Timelapse

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The Platte Basin Watershed

In Motion

More than sixty cameras across the Platte Basin capture images of our water as it travels from the Rockies to the Missouri River. The cameras take a picture every hour of daylight and tell the story of our changing landscape.

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Benjamin Ranch

Located on a working cattle ranch in the western Nebraska Sandhills, this camera shows seasonal changes on an alkaline wetland. The western Nebraska Sandhills have a complex region composed of highly alkaline lakes and wetlands....

Bobcat Prairie Experiment

This camera observed a tallgrass prairie restoration experiment just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. The experiment compared different seeding methods and management strategies that are commonly used in prairie restorations. The plot on the left was...

Bobcat Wetland

Along the banks of a tributary of the Haines Branch in the Prairie Corridor, a camera bears witness to the changes that happen at an intersection of prairie and wetland. This habitat, known as a...

Broome Hut

This camera is a fixture on the deck of the Broome Hut high in the Second Creek cirque in Grand County, CO. At 11,350 feet above sea level, winter arrives early and lingers late each...

Camp Ashland Chute

Looking north along a restored channel of a backwater chute at the Camp Ashland Training Site, NE. This area was historically connected to the lower Platte River, but hardening of banks along the Platte River...

Camp Ashland Chute Inlet

Overlooking the inlet of a backwater chute at the Camp Ashland Training Site, NE. The lower Platte River is located in the background. It is anticipated that there will be periods of high water events...

Camp Ashland Chute Outlet

Overlooking the inlet of a backwater chute at the Camp Ashland Training Site, NE. The lower Platte River is located in the background. It is anticipated that there will be periods of high water events...

Camp Ashland East Slough

This camera is looking downstream from near the inlet of a restored slough on Nebraska National Guard property. This slough is fed by groundwater from a nearby wetland and the Platte River a few hundred...

Camp Ashland East Slough 2

This camera is looking upstream from near the inlet of a restored slough on Nebraska National Guard property. This slough is fed by groundwater from a nearby wetland and the Platte River a few hundred...

Camp Ashland Platte River

This camera looks west at a sandbar complex along the lower Platte River at the Camp Ashland training site near Omaha, Nebraska. These sandbars are dynamic and support a diverse wildlife community from common waterfowl...

Cheeseman Reservoir

This camera watches Cheesman Reservoir, which is the result of Cheesman Dam. Construction of the dam began in 1898 and was completed in 1905. The dam stands 221 feet above the streambed and was once...

Cheesman Spillway

This camera provides a view of the South Platte River below the Cheeseman Dam and Reservoir. Water is released from Cheesman Reservoir to the South Platte River, providing wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities as it...

Cottonwood Ranch East

Existing conditions at Cottonwood Ranch grassland–wetland habitat area (August 2017 – April 2018), construction activities associated with development of broad-scale recharge water project facilities (May 2018 – August 2018), after construction conditions at Cottonwood Ranch...

Cottonwood Ranch West

Existing conditions at Cottonwood Ranch grassland–wetland habitat area (August 2017 – April 2018), construction activities associated with development of broad-scale recharge water project facilities (May 2018 – August 2018), after construction conditions at Cottonwood Ranch...

Crane Trust Headquarters

This location views the main channel of the Platte River, southwest of Grand Island, Nebraska, at the Crane Trust. This stretch of river is managed actively to maintain wide, open channels relatively free from disturbance....

Crop Field

Located next to Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary, this crop field utilizes pipe irrigation to grow soybeans and corn on a rotational basis. Pipe irrigation allows water from the Platte to enter through gates in the pipes...

Dakota Springs

Nebraska’s eastern saline wetlands were nearly all destroyed from a century and more of growth of the City of Lincoln, modification of Salt Creek and its tributaries, and land development for agricultural use. The saline...

Denver Golf Course

This camera was located in a residential neighborhood in suburban Denver. A golf course, a heavy consumer of water, fills most of the frame. The canal located directly in front of the fence, destined for...

