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Iowa Water Trails Association 
June, 2013  
What Water Trail Means to Bob Brammer
Jun 1 RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 29 Charles City WW Challenge
Jun 1 FW Mussels on W Nishnabotna WT
Jun 1 UPDATED Middle River WT Cleanup
Jun 8 Great Iowa River C&K Race
Jun 8 UPDATED Iowa River WT Cleanup
Jun 8 Family Paddle Clinic, Middle River WT
Jun 8 Middle Raccoon River WT Float, Guthrie County
Jun 14 Iowa Trails Summit
Jun 15 RESCHEDULED TO AUG 17 Cedar River WT Poker Run
Jun 15 Tree Town Adventure Race
Jun 15 Canoe Float & River Cleanup Maquoketa River WT
Jun 15 Family Paddle & Picnic West Nish WT
Jun 17 Pioneer Potteries, Des Moines River WT
Jun 22 Night Life Paddle Odessa WT
Jun 22 Fish Assemblage, Lake Red Rock WT
Jun 29 Triathlon with Twist, Turkey River WT
Jun 29 River Critters & Wildlife, Lake Red Rock WT
Jun 29 FW Mussels, Des Moines River WT
Jun 29 Timber City Adventure Race, Maquoketa River WT
Jun 29-30 Overnight Paddle, Middle River WT
Jun 7-8-9 IDNR Free Fishing Weekend
Jun 17 Submission Deadline, State Fair Photo Contest
Jul 27 Volunteer Training, Iowa Mussel Corps
IRR Master River Steward Program Going Strong, Growing to Cedar River Watershed
Where Is It? Quiz Answer
What Is It? Quiz Answer
Thanks to Our Subscribers



Iowa Rivers Revival, Protector of Rivers, Streams & Watersheds
Report Kills & Spills Logo  
Belted Kingfisher Nick Chill
This issue celebrates the 12th monthly issue of the IWTA Newsletter.  It has been a year of solid growth--growth in events, articles, participation, and subscribers (now over 520). With your input and support, we look forward to providing even more support to the managers, supporters, and users of Iowa's water trails in the next 12 months.
Wow!  What a variety of Water Trail events you have scheduled during the month of June!
Let's hope that Mother Nature will give these events the benefit of favorable water levels and pleasant weather. If in doubt, check the event or group website, call ahead, or plan some alternate activities for where you're headed.
With your help, we'll do our best to keep everyone informed of any event changes, delays, reschedules, or cancellations.
Needless to say, there are no articles about drought in this issue of the IWTA Newsletter.
We hope that you make the most of these opportunities to enjoy our Iowa Water Trails.  
Where Is It? Quiz
Bever Bridge on Boone DHillmann
Paddler Dave Hillman snapped this photo as he arrived at the takeout in fading light.  We enhanced the photo a bit, but it will still be very challenging for most folks to identify. 


Where Is It? 


Make your best guess, then click on
What Is It? Quiz
Bull Frog 1 Pl Creek GStark


What Is It? 


Make your 
best guess, 
then click on

What Water Trail Means to Bob Brammer
DM River WT Sycamore Access BBrammer
Sycamore Access on Des Moines River WT.
Photo by Bob Brammer.

Bob Brammer ("Bram") was communications director for the Iowa Attorney General's Office for many years.  He is on the board of Iowa Rivers Revival, and is especially interested in citizen action for public policies that support Iowa water trails and river restoration.



On a warm Sunday afternoon in April, I heard the siren call of the River.  On the spur of the moment, I loaded my canoe and bicycle and drove 15 minutes to Sycamore Access and the Des Moines River Water Trail for my first float of the year. 


The Trail runs below Saylorville Dam into the city of Des Moines - "surprisingly wild," as the Water Trail sign says, "with its abundant woodlands, wildlife, and sandbars."


I laid my bike in the Penobscot, launched into the swift water, which was running a little high, and beat a steady stroke just to feel the paddle at work again.   Sweet solitude.  I saw king fishers, white egrets, great blue herons, swallows, cormorants, and an impressive osprey.


It was a solo float.  I would go to the takeout, hop on my bike, ride back up the Neal Smith Bike Trail next to the river, return to the Sycamore put-in, and drive back down the Dragoon Trail road to the take-out.  Slick, quick.Easy way to go solo.


But the more I thought about it, it was hardly a "solo" trip.  Water Trails are chock full of social and human connections.  People are the past, present and future of Iowa water trails.

Early Iowa River Map c1837
1837 Ioway Map.  Read about the history of the map at 

After all that's what "trail" means -- a pathway used by people.  Iowa streams, including my stretch of the Des Moines, have been used as water trails for more than 9,000 years, according to the excellent interpretive Water Trail sign at Sycamore.   (See also the marvelous "1837 Ioway Map" - no doubt Iowa's oldest surviving water trail map.)  With the rebirth and recognition of water trails, we are tapping into a long and rich heritage of human river passage in Iowa.


