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Iowa Water Trails Association 
July, 2013  
IRR Master River Steward Classes in Cedar River Watershed Jul 24--Aug 28; Registrations Due Now
Jul 20 "Amazing Mollusks! Freshwater Mussels," Lake Red Rock
Jul 22-Aug 20 Middle River WT Events, Madison County
Jul 27 Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps Training Workshop
Jul 27 Cedar River Cleanup, Float, Festival, Black Hawk & Benton Counties
Aug 3 Freshwater Mussels Paddle, Iowa River WT, Iowa City, Johnson County
Aug 4 Tri-P-A Triathlon With a Twist, Turkey River WT
Aug 10 River Critters & Wildlife Paddle, Iowa River WT, Louisa County
Aug 17 "Cruisin' for Critters" on the West Nishnabotna River WT
Aug 17 Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race, Iowa City
Aug 17 Poker Run on Cedar River WT, Cedar Falls/Waterloo
Aug 17 Webster County Adventure Race, Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
Aug 17 Floatzilla '13, Quad Cities
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Iowa Rivers Revival, Protector of Rivers, Streams & Watersheds
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Belted Kingfisher Nick Chill
Hear ye!  Hear ye!

So far, Mother Nature has been very supportive of July WT events.  Let's hope that she maintains her "good mood." 
The 2013 Iowa State Fair will run August 8-13, and Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR Water Trails Outreach Coordinator, has a few slots open for volunteers to help staff the DNR booth or assist in the courtyard.  
It's a great opportunity to help get folks interested in paddling and water trails, as well as share new water trail and paddling safety information.  You can choose a 9 am to 3 pm shift or 3pm to 9 pm. If you take a shift at the fair, you will receive a free ticket in and a Water Trails T-shirt. Email Todd at or call him at 515-979-9538.
IRR Master River Steward Classes in Cedar River Watershed; Classes Jul 24--Aug 28; Registrations Due Now!
IRR Logo

 Recruitment Deadline: July 19, 2013 

(please inquire about availability after this date.)


Contact: Jenn Dreier, Administrative Coordinator,; 515-724-4093.


Pioneered by IRR in 2012, this multi-class course offers a focus on riverine systems, including sessions on understanding watershed geology and river form, restoring aquatic habitat, improving water quality, and understanding policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.  A 2013 Des Moines/Raccoon River Watershed IRR Master River Steward Program, with 23 students, was held earlier this year. 


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.  Read more about presenters and the class schedule at: 

Jul 20 "Amazing Mollusks! Freshwater Mussels," Lake Red Rock, US Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will offer a special program, "Amazing Mollusks! Freshwater Mussels," with Jennifer Kurth, Natural Resource Biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, on Saturday, July 20.  Details on the program are still being developed, and the location will be determined based on weather and lake conditions.


The program is free of charge, and preregistration is 

not 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:   


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


Jul 22 Thru Aug 20 Schedule of Middle River WT Events, Madison County
Middle River WT Sign

Monday, July 22: Full Moon Paddle (location to be announced)


August 13, 14, 15: Upper Iowa River Water Trail- 3 day/2 night trip- Scenic Bluffs and Small-mouth/Trout Fishery-Florenceville to Kendallville and Kendallville to Bluffton


Tuesday, August 20: Full Moon Paddle (location to be announced)


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


Jul 27 Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps Training
Mussel WS 008
Jennifer Kurth (L) visits with Iowa Mussel Corps volunteers during Kent Park training workshop.
Following is updated info re the July 27 Iowa Volunteer Mussel Corps Training workshop from Linda Applegate. For more info on the Volunteer Mussel Corps or the training workshops, email Linda at  



Jen (Jennifer Kurth) has determined that the best site for our Saturday, July 27th training is at Eagle City County Park in Hardin County on the Iowa River where she has found 12 species of mussels. 


We will meet by the river from 1 - 4 pm. Signs will be posted. After a 1/2 hour of land-based training, we will get in the river for further training and begin looking for mussels.