Derr Restoration

Located on Nature Conservancy property along the south channel of the central Platte, this camera shows part of a habitat restoration project where a sandpit lake has been regraded and shaped to create a meandering...

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

The Fraser River was recognized as one of the United State’s most endangered rivers. Increasing diversion from Denver Water and Colorado’s Front Range threatened to drain the river completely dry at times. An agreement between...

Eby Lake

Located on a private ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills, this camera will watch the ebb and flow of the lake after a large-scale carp removal project that went underway in early September 2021. Carp are...

Elkhorn River Research Station

This camera looks upstream at the Elkhorn River Research Station, managed by the University of Nebraska–Omaha. In 2011, the University of Nebraska at Omaha partnered with the Papio-Missouri River NRD to construct the Elkhorn River...

Fire Forest Poudre River

Severe forest fires often leave steep slopes vulnerable to erosion. During storms, runoff sediment may render water untreatable for drinking and even suffocate fish. To prevent this, forest restoration is needed to undo a century...

Fote Playa

Nestled between agricultural fields on private land in Lincoln County, Nebraska, this camera watches a small playa wetland through the seasons. Playa wetlands form in shallow depressions where a thick clay layer causes water from...

Fremont Canyon

The camera at Fremont Canyon is just downstream from Pathfinder Dam. It was through this canyon that explorer John Charles Fremont attempted to run the river in a wooden boat in 1842 and was capsized...

Gracie Creek

Gracie Creek is located on the Switzer Ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills. Gracie Creek is a cold, clear, groundwater-fed stream. The stream stays open year-round due to the powerful springs that feed it. Cattle can...

Grieving Center Pivot

Near Chappell, Nebraska nestled between the Platte and Loup rivers, this camera will capture the dramatic changes from the perspective of center-pivot irrigation systems.

Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory

This camera faces north overlooking a Sandhills valley at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, a research station located north of Whitman, Nebraska. The camera captures activities of a working ranch from haying to...

Heron Rookery

This camera captured images of a heron rookery through the seasons near the outlet of Lake McConaughy. Heron’s are a gregarious species and prefer to nest in tree colonies. This camera is retired.

Jack Creek

Jack Creek’s little side falls illustrate the widely varied nature of mountain streams that coalesce to form the North Platte. Jack Creek in this stretch is a rocky bottomed mountain stream dependent on snowmelt for...

Kearney Outdoor Learning Area

Located near Turkey Creek, a tributary of the Platte River, this camera views a slough, restored prairie, and riparian forest by Kearney High School in southeastern Kearney, Nebraska. The area was designated the Kearney Outdoor...

Knott Prairie

Knott Prairie is an unplowed tallgrass prairie owned by the Wachiska Audubon Society. Located on the floodplain of the Platte River, the plant community of this prairie is highly influenced by groundwater flows and is...

Lake Agnes

Lake Agnes is situated at 11,000 feet above sea level and is our highest camera in the North Platte watershed, just below the Continental Divide in the Never Summer Range. Dozens of similar “cirque lakes”...

Lake McConaughy

Formed by Kingsley Dam, Lake McConaughy is one of the largest reservoirs on the North Platte River. Built as a hydro-irrigation project for the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID), Lake McConaughy is...

Lake Ogallala

Lake Ogallala is created from released water behind Lake McConaughy and Kingsley Dam. During the release, water sprays from the dam, creating a ‘rooster tail’ or an arc of water over the lake that allows...

Latta Lake

This camera has captured the conversion of a cedar-choked landscape back to Sandhills prairie. The Switzer Ranch has been combating the spread of the invasive eastern redcedar through prescribed fire and mechanical removal. Latta Lake...

Lied Platte River Bridge

This camera is located below the Lied Platte River Bridge on the hiker/biker trail near South Bend, Nebraska. The camera provides a low-angle view looking upstream from mid-river, capturing dynamic river processes of ever-shifting sandbars...

