About Harlan County

Fishing, Boating, Camping and more...

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Harlan County Lake

Harlan County Lake, Nebraska's second largest lake, is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. Considered the finest walleye fishery in the state, Harlan County is also known for White bass, Wipers, Catfish and Crappie, and to a lesser extent, Northern Pike and Largemouth Bass. The lake is a favorite for camping, boating and water skiing in the Great Plains region of the United States.

There are 542 camping pads available at 7 established campgrounds around the lake's 75 miles of shoreline. Primitive camping is permitted on most of the federal property around the lake.

Fishing

Fishing starts in early spring with the walleye spawn along the dam and the catfish run up the Republican River. The lake offers the year-round angler walleye, wipers, northern pike, largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, and catfish. 
Master Angler trophies are taken from both the river and the lake.

Boating

Harlan County Lake has several boat ramps accessible at most lake elevations. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers charges a day use fee from April 1st to October 31st for launching boats at Gremlin Cove, Hunter Cove or Methodist Cove parks.  The boat launch fee is waived with a paid camping permit at any Corps of Engineers operated park.  An annual day use pass may be purchased from the Corps of Engineers office or at fee booths located at the entrances to Hunter Cove and Methodist Cove parks.

Boats also may be launched from the privately operated North Shore Marina and Patterson Harbor, and pontoon boats, fishing boats, jet skis, canoes, and tubes may be rented at North Shore.

Additional boat ramps are located at the City of Alma dock on the south edge of town and at Cedar Point park. 

For more information on boating visit the Harlan County tourism website.

Camping

There are 542 camping pads available at 6 established U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds around the lake's 75 miles of shoreline. 

Reserve by calling toll-free 877-444-6777 or via the website Recreation.gov  [link opens in a new window] . No state camping permit is needed, and the Corps honors America the Beautiful Senior and Access Passes.

To reserve shelter houses, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Harlan County Lake, 308-799-2105.

For more information about camping in Harlan County visit the Harlan County tourism website.

Contact us to rent your space for your boat, camper or vehicle.

Harlan County Lake

  • Nebraska's second largest lake
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project
  • Considered finest walleye fishery in the state
  • Open year round
  • No state permit for camping is needed
  • Nebraska hunting and/or fishing license is required