Modern Iowa water trails were revived by people of vision and commitment.  I think of Gerry Rowland, the Father of Iowa Water Trails, who floated the entire Des Moines River from Estherville to Keokuk in 1997-98 - and spent years scouting accesses, talking up river trails, working with County Conservation Boards, and finding funds to establish trails.  (Gerry paddled many stretches of the Des Moines River alone, doing "self-shuttles" with his bike.)


Iowa's Water Trail system is growing today because of a remarkable collaboration of people and agencies - the DNR, county conservation boards, cities, the U.S., watershed organizations, citizen volunteers and advocates.  As a member of Iowa Rivers Revival, whose mission is to help Iowans be a voice for rivers, I'm glad to see the Legislature investing in the DNR's Water Trails program - and citizens supporting water trails.


Iowans are stepping up to keep our water and rivers clean, with impressive river cleanups, and with careful stewardship when they are on the rivers and river corridors.  A group of Iowans right now is undertaking Iowa River Revival's 8-week "Master River Steward" training program, learning how to protect and improve and speak for rivers.


So, even when I'm alone on the water trail, I am compelled to remember the millennia of humans that traveled the waters before us, and I am inspired to renew my commitment to be in that "boatload" of folks it takes to revive our precious rivers.

Was May 31-Jun 2, NOW JUNE 29 Charles City WW Challenge, Cedar River WT
Charles City Overview




Join the excitement in Charles City, Iowa, on June 29, 2013, as paddlers return to Iowa's first whitewater course for the Charles City Challenge!


Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend is anticipated to attract top canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard (SUP) talent from across the United States and Canada. Scheduled events include kayak rodeo, kayak boater cross, kayak "King of the Wave," SUP cross, SUP best surf, SUP distance race, canoe down river race and canoe obstacle event. Special events for youth will be kayak time trial and kayak best trick/surf. Opportunities for open boating will also allow river enthusiasts of all skill levels to experience the course.


A new feature for this year will be the competition for the Charles City Champion. Paddlers earn points based on place finish for each event; points can be submitted for up to five events. Highest total points will be named 2013 Charles City Champion!


Competitive paddling events will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 1. In addition to fun on the river, Saturday's events will include a disc golf tournament, dog jog, and downtown farmers market. Other weekend events will include special evening entertainment on Friday, May 31, with Charles City's popular summer festivity, Party in the Park, in Central Park featuring live music by Copper Box along with food and beverage vendors and activities for kids of all ages. Sunday, June 2 will feature a Krazy Kardboard Boat Race.


For more information about Charles City Challenge: WhiteWater Weekend and Charles City WhiteWater at Riverfront Park, please visit   or contact the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce at 641-228-4234 or 

Jun 1 Fresh Water Mussels Program on West Nishnabotna River WT
Golden Hills Rev Logo

Golden Hills RC&D will host a Freshwater Mussels Program on Saturday, June 1 at 10:00 am at Olsen Lodge in Botna Bend County Park, Hancock, IA.  


Join us for some classroom instruction before hitting the river to explore the mussel species found in the West Nishnabotna River. Remember to pack a lunch!


There is no limit to the number of participants in the classroom session running 10:00-11:30 am, followed immediately by lunch (please bring your own).  


But, to ensure adequate safety and effective instruction, the on-water session, beginning about Noon, will be limited to 20 boats.  Participants may use their own boats or boats/paddles/PFDs will be provided.  Follow the online registration instructions carefully to ensure that you are registering accurately for sessions and boats.


This event is free but due to space constraints, preregistration is required. 

Register online at: 


Freshwater mussels can be found in many Iowa rivers and streams. They are valuable components of freshwater biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and help keep the water clean by acting as Mother Nature's water filters. For something that looks like a living rock, they have a unique life cycle and interesting adaptations to the environment in which they live. Come learn more!


Presenter: Jennifer Kurth is a Natural Resources Biologist in the Watershed Improvement Section of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. She has a B.A in Theatre and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine. Jennifer works on streams that are listed as impaired for aquatic life use (fish, bugs, and/or mussels) but the cause is unknown, and she likes to explain it as a sort of environmental CSI. Her area of expertise is freshwater mussels and she is currently in the midst of a six-year, state-wide survey of freshwater mussels in Iowa rivers and streams.


