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Iowa Water Trails Association 
August, 2013  
POSTPONED: IRR Master River Steward Course in Cedar River Watershed
Jul 31 Fish Assemblage & Sampling, Lizard Creek, Webster County
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
Jul 22-Aug 20 Middle River WT Events, Madison 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 2013, Quad Cities
Sep 10-11 IDNR Canoe School--Only 5 Openings Remain
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Iowa Rivers Revival, Protector of Rivers, Streams & Watersheds
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Are you looking for a peaceful float?  A challenging paddle? Want to learn about the critters along the river?  Or learn about the mussels which try to clean out streams? Maybe you would like to get a good look at some of those fish who are avoiding your lure? Want to improve your paddling skills?  Or test yourself against other competitors?  Maybe just watch the rising full moon reflected on the water?
Chances are good that a local Water Trail can help you achieve some or all of the above.  And a lot of those choices are in this month's schedule.
Enjoy the season!  Enjoy your Water Trail!

P.S.Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR Water Trails Outreach Coordinator, may have a few slots open for volunteers to help staff the DNR booth at the Iowa State Fair, August 8-13.  You can choose a 9 am to 3 pm shift or 3pm to 9 pm, receive a free ticket in and a Water Trails T-shirt. Email or call 515-979-9538.
Where Is It? Quiz
Charles City Ped Bridge End DHillman

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Arrow arum Close GStark

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POSTPONED: IRR Master River Steward Class in Cedar River Watershed
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Iowa Rivers Revival recently announced the postponement of the Master River Steward Class in the Cedar River Watershed, which was planned to begin July 24, stating:
"In order to provide you with the best program possible, we have decided to postpone the Cedar River MRSP.  Please watch our website for updates."  

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Jul 31 Fish Assemblage and Sampling Presentation, Lizard Creek, Webster County
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The Webster County Conservation Board will host a public program on Wed., July 31 at 6:00 pm in Lizard Creek to identify fish species in this local watershed.  This free program is for all ages.


Biologists from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will conduct a presentation of fish sampling techniques, demonstrate the usage of electro fishing techniques, and identify species collected.  Participants will observe collected fish from shore or sandbar.  Biologists will describe the unique features of each of the fish species collected and discuss how each fits into the river ecosystem. The goal of this presentation is to raise awareness of the types of organisms that river users share the water with.


Participants should meet at the Lentsch access 14 on Fairbanks Ave. located south of Clare at 6:00 pm on Wed., July 31.  The presentation will last approx. an hour and is subject to change/cancelation due to stream conditions.  The electro shocking process requires stable "base" flow.   If excessive runoff occurs in the days leading up to event, water levels may become difficult to manage.  For more information, contact Karen at 515-576-4258 or


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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
    reserve canoes or kayaks, register your own boat, or 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 13-20 Schedule of Middle River WT Events, Madison County
Middle River WT Sign

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  


Aug 17 "River Critters Cruise" with Dr. Jim Pease, West Nishnabotna River WT,
Botna Bend Park near Hancock
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Join us at Botna Bend County Park before shuttling up to Avoca, where we'll hit the water with Dr. Jim Pease to explore the "critters" who live in, on or around the West Nishnabotna River.  Meet at Botna Bend at 9:30 am, shuttle up to Avoca to start by 10:00 am.  Remember to pack a lunch!


A paddler of Iowa's rivers since the age of 12, Dr. Jim Pease is a wildlife and interpretive specialist who will help you find and understand the wildlife along Iowa's rivers. From birds and mammals to trees and shrubs, Jim knows them and knows how to help you understand them and their relationship with the river.


Depending on the river, we'll paddle for approximately 3 hours, covering 8 miles, stopping frequently to watch and learn what the river has to teach us. Family groups are welcome.


To ensure adequate safety and effective instruction, this paddling event 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 number of people and boats. There is no fee, but participation is limited to 20 boats, and preregistration is required for this event.


Click on the link below to register:  


ONLINE REGISTRATION will be open until August 15.  After that date, please contact Emily Haase at Golden Hills RC&D, 712-482-3029.


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


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)
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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
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"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 2013, 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  

Sep 10-11 Iowa DNR Canoe School--Only 5 Openings Remain

The August Kayak School is filled, but 5 openings remain in the Sep 10-11 Canoe School.  Check out the schedule and registration forms on the IDNR website: 


Canoe School on Boone River
Photo by Todd Robertson

Each 2 day canoe class is targeted for specific groups, such as naturalists, trip leaders, outfitters, etc. and the cost is only $25.  Two certified American Canoe Association/IDNR instructors teach the skills to guide a group safely downriver, along with paddling skills to share with your participants.


Each class includes classroom learning, flat-water skills, and then moving-water skills on the final day. You will learn a lot and have a blast doing it.  


Contact instructor Todd Robertson with any questions: or 515-979-9538.


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WhereIsItWhere Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Charles City Ped Bridge Wide DHillman
New Pedestrian Bridge over Cedar River at Charles City.  Photos by Dave Hillman.

Dave Hillman shared these photos of the new foot bridge across the Cedar River at Charles City.


The historic original foot bridge, built in 1906, served for 102 years before it was destroyed in the 2008 flood.  The old 270 ft. suspension bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was an important part of the city's history and its identity.


The new 420 ft. cable-stayed truss bridge opened in 2010.  It is much more modern in design, and is 3 ft. higher than its predecessor.  FEMA provided $3.5 million to replace the bridge.


Link to photos of old bridge before and after 2008 flood: 


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WhatIsItWhat Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Arrow arum Sea GStark
Large colony of arrow arum at Pleasant Creek.  Photos by G.Stark.

Arrow arum, also known as green arrow or Tuckahoe, is an aquatic plant with large triangular leaves.  The 2-3 ft. plant derives its common name from the arrow-shaped leaves.  It is fairly common around Iowa in shallow waterways and lake areas, where it may be found in clumps or large colonies.


It is found in over 35 states. The berries of arrow arum attract wood ducks.  Arrow arum is not aggressive, and is frequently used as a distinctive ornamental in water garden landscaping.


Read more about Arrow arum at: Arrow arum 


We Hope That You Are Enjoying the IWTA Newsletter
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Our thanks to everyone who is providing the event information, updates, and feedback which supports the IWTA Newsletter, along with the water trail movement in Iowa.
Special thanks to Dave Hillman for sharing his photos of the Charles City Foot Bridge for our "Where Is It? Quiz." 
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 ongoing support and encouragement.

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Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter