Nebraska Seasonal September 01, 2020
by Delana Lefevers It’s Bullfrog Season Here In Nebraska And Here’s What You Need To Know
The distinctive croaking call of the bullfrog is a familiar sound here in Nebraska all summer long. But once summer begins dwindling away, we see these noisemakers take on a different kind of role: dinner. Nebraska’s bullfrog season is year-round for those living west of Highway 81 and August 15-October 31 for people living east of Highway 81.
The North American bullfrog is an adorable but highly invasive species that can be found in all 50 states. It's the largest type of frog on the continent and can reach sizes of up to seven or eight inches long. The biggest bullfrogs can weigh up to a pound each!
You may have captured bullfrogs to play with when you were a kid, but have you ever harvested them as food? It's a common practice in many places, including Nebraska, and right now is the perfect time to get out there and catch some for yourself.
If you want to go bullfrogging in Nebraska, you'll have to follow some ground rules. If you're west of Highway 81 (which runs through York) you can hunt the frogs all year long. If you live east of Highway 81, you'll have to have your frog-catching fun between August 15 and October 31.
You'll need a fishing license to harvest bullfrogs in Nebraska, no matter where in the state you live. In the eastern third of the state, any frogs you catch have to be at least 4 1/2-inches long from snout to vent and only the intestines can be removed prior to transport. In the rest of Nebraska, there are no size limits.
Catching bullfrogs is allowed by hand, hand net, or hook and line. You're allowed to go bullfrogging day or night and you're free to use an artificial light to attract and harvest them. Regardless of where you live in the state, there is a daily bag limit of eight and you can have no more than 16 in your possession at one time.
Why do people wade around in weedy water after dark, wearing headlamps and trying to grab at slippery bullfrogs? For starters, it's great fun! But the lasting reward is their delicious meat.
You can do just about anything with frog legs, from the simple and nostalgic to the highfalutin and fancy. Many people choose to bread and then pan-fry them, but there are infinite other ways to prepare them, as well.
If you've never tasted frog legs, you're in for a treat. The meat is tender and mild; the texture falls somewhere between chicken and fish. While you've probably heard people proclaim that it "tastes like chicken," frog meat is very much its own thing with its own distinctive flavor.
Find out more about the sport of bullfrogging in
this excellent article from Nebraskaland magazine.
What are the best spots for hunting bullfrogs in Nebraska? Share your favorite destinations in the comments!
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