This event is cosponsored by Golden Hills RC&D and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  For more information contact Emily Haase at Golden Hills RC&D; 712-482-3029 or  


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Jun 1 UPDATED Middle River WT Cleanup with Meal and Concert, Madison County
Middlr River Below Bridge CLiechty
Middle River photo by Carol Liechty.


UPDATE: The deadline for registration for our Middle River cleanup project this Saturday was today and we are no longer taking anymore registrations at this time - if you couldn't make it this year, perhaps next year. HOWEVER, we'd still like to invite you to join us for our "after-cleanup" concert at the Pammel Park Lodge this Saturday evening. This year the concert will feature the blues band, "Saylor Hill Sliders". The concert starts around 7:00 p.m. as free! Bring your camp chair and favorite beverage and gather in the Pammel Lodge and enjoy this great band.


--Madison County River Alliance


On Saturday, June 1, Madison County Conservation will host its Annual Middle River Cleanup, from Schildberg Access to Pammel Ford.  Meet at Pammel Park Lodge at 8:00 a.m. 


A full meal & concert (blues band Saylorville Sliders) will be provided at the Lodge following the cleanup.  The meal will include a taste of Cajun Crawdad with all the sides.


In the event of low water, same meeting time and amenities, but will work on log-jam removal.  In the event of high water (flooding), the meal and concert will still be held in the evening.  Participants are responsible for their own lunches and beverages on the water.


There is a $10 fee for this event, and registrations are due now.  Please register with Madison County Conservation by calling 515-462-3536 or email at


Jun 8 Fourth Annual Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race, Iowa City
Grt Iowa River Race Logo

The Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race with Company Challenge serves as a community and fundraising event for the Iowa Valley RC&D.  The race is 9 miles from Sturgis Access in Iowa City to Hills Access in Hills.  Divisions include canoe, kayak, racing, recreation, youth, company challenge, and more.  The race is sanctioned by the United States Canoe Association.


Check in from 7:00-8:15 am at the Fin & Feather parking lot in Iowa City (including pre-registrants); receive race instructions at Sturgis Access at 8:30; race starts at 9:00.  Average run time is about 1.5 hours.  A free shuttle will be available.


A Pancake Breakfast will be available at Fin & Feather the morning of the race.  Find info about rules, T-shirts, and registration at

Jun 8 UPDATED Post-AWARE Iowa River WT Cleanup
Tree & Tire Stark

UPDATED INFO from Mary Hyland:


The June 8th clean up on the Iowa River in Hardin County from Eldora to Daisy Long Memorial Park (Union) is still scheduled.   However, with the recent rains and forecast of additional rain this coming week, the clean up may be cancelled.   Please still consider registering.   Even if we do not clean the river there may be land volunteer opportunities at Hardin County Conservation parks and/or Pine Lake State Park.


Good news!   Greenbelt Bank & Trust and Triple T Meats have stepped up and will sponsor free sack lunches for the 1st 50 registered volunteers.   You will be notified if you do not make the lunch cut off and will need to bring your own lunch.   Lunches will be provided even if we cancel the river clean up and do land based clean up at local state and county parks. 


But wait - there's more!   Bob and Mary Lou Gunderson - long time supporters of the Iowa River Greenbelt Trust and the Iowa River Greenbelt in Hardin County - will sponsor free ice cream treats as you come off the river.   You will receive a coupon for a free ice cream treat from the Gingersnap in Union.  Just stop by the store and claim your treat on your way home!  


Updates and registration docs are on our website:   Registration cut off was May 24th but we will still accept registrations - so sign up ASAP!   If you wish to be a land volunteer (sorting trash/moving boats/etc) please indicate "land volunteer" on the registration doc.


Hope to see ya on the river!

Iowa River Greenbelt Resource Trust


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Jun 8 Canoe/Kayak Family Paddle Clinic, Middle River WT, Madison County
Middle River WT Sign

On Saturday, June 8, Madison County Conservation will host a Canoe/Kayak Family Paddle Clinic at Criss Cove County Park.  Meet at Criss Cove County Park (8 miles S of Winterset on Highway 169) at 1:00 p.m.


Most events are free, but please register with Madison County Conservation by calling 515-462-3536 or email at

Jun 8 Middle Raccoon River WT Float, Guthrie County
Guthrie CCB Logo


Guthrie County Conservation will hold a Middle Raccoon River Float on Saturday, June 8. The Panora Chamber of Commerce will serve a continental breakfast at 8:00 am, just prior to the group's departure from Lenon Mill Park at 8:30 AM. 


The float trip will end at the Middle Raccoon River Access by Noon. Please RSVP to 641-755-3061 so transportation back to Lenon Mill Park can be provided.


