Jlake News--New brewery & family restaurant coming!!

 Newer posts and stories appear below:
New J-lake Business:  A new brewery and family restaurant will be open at Johnson Lake in the spring of 2019. Michael and Jessica Bliven are working on getting the old RC Galley building converted to meet the needs of their business.  Click to read the Kearney Hub Story:  HUB STORY
OR Visit their Facebook page:  Canyon Lakes Brewing Co



CNPPID’s Don Kraus to retire with 45 years under belt


HOLDREGE — Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District will have a leadership change early next year.

Don Kraus, who has been with the district for more than 45 years, including the past 25½ as general manager, announced at Monday’s CNPPID board meeting in Holdrege that he will retire in January.

The Sargent native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate started at Central in 1971. He left for a job in Iowa for 1½ years, returned to CNPPID in 1976 as an electrical engineer, then chief electrical engineer and assistant manager, before being named general manager in December 1992.

After the board accepted Kraus’ letter of resignation, effective January 2019, President Dudley Nelson of Axtell said, “Under Don’s leadership, Central has advanced by leaps and bounds in technology and other ways.”

The board approved hiring the Denver firm of Mycoff, Fry and Prouse for $60,000 to help recruit a new general manager.

Also recognized Monday was Robert Garrett of Minden who served on the board from 1981 to January 2017. Garrett died Thursday.

In staff reports, civil engineer Cory Steinke said Lake McConaughy levels have been steady recently. The lake held 1.46 million acre-feet of water Monday, which is 84.1 percent of capacity. Recent North Platte River inflows have been approximately 1,100 cubic feet per second.

Steinke said upstream Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs in Wyoming also are nearly full, but runoff prospects from any area of the Platte Basin are not good.

Another concern is drought. “There’s a big red dot (representing extreme drought) in the Panhandle of Oklahoma,” he said. “It’s getting bigger and moving east and north.”

An update on groundwater levels in Gosper, Phelps and Kearney counties, where CNPPID delivers surface water for irrigation, was given by Irrigation Division Manager Dave Ford.

There wasn’t a huge difference in April 2017 and April 2018 readings from monitoring wells, he said, and increases in some Gosper County wells reflect benefits from diverting excess Platte flows into Elwood Reservoir the past few years to enhance groundwater recharge.

Trends seen the past 10 years and since baseline readings were taken in 1981-85 include larger groundwater declines in Phelps and Kearney counties east of Holdrege. “That’s an area where we will and have been having discussions,” Ford said.

He acknowledged some declines reflect conservation improvements in the CNPPID system and on farms during the years, such as lining irrigation canals, replacing canals with pipelines and greater use of more efficient pivot systems.

Ford, Tri-Basin Natural Resources District General Manager John Thorburn of Holdrege and two Central directors said current groundwater levels remain much higher than pre-development levels, so the declines are being measured from artificial highs from CNPPID system recharge.

Ford also said surface water is in place now to serve almost all 2018 Central irrigation customers within a day or two, and some pivots have been started.

In other business, the board:

- Approved a pilot program to list contractors certified to work on properties at CNPPID lakes to help speed up the permit process. Other contractors can be hired by lake residents, but will go through the regular permit process.

- Approved construction of a donor-funded memorial lighthouse on Johnson Lake’s Mallard Bay jetty. CNPPID will do site preparation for possible late summer construction and the lake association will handle jetty mowing.

- Was told by Deb Jensen, the liaison between Johnson Lake Development Inc. and the board, there needs to be better control of weeds and overgrowth along lake trails where native grass areas are being developed.

- Approved letters of consent and understanding with Gosper County for a fall project to replace a bridge over the E65 Canal with a box culvert. Central will pay 35 percent of the culvert cost up to $73,000.

- Heard from Glenvil farmer Dave Murman, a candidate for senator in the 38th Legislative District.


New Business at Johnson Lake:

Eagle Viewing Season Has Arrived!!!

Central’s J-2 Hydroplant will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays through the last weekend in February.
The hydro plant is located south of Lexington NE near the intersection of county roads 749 and 750.
For more information visit Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District or call 308-995-8601.


HELP KEEP JOHNSON LAKE CLEAN--- A J-lake User sent the follow picture and comment today:

I picked all this out of the lake this morning around the island. This stuff was thrown in on purpose. Most was to heavy to blow in.

 Also there were 5 other boats in the area and no one else picked up anything.

 If you could post this with a comment about keeping the lake clean and safe.

Welcome: Artistic Cabinetry

posted Jul 20, 2017, 6:51 AM by Larry Ossenkop   [ updated Jul 25, 2017, 6:33 PM ]

The Artistic Cabinetry location at Johnson Lake is open for business!  Cindy Fahrenbruch is hosting an open house on Friday July 21st from 5 to 8 PM.  The new business is located in the old Subway building near the entrance to the main Game and Park Campground.  The Johnson Lake Chamber of Commerce will be welcoming  Artistic Cabinetry with a ribbon cutting at 4:45 PM, just before the open house begins...  Thanks to all for the super turn out and thanks to Cindy for all of the great treats!!

Contact Cindy for your cabinet needs or 

to view her line of custom cabinetry:  308-991-7880


posted May 18, 2017, 2:33 PM by Larry Ossenkop

Possible Lease Freeze??

posted Feb 7, 2017, 7:57 PM by Larry Ossenkop

Kearney HUB article   Click the link on the left to read the HUB article on:  

Johnson Lake tenants may get six-year freeze [lease increase]

Inlet HideAway has re-opened!

posted Jan 19, 2017, 9:45 AM by Larry Ossenkop

Now open daily, 11 am to 8 pm!! 

