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Sonora Bend

Image capture of Sonora Bend


Size (acres):  190.04

River Mile:  536.4 to 536.9

Bank:  Right descending bank

County:  Nemaha

State:  Nebraska

Ownership, Management and Access

Ownership:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Acquisition Status:  Acquired from willing sellers in 2013 under Water Resources Development Acts 1986 and 1999 authorizations.

On-Site Management:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Site Access: 

  • No motor vehicles are allowed on the site.
  • It is only accessible by boat or by walking in via Steamboat Trace Trail that runs along the property boundary.

Description, Use and Regulations

Description:  The Sonora Bend site is located along the right descending bank of the Missouri River. The entire tract, with the exception of a narrow wooded corridor adjacent to the river, was devoted to agricultural production until 2015. 

  • The cropland is encompassed on three sides by 10-15 feet tall earthen dikes, constructed for flood protection purposes.  The dike located in the southeast corner of the crop field contains a drainage pipe and gate which served as primary drainage for the cropland. A portion of the north dike contains a washout created by past high water events.
  • There is also a 0.41 acre area in the extreme southwest corner of the site, however; this mature, wooded area is landlocked by private land and the NRD Steamboat Trace Trail. The southwest boundary of the area is bordered by the existing Nemaha Natural Resource District’s Steamboat Trace Trail which is a hiking/biking trail from Nebraska City, NE to Cooper Nuclear Station south of Brownville, NE.
  • The Missouri River comprises the one-quarter mile boundary along the eastern edge of the property.  The overall management goal, on the retired agricultural acres at Sonora Bend WMA, will be to maintain early succession herbaceous vegetation to benefit numerous ground nesting & grassland birds.  
  • On higher elevation portions, not subject to periodic flooding, high diversity seedings may be an option to provide additional pollinator benefits.
  • Additional emphasis will be placed upon sustaining the existing riparian woodland habitat to provide nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for resident and migrating songbirds, raptors, eagles, and other woodland mammals & birds.

Status:  Open to the public. Site/Habitat is in operations and maintenance status.

Site Use:  The site is open to the public for a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, hiking, and hunting when in season.

Site-use Regulations:  

  • People visiting these areas must comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, including hunting, fishing, etc.  In general Title 36 Part 327 of the Code of Federal Regulations governs the use of Corps property.  Other regulations may apply to properties owned by other federal agencies.
  • Special regulations and restrictions may be posted on site.

Special-use Regulations:  No target shooting, primitive camping or off-road vehicles permitted.

For More Information

Contact Information: 

  • Contact the Corps' Missouri River Project Office at (402) 996-3761.

Story Maps Link:  http://rsgisias.crrel.usace.army.mil/story_maps/nwo/mrrp/index.html#

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