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Jun 14 Iowa Trails Summit, Cedar Falls/Waterloo

The annual Iowa Trails Summit celebrates all of our trails, including hiking, biking, paddling, snowmobiling, and equestrian, and their value to our state's recreation, economy, and wellness.  The 2013 Summit is titled "Trails, Blue Zones and Building a Healthier Iowa."  Join some of the leading experts on trails and healthy communities sharing their ideas, innovations, and Iowa's vision for healthy communities and the future of trails development in Iowa.

There is still time to register for the 2013 Iowa Trails Summit being held on Friday June 15 at the University of Northern Iowa.  This will be one power-packed day with some of America's leading trails, health and recreation experts sharing ideas about outdoor recreation - from innovation to marketing and beyond!


Hear from exciting panelists talking about Connecting Children with Trails and Blue Zones, and a Vision for the Future of Iowa Trails. Special Guests include Chuck Offenburger, Robin Fortney, Michael Duffy, Francis Boggus, Sally Dix, Chris Anderson, Antonio Malkusak, Andrea Chase, etc. Program details available at

Enjoy two fantastic Keynote Presentations:

Dr. Douglas Gentile, Child Psychologist: "How the Media Affects Children's Decisions."

Jim Mallman, "Watchable Wildlife: How to Promote Recreational Activities."

GO TO and register today!  The low-cost one-day event fee of $35 includes a buffet lunch at UNI's Rialto Dining Room and free parking!


Check out the exciting programs at 

If you have the time, please join us for the optional:

  • June 14, Thursday Pre-Summit Professional Sessions.
  • June 15, Friday Night Steak Barbeque Party.
  • June 16, Saturday Free Family Fun Day.
Was Jun 15, NOW AUG 17 Cedar River WT Poker Run, Cedar Falls/Waterloo
River of Dreams Logo

DATE CHANGE: Due to the water levels and expected mud and mess, we have decided to move the River of Dreams Poker Run event to Saturday, August 17. For those of you that volunteered your time, thank you,  Please let me know if you are willing and able to help out on August 17 .  

Thank you, Pam     319-231-0541 


The 1st Annual "River of Dreams" Poker Run, benefiting Magical Mix Kids, will be held in Cedar Falls/Waterloo on Saturday August 17, 2013. Registration will be at Washington Park at 12:30 pm, with a first launch at 1:00 pm.  This is not a race, but a fun-filled Poker Run for a great cause; all money raised goes to Magical Mix Kids.


The run will start at Washington Park and finish at the Waterloo Boat House, with stops along the way for refreshments, entertainment, and special programming.  There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd, and Last Place Poker Hands, music, food, and door prizes.  If you don't want to float, you can drive to each poker stop.


Cedar River WT Course Description

1. Washington Park-Cedar Falls Access: Registration, receive bottled water, t-shirt, safety information and 1st poker card.
2. George Wyth Park Access: Receive 2nd poker card, fresh water, Freshwater Mussel education program.
3. Cedar Bend Park Access: Receive 3rd card, Aquatic Insect Sampling and Identification education program.
4. San Souci Park: Receive 4th card, Fish Assemblage (electro-fishing) Demonstration.

5. Waterloo Boat House/Exchange Park Access: Receive last card, hand verifications, music, food and FUN!  Waterloo Rowing Club Demonstration.


Limited to first 100 boats registered.  For more info on event regulations, maps, and registration, visit or call 319-277-1918.


Magical Mix Kids is a non-profit organization created to provide a worry-free vacation for chronically and terminally ill children of the Cedar Valley area.  The "River of Dreams" Canoe/Kayak Poker Run is sponsored by The Mix 93.5, Cedar Valley Paddlers, Iowa DNR, Iowa Northland Regional Council Of Governments, Cruisin 1250 Real Oldies, The VGM Group, City of Waterloo, 1650 The Fan.

Jun 15 Tree Town Adventure Race, Forest City on Winnebago River WT
TTAR 2012 009
Kyle & Jennifer Peters of Iowa City
compete in TTAR 2012.
Photo by Anthony Mikes.

The Tree Town Adventure Race is designed for teams and individuals interested in the challenge and excitement of an Adventure Race. Family and Friends are welcome to watch and join participants for a brunch in Pammel Park following the Race.


The course starts at 7:00 am with a 7 mile canoe/kayak race from Ambroson Recreation Area south of Leland, Iowa to Pammel Park in Forest City on the Winnebago River. This is followed by a 12 mile bike ride, and then a 5k run. The course has one transition area from which participants will begin bicycling and running portions of the race.

Race routes:

  • The canoe/Kayak race begins at Ambroson Recreation Area to Pammel Park on the Winnebago River.  A seven mile race with a wave start.
  • The bike route will exit Pammel Park on J Street heading East, a turn south onto South Golf Course Road, the riders will then head east on 340th Street to Pilot Knob. From there the bikers will bike the Pilot Knob Loop and then return to Pammel Park on the same route.
  • The 5K will proceed on Hynes Spur bike trail heading south and returning north on the same route. 

