Aquatic restoration project at Harlan County Lake making progress

Kansas City District
Published April 8, 2024
Nine people stand in a line next to a banner with snow in the foreground and construction equipment in the background.

Officials from the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission gathered at Harlan County Lake, Nebraska, on January 16, 2024, to celebrate the groundbreaking of construction on a $9.25 million aquatic ecosystem restoration project. | Photo by Leigh Mitchell, Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Construction of the $9.25 million aquatic ecosystem restoration project continues to make progress at Harlan County Lake, Nebraska. The project is a partnership between the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and will help restore the Harlan County Lake aquatic ecosystem.

Authorized under Section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, USACE awarded the construction contract on September 28, 2023. Majority of the federal funding for the project has been provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the 25% cost share is provided by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commissions Aquatic Habitat Fund. 

The primary objectives of the project are to restore and protect degraded aquatic habitat by removing sediments that have blocked the entrance of Methodist Cove, create spawning and overwintering areas for a variety of aquatic organisms and manage invasive vegetation. Since construction began, impacts to fish spawning have been low and the long-term benefits will outweigh any short-term impact.

The public should refrain from entering the construction site while construction is active. USACE is anticipating a break in construction activities during the months of June to August, during which time the excavated channel will be accessible to boaters and other recreators.

For more information on this project contact the Harlan County Lake project office at 308-799-2105 or

Release no. 24-013