Michael, I used to live in NE and also traveled from KC to Pine Ridge area for deer hunting. I do not know of any specific ponds, but Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge is in that part of the world and some of the shallow lakes produce some nice 'gill. I have not personally fished there, but, I have spent some time on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge where there are numerous lakes know for bluegills and northern pike. You could get some info from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (I worked for USFWS from 1963 -1971) and hunted at Valentine where I bagged my bid whitetail - 11 point and 200 lbs field dressed. I'm sure the I-80 pits are much more accessible. Good Luck!