All proceeds of this annual event go toward the upkeep and expansion of the Forest City Trails. 

For more information about the race, various classes, entry fees, and online registration, visit: 

Jun 15 Summer Canoe Float & River Cleanup, Maquoketa River WT, Jackson County
Jackson Co Cons Bd Logo

Jackson County Conservation will host a Summer Canoe Float/River Clean Up on Saturday, June 15, 2013, with a start time of 1:00 pm. The event will be held along the Maquoketa River from the Canton Access to the Royertown Access.  

A limited number of free canoes/kayaks will be available or bring your own. Pre-registration is requested to reserve a canoe/kayak and so we can be in contact with people in the event of weather or water conditions that require cancellation.


Please contact Environmental Education Coordinator Ann Burns, phone 563-652-3783, or email  Or visit 


Jun 15 Family Paddle & Picnic, West Nishnabotna WT
Golden Hills Rev Logo

Golden Hills RC&D will host a Family Paddle and Picnic on the West Nishnabotna WT on Saturday, June 15.  Participants will launch boats at 10:00 am to paddle from Avoca's Eddington Park to Botna Bend Park in Hancock.  


Pack your own sack lunch to enjoy on a sandbar or at the park when finished.  This will be a great family activity for Father's Day weekend.  There is unlimited space on the paddle, but participants should register in advance for the limited number of free boats/paddles/PFDs.


For more information or to register for boats, contact Emily Haase at Golden Hills RC&D, 712-482-3029 or

Jun 17 Pioneer Potteries, Des Moines River WT
Bonaparte Pottery Side

History on the River: 

Pioneer Potteries on the Des Moines River, Bonaparte 



Learn about the historic Bonaparte Pottery and its connection to the river at a tour and presentation on Monday, June 17 in Bonaparte, Iowa. The tour of the pottery begins at 4:30 pm and the presentation will start at 6:30 pm at the Bonaparte Opera House.


Archaeologists Cherie Haury-Artz and Lynn M. Alex will continue discussion of the history and archaeology along the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail with a program illustrating archaeology's contribution to our understanding of the Bonaparte Pottery. Also known as the Parker-Handback Pottery and Handback-Wilson Pottery, it was in operation from 1866 to 1895. Remains of the pottery were uncovered in the flood of 1993 and the pottery is now part of a National Historic Archaeological District.


Bonaparte Pottery is located at 411 First Street in Bonaparte and the Bonaparte Opera House is two blocks west at 616 First Street.


There is no fee, but preregistration is requested for this event.


Click on the link to REGISTER ONLINE: 


Bonaparte Pottery Bottom 


The stoneware industry was one of the important economic enterprises in the Euro-American settlement of Iowa during the mid- to late nineteenth century. Clay found along with coal deposits was used by some of Iowa's pioneer residents to create stoneware. These pottery works along the Des Moines River between Eldon and Farmington connected the resources and the river to the expansion of entrepreneurial efforts on the frontier west of the Mississippi River.


The session will also present suggested highlights for new interpretive materials for the Lower Des Moines River Water Trail and garner input from community members.This program will help determine what local residents of the area would like to learn and tell others about the river.


This program is sponsored by Pathfinders RC&D, the Iowa DNR Rivers Program and University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist.  Pre-registration is requested, though walk-ins are welcome.  For more information or to register over the phone, contact the Pathfinders RC&D office at 641-472-6177.


Find more information about Lower Des Moines River Water Trail resources, events, and activities 


Find more information about Pathfinders RC&D programs at      

Photos courtesy of Bonaparte Pottery.  See 

Jun 22 Night Life Paddle, Odessa WT

Join naturalist presenter Brittney Tiller and trip leaders Julie Ohde and Katie Hammond to learn about the nocturnal wildlife of the "night shift" along the Odessa Water Trail. The Night Life Paddle will run from 9:00 to 11:00 pm the evening of Saturday, June 22, 2013.


The paddle length will be approximately 3 miles total (1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back), starting and ending at Shafer Access, Odessa Wildlife Management Area, Wapello. 


This trip will need a minimum of 5 boats and will be limited to a maximum of 20 boats.  Registration will be by Louisa County Conservation Board (available soon).  Boat rental can be arranged at the time of registration.


In case of inclement weather, an indoor program will be held at the Izaak Walton League.

