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Tobacco Island

Image capture of Tyson-Bend


Size (acres):  1,648.71

River Mile:  585.6 to 589.9

Bank:  Right descending bank

County:  Cass

State:  Nebraska

Ownership, Management and Access

Ownership:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Acquisition Status:  Acquired from willing sellers between 1994 and 2011 under Water Resources Development Acts 1986 and 1999 authorizations.

On-Site Management:  Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) administers and/or performs operation and maintenance activities on behalf of the Corps according to the terms of various agreements.

Site Access:  No motor vehicles are allowed on the site.

Description, Use and Regulations

Description:  The Tobacco Island site, also known as William Gilmore WMA, is located along the right descending bank of the Missouri River just downstream of Plattsmouth, NE.

  • The majority of the Tobacco Island site lies in the Missouri River floodplain and is subject to periodic flooding.  A flow-through chute approximately 3-miles long and 10-feet wide was constructed in 2001 and followed a historical chute alignment to mimic prechannelization channels that were cutoff in conjunction with the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project (BSNP). 
  • Construction of the chute created an island approximately 900 acres in size that is accessible by boat only. The chute was modified in 2008 to increase the width to 20-feet. In 2012 , a new inlet structure was constructed 0.3 miles upstream of the original inlet and re-alignment of a portion of the chute was implemented to increase channel width and avoid rocky substrate.
  • The first chute created could not widen as intended due to the rock strata near the bluffs, so the re-aligned chute was dredged further to the east and closer to the river. The first chute was allowed to revert to backwater habitat.
  • Additional environmental restoration activities on this site include reestablishment of the floodplain forest and native grasses.

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

Site Use:  The area is available for a variety of outdoor activities including bird watching, hiking, fishing and hunting (under special regulations).

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 Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) at (402) 471-0641 or visit the NGPC web link: is in the "Plattsmouth to Nebraska City" section of the link, under "William Gilmour WMA : RM 590.585.6"
  • Also 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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