Dr. John Falconer
director of Sponsored Programs, 308.865.8496

Dr. Wyatt Hoback, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, was awarded a $82,750 grant to research aquatic habitat at Sherman Reservoir.

Reservoirs provide many important services in Nebraska, such as flood control, agricultural water supplies, and recreational opportunities. However, such artificial water impoundments are also susceptible to accelerated aging, which affects fish and other water species.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is planning a habitat rehabilitation project for Sherman Reservoir, and UNK is helping by gathering information on crappie. Researchers will collect data on adult and larval crappie in specific coves during spawning season, and determine how many are lost through water releases.

This is the first project on a large reservoir in Nebraska, addressing siltation, shoreline erosion, and fish-loss to release waters from the dam. Accurate baseline information on habitat will support the project and benefit similar efforts in the future.

The project will involve both graduate and undergraduate students from UNK, providing them with real-life experiences that will prepare them for careers in biology. “Dr. Hoback is very active in working with Nebraska resource managers, and his projects give students valuable opportunities,” said Dr. Francis Harrold, Dean of Natural and Social Sciences.