If you have a face mask and snorkel, please bring them. Also, a life vest for safety and bouyancy. A wetsuit will keep you warmer over time if you have one.   


All are welcome but anyone younger than 18 (but at least 10 years old) must be accompanied by a parent.


Find info about the park at:  


If you haven't already seen it, the July/August issue of Iowa Outdoors, DNR's magazine, has several articles about mussels and some great photos. You can get a copy by subscribing or by calling 515-281-5918 for an individual copy ($5).  

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Jul 27 Cedar River Cleanup, Canoe/Kayak Float & Festival, Blackhawk & Benton Counties
Tree & Tire Stark
The Cedar River Festival Group is launching this year's cleanup and festival while celebrating 26 years on the river in 2013. A festival, with art, music and education, will celebrate the Cedar River on Sunday, July 28 at Hickory Hills Park, 12 miles south of Waterloo.

The 26th Annual Cedar River Cleanup and Canoe/Kayak Float will be held on Saturday, July 27.  The 2013 cleanup will span McFarland Park in southern Black Hawk County to Mount Auburn Bridge Park, located in Benton County.
Cleanup volunteers are asked to arrive by 8:30 am Saturday, July 27 at Mount Auburn Bridge Park for the shuttle to the launch site upstream.  Volunteers who wish to bring their own boats may dro off gear at McFarlane Park prior to arriving for the shuttle.  The route is subject to change depending on river levels.
All events are free to attend.  Visit for more information or to register for the cleanup.

The Cedar River Festival Group is a local organization working to improve the quality of the Cedar River.  The mission of the group is to educate the community about celebrating and preserving the beauty of the Cedar River as a local natural resource.

Aug 3 Freshwater Mussels Paddle, Iowa River WT, Iowa City, Johnson County

Freshwater mussels might look like rocks, but they are living creatures that help keep our rivers clean.  Learn about these fascinating critters on a float trip on the Iowa River Water Trail.  
The paddle will be held Saturday, August 3, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, beginning at Sturgis Ferry Park in Iowa City, and ending at the Hills Access near Hills.


The event is free, but registration is required, and participation is limited to 20 boats.

Mussel expert Jennifer Kurth will be along to explain the natural history of what are sometimes call freswater "clams."  Participants should come prepared to get wet and muddy during a hands-on demonstration of mussel surveys.  Jennifer is a Natural Resource Biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is currently in the midst of a six-year statewide survey of freshwater mussels.


A limited number of canoes are available at no charge for participants who don't have their own. The paddle is open to everyone, but children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration and additional information is available at or by calling 319-645-1011.  After registering, participants will receive a link to download a packet of detailed information about the trip, including a map and shuttling instructions.


The Iowa Water Trail is one of 19 designated water trails in Iowa.  This paddling trip is cosponsored by Pathfinder RC&D, Johnson County Conservation Board, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


Click on the link below to register. 


Find more information about the Iowa River Water Trail at 

Find more information about Pathfinders RC&D programs at  

Aug 4 Tri-P-A Triathlon With a Twist, Turkey River WT (rescheduled from Jun 29)
Turkey River Rec Corridor Logo

The Turkey River WT will be the site of a new triathlon event with a unique twist on August 4 (postponed from June 29 due to high water levels).  The triathlon will include an unusual combination--Paddle, Peddle, Putt. Two-person teams will paddle the first leg on the Turkey River WT, bike the second leg on the Turkey 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.  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  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. 

Aug 10 River Critters & Wildlife Paddle, Iowa River WT, Louisa County

Spend a delightful day on the river, learning about the creatures who live there from Dr. Jim Pease, and enjoying a leisurely paddle from Wapello to Cappy Russell Access near Oakville. You'll paddle about 10 miles on the Iowa River Water Trail, past Horseshoe Bend Division of Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge and Turtle Bend Wildlife Management Area


This trip is an official Iowa River Water Trail event cosponsored by Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Pathfinders RC&D. The event is free but all participants must be registered in advance. Shuttle and boats (if needed) will be provided. There is a limit of 20 boats for this trip, so get registered early!


