Offutt Base Lake
The Offutt Base Lake is NOW OPEN! The area is authorized for recreational fishing. Base Lake fishing permits & State of Nebraska permits are required. Buy both licenses at Outdoor Rec in Bldg 362 during normal operating hours.
Canoes & kayaks are allowed. Personal Flotation Devices are required for every occupant. NO MOTORIZED BOATS ALLOWED!
NO camping or campfires allowed. This is a pack in / pack out recreational area. No trash service is offered; you are responsible for removing any waste.
The Base Lake has been closed since the flooding in 2019. There are currently no working restrooms or facilities on property. The Boat House, Pavilion, FAMCAMP, playgrounds, and picnic areas remain closed and off limits. We are planning to rebuild & recover all of the lost facilities over the next few years. Keep following the 55th Force Support Squadron for updates.
Fish in the Offutt Base Lake are routinely tested to determine the safety for consumption. Prior to the flood of 2019, the last formal testing was conducted in 2016. This test revealed fish sampled from Offutt Base Lake showed common contaminants of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl [PCB’s] resulting in the issuance of a fishing advisory from Nebraska Game and Parks. Although Nebraska does not issue fishing bans, advisories suggest individuals should consume less than an average of one, eight-ounce meal of fish per week from identified waters.
Following the March 2019 flood, and prior to reopening the Base Lake Recreation Area (BLRA) for fishing, internal agencies on the installation required anglers release any fish caught at the lake. This policy remained in effect until water safety and fish samples were tested to ensure minimal health risk for those consuming fish.
The 55th Force Support Squadron/Outdoor Recreation office teamed with base Civil Engineering, Nebraska Game and Parks, Nebraska Department of Environmental and Energy, and the University of Iowa to conduct required fish tissue testing. Two common fish species were utilized to test for the contaminants of concern. At the conclusion of this routine testing, Offutt BLRA fish species were identified as containing some level of mercury and PCB’s. The water quality and fish tissue results came back well under the State’s levels of concern for consumption and the fishing advisory remains in effect.
The Wing Commander has rescinded the catch and release requirement. Based on testing, the fish at Offutt BLRA still contain some level of mercury and PCB contamination and anglers should remain cautious when consuming large quantities of fish from Offutt BLRA. Of note, these results are similar to other regional lakes in the state of Nebraska.
Please visit the link to read the entire State of Nebraska’s fish tissue study: http://www.deq.state.ne.us/Publica.nsf/23e5e39594c064ee852564ae004fa010/3a8ad80d306534238625848f0073388a!OpenDocument