More information: or 319-523-8381

Direct link to event information:


The Night Life Paddle is sponsored by Pathfinders RC&D, Louisa County Conservation, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Jun 22 "Fish Sampling: A Shocking Demo!", Lake Red Rock, US Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a program titled "Fish Sampling: A Shocking Demo!" at Lake Red Rock at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 22.  The location will be determined after the presenters check lake conditions.  Participants should call the USACE office at 641-828-7522 to find out program location that morning.


Biologists from the University of Iowa Hygienic Lab will demonstrate how shocking fish is used to assess the health of lakes, rivers and streams. See the equipment, watch them demonstrate the process, and learn about the various fish species caught. 


There is no fee for this program, and preregistration is not required.  Contact the Corps office at (641) 828-7522 or (641) 628-8690 or via email at for more information.


Lake Red Rock US Army Corps of Engineers website:


Jun 29 Triathlon with a Twist, Turkey River WT
Turkey River Rec Corridor Logo


The Turkey River WT will be the site of a new triathlon event with a unique twist on Saturday, June 29--Paddle, Peddle, Putt. Two-person teams will paddle the first leg on the Turkey River WT, bike the second leg on the Rurkey River Rec Trail, and play a 9-hole 2-person best shot golf round for the third leg at Pleasant Valley Sports Club. Get your team together NOW and have a day of FUN on the Turkey River! Cash payouts, door prizes, and MORE!! 


The event will begin at the Pleasant Valley Sports Club in Clermont, with registration at 7:30 am and kickoff at 9:00 am. Early bird registration and orientation will be held at the club from 7:00 pm--9:00 pm on Friday, June 28.


The entry fee is $100 per team; you must be 18 or older to participate.  Competitors must provide their own equipment--canoe, bike, golf clubs--but rentals are available locally for an additional fee. Visit  for a complete listing.


Registration is online at  or in person at Pleasant Valley Sports Club. For more information Email Registration deadline is June 21, 2013; late registration fee is $125 after that date. All canoes must have proper Iowa registration and life jackets will be required for all participants. Bike helmets are required during the bike race/ride. 


This event is sponsored by the Turkey River Recreational Corridor and Pleasant Valley Sports Club. 

Jun 29 River Critters & Wildlife, Lake Red Rock WT, US Army Corps of Engineers


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will offer a paddling event, "River Critters and Wildlife" with Dr. Jim Pease, on Saturday, June 29.  Participants will meet at 9:00 am, and leave shore by 10:00 am.  


The location will be determined based on weather and lake conditions. Participants should call the USACE office at 641-828-7522 to find out program location that morning.


A small number of kayaks are available for checkout - borrow one from us or bring your own. Participants must be at least 16 years old to borrow a kayak.


The program is free of charge, but preregistration is required. Contact the Corps office at

(641) 828-7522 or (641) 628-8690 or via email at


Lake Red Rock US Army Corps of Engineers website:  


Paddling Iowa rivers since the age of 12, Dr. Jim Pease is a wildlife and interpretive specialist who will

Identify and explain the wildlife along Iowa's waterways. From birds and mammals to trees and shrubs, Jim knows them, and knows how to help you understand their relationship with the watershed.  We'll paddle for 1-3 hours, stopping frequently to watch and learn what the natural world has to teach us. Family groups are welcome.


Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a teacher, interpreter, writer, consultant, director of the Master Conservationist program, developer of Iowa's new Master River Stewards program, and a regular guest on Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" program.


This event is cosponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 


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Jun 29 Freshwater Mussels Program, Des Moines River WT, Webster County
Webster Co Cons Logo

Webster County will be hosting an opportunity to learn about the mussel species found in the Des Moines River at 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 29.  Further details will be released shortly.


This event is free but due to space constraints, preregistration is requested. Call or email Karen Hansen at 515-576-4258 or


Freshwater mussels can be found in many Iowa rivers and streams. They are valuable components of freshwater biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and help keep the water clean by acting as Mother Nature's water filters. For something that looks like a living rock, they have a unique life cycle and interesting adaptations to the environment in which they live. Come learn more!


Presenter Jennifer Kurth is a Natural Resources Biologist in the Watershed Improvement Section of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. She has a B.A in Theatre and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine. Jennifer works on streams that are listed as impaired for aquatic life use (fish, bugs, and/or mussels) but the cause is unknown, and she likes to explain it as a sort of environmental CSI. Her area of expertise is freshwater mussels and she is currently in the midst of a six-year, state-wide survey of freshwater mussels in Iowa rivers and streams.