Check for specials on their FB page.

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J-laker & Kearney Man Killed in Fatal Johnson Lake Accident

posted Aug 29, 2016, 7:51 PM by Larry Ossenkop   [ updated Aug 29, 2016, 7:55 PM ]

Sunday morning at 5:15 the Dawson County Sheriffs Department was notified of a single vehicle accident at Drive 13 of Johnson Lake Drive. Killed in the accident was a lone occupant, 35 year old Ryan L. Johnson of Kearney. Johnson was driving a 2000 GMC Sierra pickup and lost control and the vehicle rolled. Johnson was not wearing seatbelts and was ejected. The Dawson County Sheriff’s department was assisted at the scene by the Lexington Fire Department, Johnson Lake EMS and the Dawson County Attorney’s office.

Obituary:  For Ryan Johnson


posted May 10, 2016, 7:54 PM by Larry Ossenkop   [ updated May 13, 2016, 8:00 PM ]

Our new Summer hours starts May 20th, opening at 11 a.m. for Dinner.
  Tuesday - Wednesday 4 PM to 12 AM, Thursday - Saturday 11 AM to 1 AM, Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM. 
 Also, if you haven't tried the new menu out you definitely need to...the Carbonara Pasta is amazing.
Our C-Store is now open with the shelves fully stocked and the gas pumps running. 
 Our hours are Thursday - Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM



8AM - ????    KITCHEN OPEN 11 AM -9PM.


So much is happening at The Inlet Hideaway this week..

Wednesday night Dan Finken   will be cooking his yummy chicken
Friday night all you can eat fish


Serving Pulled Pork sandwiches with chips for $6.00
Happy hour all day on beer and well drinks.

Stop out and see the changes and meet Donnie and his family!

(the kitchen will be open 5pm-9pm Saturday)


Open 7 days a week, just as we were all winter.  11 a.m. to 9 p.m. or later (8 a.m. on Sat & Sun)...  

Serving daily Lunch specials as well as menu items.  

Now serving breakfast on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m.

If you haven't tried our Flat Iron steak, you better give it a try, it

is one of the best in the country!! Or, give our Prime Rib a try on

Friday and Saturday nights; or the Prime Rib sandwich anytime.

Boater & Jet Ski Safety Classes

posted Apr 8, 2016, 7:30 AM by Larry Ossenkop   [ updated Apr 8, 2016, 7:44 AM ]

Boater Safety Training Classes will again be sponsored by the 
Johnson Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Two upcoming classes are scheduled:

May 28th, 10 am to 4 pm, at Lexington Public Library
May 29th, 10 am to 4 pm, at Johnson Lake EMS Bldg, Drive 8A

Call 308-627-3895 to register; $10 fee payable at the door; bring a sack lunch and a pen or pencil.  Must be at least 14 years of age before August 1st.

Boating Safety Courses teach students how to safely operate a motorized boat while following all rules and regulations. Topics covered include navigation and safe operation, Nebraska laws, and emergency preparedness. Anyone born after December 31, 1985 is required to successfully complete a Boating Safety Course and possess a course certificate while operating a boat or personal watercraft (Jet-ski).   Classes are offered throughout the state of Nebraska in two different formats:
  • Option A is a 6-hour in-person classroom session taught by certified volunteers and agency staff. Students will take a proctored exam and the end of the class.
  • Option B is a self-taught home study course. Students can download and review the course study materials or complete an online study guide. After studying students will need to register for an Option B test-out session to take a proctored exam.

All students, regardless of which course option they choose, are required to pass the boating safety exam with a 75% or higher. 

A certificate of completion will be issued to those who pass the exam.

Medo's Valentine Special

posted Feb 8, 2016, 9:07 AM by Larry Ossenkop

Serving from 5 pm to close, Sunday night the 14th

Johnson Lake Trails St. Pat's Day Run

posted Jan 12, 2016, 10:58 AM by Larry Ossenkop

Johnson Lake Trails St. Pat's Day Run



St. Patrick’s Day Ride/Run/Walk – Fund Raiser for Johnson Lake Trails

The 3rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Ride/Run/Walk is scheduled for March 19 at noon

The event starts and ends at Medo’s Resort. 

More information and the on-line registration form can be found in the following links:

Check out (just click) the Facebook page for the event!  


Registration for this event is at EVENTBRITE   The EventBrite Registration page is up and running! Grab your friends

 and let's make this the best Run & Ride yet!  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/johnson-lake-trails-st-patrick


J-Lake Water Level to remain

posted Aug 4, 2015, 4:54 PM by Larry Ossenkop

Due to upstream water supply conditions, the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District does not plan to lower water levels at any of its lakes associated with the Supply Canal (including Jeffrey, Midway, Plum Creek and Johnson lakes) in August/September to complete the irrigation season.

Lake McConaughy’s elevation has declined only half a foot in July (from elevation 3,263.3 feet on July 1 to elevation 3,262.8 on July 30), largely due to higher than normal inflows during the month, as well as good flows in the South Platte River.

South Platte flows were sufficient to meet many downstream demands, reducing the need for releases from Lake McConaughy, which is situated on the North Platte River.

Lake McConaughy is considered full for operational purposes at elevation 3,265.0 feet.

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