical levels, few wetlands or open water areas remain along most streams. Building embankments to impound and elevate water out of an incised channel is sometimes the most effective way to recreate wetland areas.
One key benefit of building a dam and lake is aquatic diversity – man-made lakes create habitats for fish and other wildlife that were not previously there. Laying a foundation for an abundant, diverse ecosystem has always been an integral part of the Lake Wanahoo Dam project since it was initially planned.
Aside from environmental benefits, the Lake Wanahoo dam will also be pivotal in the development of the Wahoo Bypass, a six-lane expressway that will ease traffic congestion from U.S. Highway 77. The design for the future highway utilizes the dam as the embankment across Sand Creek on which the six-lane expressway will be constructed by the Nebraska Department of Roads. Ultimately, the bypass will help curb a high volume of heavy traffic that creates not only congestion, but presents safety challenges and damages the existing streets in the community.
With Lake Wanahoo filled to its normal pool elevation in the spring of 2011, with strong development of wetland fishery resources already evident, the lake is projected to open to the public following the completion of its recreational facilities in 2012.
Lake Wanahoo is the key component of LPNNRD's Sand Creek Watershed Environmental Restoration. The lake was planned and constructed primarily for the purpose of long-term development of wetlands. Flood reduction and public recreation were supplementary objectives.
One mile north of Wahoo, Nebraska
Lower Platte North Natural Resources District (LPNNRD)