This event is cosponsored by Webster County Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  For more information contact Karen Hansen at 515-576-4258 or

Jun 29 Timber City Adventure Race, Maquoketa River WT
Timber City Adv Race Logo


Maquoketa recalls its lumber industry heritage with the Timber City Adventure Race.  The Adventure Race starts with an 8 mile paddle on the Maquoketa River, followed by a 14 mile bike ride, and ends with a 5K run. The race starts at 7:30 am at Canton, IA and finishes at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.  For registration and other details:


The Race:

  • Registration opens at 7:00 AM at Canton. Race starts at 7:30 AM at Canton. Starting times will be assigned at registration. Race ends at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.
  • You must provide your own equipment (bike, helmets, paddles, life jackets, canoe, etc.) If canoe rental is needed, send an extra $30 ASAP as canoe rental is limited.
  • The Canoe... is an 8 mi. course on the Maquoketa River beginning at Canton. You will wind below towering limestone bluffs and through secluded valleys on a scenic route to Royertown Bridge access. This is the 2nd bridge you will come to. Exit on left side, carry canoe past clear zone, run up drive to get bike or tag biker if on relay team. In transition area, biker must be stationary at time of tag. Recreational canoes must be 18 feet or less in length and/or weigh over 50 pounds.
  • The Bike... is a 14 mile course that starts with a challenging incline -- one of the steepest in Jackson County, continues with several rolling hills, a steep decline with sharp right turn at the bottom and long flats to gather speed. No drafting allowed. Biker must follow all traffic laws, including stop at Highway 61 before crossing. Runner can start with no hand tag.
  • The Run... is a 5K (3.1mile) mostly flat course starting at Hurstville.  Head south on old Highway 61, straight into Maquoketa, the race will finish at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.
  • Water will be available at each exchange and on running course. Volunteers will be stationed throughout the course. Showers available at Maquoketa Area Family YMCA . Bring your own towels.
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Jun 29-30 Overnight Paddle, Middle River WT, Madison County
Middle River Roseman CLiechty
Middle River photo by Carol Liechty.

Meet at Schildberg Access at 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 29. Paddle from Schildberg Access to Roseman Access, camping and cooking on a sandbar along the way.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn trotline fishing.


There is a fee for this event, and registration is required.  Please register with Madison County Conservation by calling 515-462-3536 or email at

Jun 7-8-9 Iowa DNR Free Fishing Weekend
Iowa DNR Logo


Annually, the Iowa DNR hosts Free Fishing Days, for Iowa residents only, during the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of June. A fishing license is not required during this period, but all fishing regulations must be obeyed.  Check for related fishing clinics, demonstrations, exhibits, youth contests and other special events in your area.


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Jun 17 Submission Deadline for Iowa State Fair Photography Contest
Camera Line Art Image


"Iowa Waterways" is the 

2013 Theme Class for the State Fair Photography Contest


Superintendent Charley Starnes is challenging photographers to capture the "beauty and grace" of Iowa's Waterways for the 2013 Theme Class.  "I do NOT want to see snapshots of Iowa's Waterways.  Your goal is to photograph Iowa's Waterways.  What is the difference?  A snapshot is a casual photo without much thought or planning.  A photograph is an image that you actually create.  Show us Iowa's Waterways as we have never seen them before!"


This class is open to both color and black and white, photos may be of any season, and the submission deadline is June 17, so grab your camera, get out there, and start shooting.


Find more information, guidelines, and suggestions at:

Find rules and an entry form for all of the photo contest classes at:


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Jul 27 Volunteer Training for Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps
Mussel WS 008
Malacologist Jennifer Kurth (l)
visits with volunteers during
2012 Iowa Mussel Corps training.

The Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps is planning an ambitious mussel survey season, beginning in late June and, if water temperatures are good, running through September or October.


Only volunteers who have participated in DNR mussel training (e.g. last October at Kent Park) will be able to volunteer to assist with the surveys.  Newcomers must complete DNR mussel volunteer training (i.e. on July 27th) in order to volunteer. Everyone, "new" and "old," will be invited to participate in the July 27th training. The more we all know, the better! 


Jennifer Kurth and the DNR will host the Saturday, July 27 volunteer training workshop, this time an intensive combination of classroom and in-stream work, getting to know mussel species and collection techniques.  This will be a day-long training session, with the morning in the classroom and the afternoon in the water.  The location will be announced shortly.   


For more info, to get on the Mussel Corps email list, or to sign up for the training session, contact Linda Appelgate: Email: 

Photo by Gregg Stark
Iowa Rivers Revival Master River Steward Program Going Strong & Growing
IRR Logo


IRR Master River Steward Program Growing to Cedar River Watershed in August--September


Pioneered by IRR in 2012, this 8-week course offers a focus on riverine systems, including sessions to develop paddling and navigation skills, restoring aquatic habitat, improving water quality, and understanding policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.  The 2013 IRR Master River Steward Program, with 23 participants, is currently underway in the Des Moines/Raccoon River Watershed, and IRR is finalizing funding and plans for a course in the Cedar River Watershed to be held in August and September. 


