Sherman Reservoir, Nebraska, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Nebraska - Sandhills -

Also known as:  Sherman Lake

Sherman Reservoir adds great recreation value to the Sandhills region of Nebraska in addition to precious irrigation water for thousands of farm acres. Built in 1961 by the Bureau of Reclamation, the dam across Oak Creek was intended to provide flood control and irrigation storage. Since that time, 2,800-acre Sherman Lake has become the water playground for thousands of visitors each year. The Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area and Wildlife Management Area were created to provide over 4,700 acres of public lands for visitors to enjoy with boat ramps, campgrounds, a marina, rental cabins and multiple trails. The reservoir is now owned and operated by the local Farwell Irrigation District and the Loup Basin Reclamation District.

A great deal of careful planning and development have gone into the area around Sherman Reservoir to provide for the activities visitors enjoy most. Four boat launch areas are open to the public, while larger boats can launch from the concession-operated marina on the eastern shoreline. The reservoir, stretched for miles along two main arms, has ample space for sailing, water skiing, tubing and pleasure boating. Many small coves and inlets make canoeing and kayaking popular for reaching remote areas for fishing. Care must be exercised during periods of high water as rock breakwaters often become partially submerged. Nearly a dozen trail roads reach the shoreline from all directions, leading to 360 primitive camping sites and several picnic areas. These areas provide drinking water and rest rooms but otherwise are quite secluded. Many hiking trails fan out through the area. Organized camping sites are located near the dam, where coin-operated showers and dump station are available. RV pads and rental cabins furnished with heat, air conditioning, bathrooms and kitchen facilities can be rented at the marina where office facilities are located.

Fishing is always a favorite at Sherman Reservoir. The lake holds channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, walleye, white bass and northern pike with walleye tournaments often held on the lake. Fish cleaning stations are located in the most used areas. One of the most popular areas is Fisherman’s Bridge located at the inlet at the north end of the reservoir where anglers can also access the supply canal. Special fishing regulations are sometimes in effect for Sherman Reservoir, and a fishing license is always required; all information and licenses can be obtained at the marina. Some of the flathead catfish grow to trophy size. In winter, ice fishing is possible, with crappie and white bass usually caught. Walleye and northern pike fingerlings are regularly stocked in Sherman Reservoir. Because the reservoir is used for irrigation purposes, the water level can be somewhat erratic with major drawdowns occurring. Boaters should always check water levels online before heading to the lake. Some boat ramps may not be usable during periods of extremely low water.

The marina serves nearly all daily needs at Sherman Reservoir, offering groceries, soft drinks, beer, deli sandwiches, a laundromat, tackle, ‘beer garden’, fishing boat rentals, boat slips and boat storage, fishing/hunting/park permits, and the full-service campground with electric and water hook-ups. Fast food can be ordered from the grill. Over 70 RV spaces are available to rent by the season, and a small trailer court rents single-wide mobile homes by the season and year-round. Waterfront cabin rentals are also arranged here. The only area with private lodgings is at the north end of the reservoir where a small number of private cottages are built on leased land on a point jutting out into the lake. These cottages are in high demand and only occasionally can one be found for rent or sale. A few scattered leased lots are available within the Wildlife Management Area for seasonal cabins. Many Grand Island residents vacation at Sherman Reservoir each summer, just 50 miles away.

The public lands are divided into parks properties and wildlife management areas. The Wildlife Management Area is open for hunting during the appropriate seasons. Deer, turkey, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squirrel and dove can be hunted here with the correct license. Seasonal waterfowl blinds may be used for waterfowl hunting. The entire area is open most of the year for hiking, bird watching and nature observation with some areas open for hunting dog training. The marina can provide maps and appropriate licenses or permits. The nearest town is Loup City, about four miles to the southwest. Even the most dedicated campers and boaters occasionally want a day away from the lake, or perhaps a night on the town. Loup City is small but offers all necessary services, such as a full-service grocery store, auto repair, medical care, antique shops, artisans’ galleries, a nine-hole golf course, bowling alley, community pool and several parks. Lodgings are available near Loup City, including a historic hotel and bed-and-breakfasts.

The Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway passes through the Loup City area, offering unusual scenic vistas of Nebraska’s famed Sandhills with its varied wildlife and abundant migrating birds in spring and fall. The byway passes many historic markers detailing the settlement of the area, with small town museums offering insights into the lives of the pioneers who settled here or passed through on their way farther west. Fifty miles to the southeast, the City of Grand Island offers big city entertainment, theaters, horse racing, a water park and shopping. Sherman Reservoir is just far enough ‘off the beaten track’ to enjoy a country lake vacation or a little fishing away from city life. Some real estate can be found near Loup City or outside of the public land areas of Sherman Reservoir. Existing properties on leased lots are usually scarce but can be found with a little effort over time. And that may be the only effort one needs to exert at Sherman Reservoir, other than launching the boat, grabbing the tow rope or wrestling that monster catfish into the boat.

Things to do at Sherman Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Sherman Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Sherman Reservoir Photo Gallery

Sherman Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Farwell Irrigation District, Loup Basin Reclamation District

Surface Area: 2,845 acres

Shoreline Length: 68 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,154 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 2,162 feet

Water Volume: 69,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1961

Spread the word! Share our Sherman Reservoir article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.