Additional Info:

  • Time: 9:00-3:00 PM
  • Location: Schwob Landing in Wapello to Cappy Russell Access near Oakville
  • Ages: All Ages & Experience Levels Welcome; ages 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult
  • Cost: Free!
  • Registration information: Please call (319)-523-8381 or email to reserve canoes or kayaks, to register your own boat, or to reserve a spot on the shuttle.
  • Registration deadline: August 6, 2013
  • For more information: Call (319)-523-8381
  • Reminder: Only 20 boats can participate!

Read more at: 

Aug 17 "Cruisin' for Critters" on the West Nishnabotna River WT, Botna Bend Park near Hancock
Golden Hills Rev Logo

Each watershed is home to a unique and diverse assortment of Iowa's critters and wildlife, from birds and mammals to trees and shrubs.  Dr. Jim Pease will introduce us to the critters of the West Nishnabotna River WT.  A paddler of Iowa's rivers since the age of 12, Dr. Pease is a widely known and respected wildlife and interpretive specialist who can help us identify wildlife, and then understand its role in the local ecosystem.


Tentatively set for 10:00 am, so remember to pack a lunch to eat as we float down the river!  Watch for more details, coming soon.


This event is free but space is limited. For more information contact Emily Haase at Golden Hills RC&D; 712.482.3029 or  This event is cosponsored by Golden Hills RC&D and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Aug 17 Fourth Annual Great Iowa River Canoe & Kayak Race, Iowa City (rescheduled from Jun 8)
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); race instructions at Sturgis Access at 8:30; race starts at 9:00.  Average run time is about 1.5 hours.  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


Aug 17 Poker Run on Cedar River WT, Cedar Falls/Waterloo (rescheduled from Jun 15)
River of Dreams Logo

The 1st Annual "River of Dreams" Poker Run, benefiting Magical Mix Kids, will be held in Cedar Falls/Waterloo, after being postponed from June 15 to August 17, 2013 due to river conditions. 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.

Aug 17 Webster County Adventure Race, Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
Webster Co Cons Logo
"The Webster County Adventure Race is designed to combine great outdoor activities and to test your endurance, but most importantly, we want you to have FUN!"

Participants will navigate through the beautiful Brushy Creek Recreation Area with only a map and their orienteering skills.  Biking, Running, and Kayaking/Canoeing will be your primary modes of transportation as you find the various checkpoints throughout the park.  Your passport will be stamped at each check point, and you will also encounter a variety of challenges along the course.  The race should last 2-4 hours, all ability levels are welcome, and there are solo, team, and relay divisions.

Preregistration is required; no race day registrations will be accepted.  

Aug 17 Floatzilla 13, Quad Cities
Floatzilla 2012


Floats, training sessions, food, live music, tee shirts, world record attempt for largest flotilla of kayaks & canoes; Spend your morning experiencing Quad Cities Water Trails on the Mississippi River August 17 as you paddle from one of four launch sites to Lake Potter in Rock Island, IL, for Floatzilla 2013, River Action's annual paddlesports festival.


Head out early or put-in at Lake Potter at Sunset Park to enjoy food, music, and a paddlesports tradeshow. At 2 p.m., everyone will gather for the traditional group photo and the attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest flotilla of canoes and kayaks. The current Guinness record is 1,902.


Intermediate paddlers can launch from either Ben Butterworth Parkway and portage on Sylvan Island, or launch from Marquette Street or Credit Island in Davenport, IA. All are welcome to put-in directly at Lake Potter.


Registration is $20 per paddler and includes one Floatzilla t-shirt, decal, free parking and shuttle to and from the on-site parking. Late registration after August 1 is $25. T-Shirts and decals are subject to availability after August 15.


Registration information is at  

We Hope That You Are Enjoying the IWTA Newsletter
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The IWTA mission is to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas, and encouragement among Iowans working to create, enhance, or utilize our water trails.  We measure the success of the IWTA Newsletter by how much our subscribers share about their efforts to improve the water trail experience across Iowa.  Thank you for your event information, your article ideas, and your encouragement.

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