Little Salt Creek

Salt Creek and its tributaries drain roughly 1,600 square miles of land area, including Lincoln, Nebraska. This camera looks at Little Salt Creek, which drains Shoemaker Marsh and Arbor Lake, sending water to Salt Creek...

Mahoney State Park Tower

Located on the observation tower at Mahoney State Park between Lincoln and Omaha, this location gives a bird’s eye view of the Lower Platte River and surrounding wooded bluffs. The river here is mainly fed...

Marsh Wren Little Salt Creek

Located at the confluence of Little Salt Creek and Salt Creek on the Marsh Wren Community Wetland, this camera looks upstream along Little Salt Creek. Both creeks were channelized and straightened long ago, primarily for...

Mick’s Slide

Located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, this camera captures the winding stream of a branch of the Middle Loup River as it cuts through the Nebraska Sandhills. “Mick’s Slide” is in the...

Missouri Confluence

This camera is located at the confluence of the Platte and Missouri rivers at Schilling Wildlife Management Area near Plattsmouth, Nebraska, south of Omaha. After a 1352 river-mile journey and draining 90,000 square miles, the...

Mittlestets Meander

Located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, this camera captures the winding stream of a branch of the Middle Loup River as it cuts through the Nebraska Sandhills. “Mick’s Slide” is in the...

Mormon Island

Hydrologically connected to the central Platte, the extensive wet meadow landscape on Mormon Island is managed by The Crane Trust, which is working to preserve and restore native prairie and wet meadow habitats. Highly dynamic,...

Mormon Island Restoration

Located on Mormon Island on lands owned and managed by the Crane Trust, this camera views a former corn/soybean crop field that was rested from cultivation and seeded with native prairie species in 2019. Images...

Near Elm Creek

This camera is oriented to the southeast and looks downstream on land owned by the Nebraska Public Power District. The area is an active study site for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program researching river...

Near Plum Creek

This camera is oriented to the southeast and looks downstream on land owned by the Nebraska Public Power District. The area is an active study site for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program researching river...

Nebraska Game and Parks Wetland

Standing at 11ft tall, this camera looks at the day-to-day rhythm of a wetland in a highly urbanized landscape. Behind the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission building quietly stirs a small, but important wetland feature....

Nine-Mile Hilltop

Nine Mile Prairie is one of the largest remaining patches of unaltered tallgrass prairie left in eastern Nebraska. Most of the original prairie in the Great Plains was turned over with plows to create farm...

Nine-Mile Spring

Many groundwater-fed springs and seeps at Nine Mile Prairie flow when the water table is high. Here at the head of the big draw that runs along the south edge of the property, one spot...

Niwot Ridge

This camera is located at the headwaters of the Boulder Creek watershed on Niwot Ridge. University of Colorado Boulder’s Niwot Ridge LTER is a Long-term Ecological Research Program aimed to study air, snow, water, soil,...

North Fork Cache La Poudre River

This location provides an intimate view of the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River in The Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Canyon Preserve. Phantom Canyon is one of the last roadless canyons left in Colorado....

North Lake Basin

Previously located on North Lake Basin Wildlife Management Area near Utica, Nebraska, this camera focused on a large playa wetland in the Rainwater Basin. The Rainwater Basin is the largest playa complex in Nebraska and...

North Loup River

Located on a branch of the North Loup River on a ranch in Cherry County, these falls are gradually moving to the west upstream in a process called “head cutting”. The flow of this creek...

Olive Creek

The Olive Creek camera is observing a hillside that was burned in an unplanned grassfire in South East Nebraska that spread from Firth nearly to the town of Kramer. This camera is observing the brief...

Pathfinder Spillway

Completed in 1909 as part of the North Platte Project, Pathfinder Dam was one of the first large dams created under the 1902 Reclamation Act. It was constructed to irrigate lands in Wyoming. Our camera...

Phantom Canyon

Located 30 miles northwest of Ft. Collins and consisting of over 1,700 acres, The Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Canyon Preserve is one of northern Colorado’s last roadless canyons. Our camera overlooks the North Fork of the...

Poudre River

Located on PBT’s long-time friend Steve Den’s deck in Poudre Canyon, this camera provides an upstream view of the Poudre River. The Poudre River is the only federally designated Wild & Scenic River in Colorado...

Rocky Flats Pond

Located northwest of Denver, Colorado, the Rocky Flats Wildlife National Refuge was once the site of an underground nuclear testing facility. The area was converted into a wildlife refuge after the closing of the facility....

Rowe Sanctuary Crane Camera

This camera was located along the bank of the Platte River at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary and one of the first two cameras set in place at the beginning of the PBT project. During spring migration...

Rowe Sanctuary Tower

Located at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary, this camera atop of 35 foot tower provides a bird’s eye view of a braided river channel and shifting sandbars along the central Platte River. Between late February and early...

Saline Wetland

North of Lincoln, Nebraska in the Salt Creek drainage on a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Wildlife Management Area, this camera captures scenes from a unique location where both freshwater and saline wetlands intermingle due...

Sandhills Windmill

Located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, this camera location looks north upon an icon of the Nebraska Sandhills – the windmill. The windmill pulls up clear cold water from the aquifer below,...

Seminoe Dam

Our camera located at Seminoe Dam is anchored on a steep canyon hillside overlooking the dam and power plant. The dam is located at the head of this canyon, where the North Platte cuts through...

Seminoe State Park Sunshine Beach

Sunshine Beach is a public use area on Seminoe Reservoir just upstream from the dam and power plant. The shallow bay in the foreground shows water level fluctuations throughout the year. These fluctuations are caused...

Shoemaker Lake

Located on the Switzer Ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills, Shoemaker Lake is a large Sandhills lake watered by springs and precipitation. Its water levels can fluctuate widely throughout the year. Miles away from any maintained...

Silver Creek

Located in Routt National Forest, in the drainage adjacent to Jack Creek, Silver Creek winds through the eastern edge of North Park, Colorado. An active beaver pond pools water behind a dam, creating a complex...

South Platte Beaver Dam

On the banks of the South Platte River, near Ovid, Colorado, PBT placed a timelapse camera looking at a beaver dam that crosses the main channel of the South Platte. Once ubiquitous throughout North America,...

State Line Gauge Weir

The Stateline Gauge is responsible for monitoring water flows from Wyoming into Nebraska. A litigious past has resulted in settlements on the quantity of water each state receives and what that water is used for,...

Upper Elkhorn River

Near Norfolk, Nebraska, this camera looks upstream at the Elkhorn River. The Elkhorn River is located in the northeastern part of the state. It is fed by groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer and is one...

Watson

This camera watches the cycle of the seasons along the North Platte River and faces south towards the entrance of North Park near the Colorado – Wyoming border. At roughly 9,000 feet, North Park is...

Whalen Diversion Dam Canal

Whalen Diversion Dam is roughly 10 miles downstream of Guernsey Dam and Reservoir, the last major dam on the North Platte in Wyoming. The dam diverts water into the Interstate and Fort Laramie Canals and...

Whalen Diversion Dam Upstream

Whalen Diversion Dam is roughly 10 miles downstream of Guernsey Dam and Reservoir, the last major dam on the North Platte in Wyoming. The dam diverts water into the Interstate and Fort Laramie Canals and...

Wildcat Hills

This camera focuses on the cycle of seasons at a small ephemeral spring in the Wildcat Hills. The Wildcat Hills are a set of rocky escarpments perched above the North Platte River Valley near Scottsbluff-Gering,...

Wildcat Hills Nature Center

Looking northeast across ponderosa pine woodlands and rocky escarpments, this camera is located at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center, perched high above the North Platte River Valley and the communities of Scottsbluff and Gering, NE....

Winter Park

Located on a rooftop home at 9,000 feet in a housing development above Tabernash, Colorado, this camera looks towards Berthoud Pass and captures the cycle of the seasons and ever changing weather conditions and cloud...

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