The Master River Steward Program builds on a network of river experts from various partner agencies and organizations, helping adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa's rivers.  Participants in the 2012 course raved about the program's content, presenters, leadership, resources, and the opportunity to meet and work with others who share their interests and concerns.


Participants pay a fee of $50, receive program materials, are expected to attend each session, and will have "homework" assignments.  IRR will announce the specifics of the Cedar River Watershed class schedule, presenters, and funding partners later in June.  To express your interest in the program, contact: Roz Lehman, Executive Director, Iowa Rivers Revival, 515-724-4093  email:   


Read more at:

See course schedule at: 


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WhereIsItWhere Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Bever Bridge on Boone DHillmann
Bever Bridge on the Boone River.

Currently referred to as the Bever Bridge, it has also been known as the Tremaine Bridge or Bone's Mill Bridge, according to the website:


"The Tremaine Bridge spans the Boone River in Independence Township, south of Webster City. Carrying an unpaved county road, the structure consists of a single pin-connected Camelback through truss, supported by steel cylinder piers. The bridge's construction dates from 1902. In April of that year the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors contracted with Des Moines bridge contractor N.M. Stark to supply and build this 160-foot truss. The proposed new structure, which cost $3,600, would replace an existing bridge over the Boone River at this point, built next to Bone's Mill. Using steel rolled in Pittsburgh by Carnegie, Stark erected the truss on timber falseworks near the Tremaine Post Office, completing the bridge later in 1902. The Tremaine Bridge has carried traffic since, with only maintenance-related alterations to its superstructure.


"Straight-chorded Pratt through trusses were used extensively throughout Iowa for medium-span crossings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For longer crossings after the turn of the century, however, bridge companies could develop greater efficiency with polygonal-chorded Pratt variants, primarily Parker, Pennsylvania and Camelback trusses. With its distinctive five-faceted upper chords, the Camelback configuration was disdained by some engineers (including the redoubtable J.A.L. Waddell, who called it "uncompromisingly ugly") for its tendency under certain conditions to reverse compressive and tensile forces acting on their individual members. As a result, Camelback trusses never received widespread acceptance. Relatively few were ever built on Iowa's roads, and only a handful have been identified as extant by the bridge inventory. The Tremaine Bridge is thus technologically significant as a well-preserved example of this uncommon structural type [adapted from Fraser 1990]."

Photo of Bever Bridge on the Boone River by Dave Hillman.
WhatIsItWhat Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Bull Frog 1 Pl Creek GStark

The National Geographic website provides the following information about the American Bullfrog, which begins singing during June in Iowa:


"The baritone call of the bullfrog is so deep and resonant, it resembles the mooing of a cow, hence its name. Only males emit this trademark "jug-o-rum" bellow, and their choruses can be heard during the day or night.


"The largest of all North American frogs, this giant can grow to a length of 8 inches (20 centimeters) or more and weigh up to 1.5 pounds. Even the tadpoles of this species can reach 6.75 inches in length.

They are among the most wide-ranging of all North American amphibians, found in freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes from Nova Scotia, Canada, throughout the continental United States, and as far south as Mexico and Cuba. They have even found their way to Europe, South America, and Asia.

Bullfrogs are typically green or gray-brown with brown spots and have easily identifiable circular eardrums, or tympanum, on either side of their heads. 


Bull Frog 2 Pl Creek GStark


"Nocturnal predators, they will ambush and eat just about anything they can fit in their ample mouths, including insects, mice, fish, birds, and snakes. They sit quietly and wait for prey to pass by, then lunge with their powerful hind legs, mouths open wide.


"Males are highly territorial and will aggressively guard their land. Females are slightly larger than males."



Read more about the American Bullfrog, and listen to its call, on the National Geographic website:


Photos of bull frog at Pleasant Creek SP by Gregg Stark. 

We Hope That You Are Enjoying the IWTA Newsletter
Plant In Post
Thanks to Dave Hillman for sharing his photo of the Bever Bridge on the Boone River.  If you have a WT or waterway-related photo with an interesting angle on nature, geology, history or whatever, we hope that you will share it with the IWTA Newsletter subscribers. 

Special thanks to Bob Brammer for sharing his observations and reflections on the mean of Water Trails.  We welcome your thoughts, or leads on the thoughts of others. to help continue this series.

Our first 12 months of the IWTA Newsletter has passed very quickly. With your input and support, we're only getting started!

If you are not a subscriber, please click on the "Join Our Mailing List" button to become one.  And, we would appreciate your sharing the IWTA Newsletter with your friends via the "Forward this email" or "Share on Social Media" buttons.

Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter