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Iowa Water Trails Association 
February, 2014  
Several Short Items "In the Eddy"
River of Words Motivates Iowa Youth in Art & Poetry
2014 IDNR Outfitter Training Sessions Filling
Apr 24-Jun 19 IRR Master River Stewards in Johnson County
May-Sep IDNR Canoe & Kayak School Sessions
Expanded 2014 IDNR WT Education Programs
Progress of Iowa Leg Committee on Rivers & Waterways
"Keep It Clean, Keep It Fun" Campaign Expands Statewide
Help Outdoor Photographers Focus on Your WT
Thousands of Eagles, Many Viewing Events
1850's on Des Moines River: "Send her over--or blow her to hell!"
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  Keep It Clean Sticker IDNR
This extra-tall snowman hasn't changed much
 since Christmas.   GStark Photo.


IWTA will have a small display at several events during 2014, building awareness and understanding of the opportunities and value found in our WTs.  We will also be encouraging folks to sign up for our free, monthly email IWTA Newsletter, helping to further broaden the base.  


IWTA joined exhibitors for the IDNR Rivers Program, Iowa River WT (IVRCD), & Charles City WW Park at the Jan 25 Indian Creek Nature Center Paddle Day in Cedar Rapids.  We enjoyed the opportunity to help promote WTs, visit with paddlers, and listen to three fine presentations.


IWTA will be at the Feb 7-9 "Iowa Paddle and Pedal Expo" in Indianola (Saturday & Sunday).   We will also be joining some of you for Nick's Annual Pre-Expo Buffet Breakfast at Prairie Meadows, 7 am Saturday morning in Altoona.


And IWTA will have a display at the Mar 22 inaugural "Northeast Iowa Paddlefest" in Cedar Falls 


We hope you will stop by our display for a visit, and to share your thoughts on how IWTA can better serve the WT community.

Where Is It? Quiz
Where Is It?

Make your best guess, then click on:

What Is It? Quiz

What Is It?

Make your best guess, then click on: 

In the Eddy:  (Short but important items that collect in the editor's inbox.)


Feb 3 IRR Legislative Reception at Noodle Zoo in Des Moines

IWTA subscribers are invited to the IRR Legislative Reception, 5-7 pm, Monday, Feb. 3, in Des Moines.  The reception is a casual opportunity to develop legislative relationships on behalf of the health of our 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.  Monday, Feb 3, 5-7 pm, Noodle Zoo Café at E 6th & Locust in Des Moines, open to the public, light appetizers & beverages provided.  Contact Rosalyn Lehman, Executive Director, Iowa Rivers Revival, 515-724-4093    Info at  


Feb 8 Iowa Whitewater Coalition (IWC) Annual Meeting at Expo

The Iowa Whitewater Coalition will hold its annual meeting from 5-6 pm on Feb 8th during the Iowa Paddle & Pedal Expo in Indianola.  The meeting agenda will include recent Iowa arch rock low head dam conversion activities, a review of Iowa's whitewater venues - Charles City, Elkader and Manchester, and an update of Iowa's water trails efforts.  Nonprofit IWC's mission is "To promote, support and improve whitewater courses and water trails by reconnecting rivers throughout Iowa."  IWC info:    Expo info: 


New Online Iowa Paddling Forum Continues to Grow

The Iowa Paddling Forum, in the tradition of the former PaddlingIowa website, provides an opportunity for paddlers to network about activities, events, skills, gear, outdoor issues-in short, whatever interests Iowa Paddlers.  Founder Hannah Childs reports that the forum, launched in October, continues to grow steadily in members and postings.  Check out the forum and join in the fun at: 

2014 Phenology Calendar LSearles


2014 Iowa Phenology Calendar Very Popular

Phenology is the study of the effects of the flow of sun energy through the eco-system.  Naturalists, birders, photographers, and casual nature watchers all benefit from being able to anticipate spring arrivals, migrations, blooming flowers, and other natural events. Dr. Leland Searles has assembled a 2014 Phenology Calendar with dates for all sorts of wildlife phenomena, colorfully illustrated with photos by Raccoon River Watershed Association supporters.  The calendar is $18 plus applicable Iowa sales tax, postage, and shipping, with $3 of the purchase donated to support research and education on the ecology of the Raccoon River watershed.  The calendar has been "a resounding success," with over 500 sold, and has raised over $1,000 for Raccoon River watershed ecology research.  Find sample pages and ordering info at 


Registrations Still Open for IDNR Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program (VWMP) Training Sessions

The VWMP is for enthusiastic and sharp-eyed, sharp-eared volunteers who have a passion for wildlife and its conservation.  Training sessions will be held in March and April for both the Bird Nest Monitoring Program, focused on raptors and waterbirds, and the Frog and Toad Call Survey workshop, to identify Iowa's frogs and toads by sight & sound.   A $10 fee covers materials, a meal, & more.  Find info, schedules, and registration forms at 


River of Words Iowa Youth Environmental Art & Poetry Traveling Exhibit
Feb 3-21 at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids
Mar 3-28 at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City


Every year, River of Words® conducts an international environmental poetry and art competition for youth aged 5 to 19 in grades K-12, in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book and St. Mary's College of California. This free contest is designed to help young people explore the natural environment and cultural history of the place they live and to express what they discover through poetry and art. 


Iowa entries not chosen as finalists or grand-prize winners in the international contest are returned to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, where they are judged in a statewide competition.  In 2013, over 330 students from Iowa entered the contest through their schools, community art centers, community groups, or on their own. The Iowa entries are evaluated by a panel of judges, and the top works in each category are selected to be included in an exhibit that will travel around the state for the coming year. This year's exhibit includes 35 works of poetry and art by talented Iowa students.


Visit the exhibit from Feb 3-21 at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, or from Mar 3-28 at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center in Sioux City.  In late 2013, the exhibit was displayed at the Knoxville Public Library, Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Figge Art Museum in Davenport, and Reiman Gardens in Ames.


Find more info about the Iowa competition and award recipients on the DNR website: 

Enjoy beautiful artwork and amazing poetry created by young people, as recognized at the international competition level:  


Feb 11 & Mar 25 Iowa DNR Outfitter Training Sessions Are Filling
Iowa DNR Logo


Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR River Programs Outreach Coordinator, informs us that the response to the two Livery Training Classes for 2014 has been excellent.  These are one-day classes, facilitated by Todd and Nate Hoogeveen, addressing risk management plans, litter control strategies, safety, creating relationships, and the new "Keep It Clean, Keep It Fun" campaign. 


By attending training, the business will receive special recognition on the DNR website and in the Livery directory, as a preferred outfitter who focuses on safety and river and paddler etiquette. 

  • Class #1, Tue, Feb 11th, 2014 at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt Longhouse in Polk County, NE of Des Moines.
  • Class #2, Tue, Mar 25th, 2014 at the Osborne Nature Center near Strawberry Point and Elkader.

 To get more info or register for a class, contact Iowa DNR River Programs Outreach Coordinator Todd Robertson: or 515-979-9538.


Apr 24-Jun 19 IRR Master River Stewards Program Comes to Iowa River Watershed
IRR Master River Stewards Program class members
learn to measure water quality.  IRR Photo


Iowa Rivers Revival will bring its highly-acclaimed Master River Stewards program to the Iowa River watershed this spring, with classes beginning April 24, and a recruitment deadline of April 15.  Contact Rosalyn Lehman, executive director,   515.724.4093


The IRR Master River Stewards Program is an eight week course with a focus on developing skills to paddle and navigate rivers, restoring aquatic habitat, improving water quality, and understanding policies related to floodplains, river protection and restoration.  The program builds on a network of river experts in various partner agencies and organizations, helping adult learners collaborate to protect and improve Iowa's rivers, so that current and future generations can enjoy these resources. 


Participants will pay a fee of $50 which will include program materials.  Participants will be expected to attend each session and there will be "homework" assignments following each class - materials will be provided.  Classes will include indoor and outdoor segments at Kent Park and Clear Creek.  Weekday classes run 5:30-9:30 pm; Saturday sessions run 10 am-4 pm.  Full details on the program and schedule will be posted on the IRR website: 


Class Schedule:

Introduction to MRSP                                        Thu, Apr 24

River Geomorphology                                       Thu, May 8

Navigating Iowa Rivers/River Restoration          Sat, May 10

Landforms, Geology and Watersheds                Thu, May 22

Water Quality 1 and River Creatures                 Thu, May 29

Water Quality 2                                                 Thu, Jun 5

Agricultural Policy                                             Thu, Jun 12

Review & Project Planning                                Thu, Jun 19

Post training follow-up, project sharing, & eval   TBD


There are opportunities for organizations and groups to sponsor aspects of the program, such as general program support, participant registration costs (reducing the costs for individuals you recommend or others interested in participating), a meal for one of the evening programs, or program materials and supplies.  Funding for this program has been provided by Iowa DNR REAP, IOWATER and River Programs. 


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May-Sep Five Iowa DNR Canoe & Kayak School Sessions Open for Registrations
Canoe School on Boone River
Two students developing skills during a Canoe School  
on the Boone River.  Photo by Todd Robertson.


Naturalists, youth group leaders and others who bring people out on the water in canoes or kayaks that want to learn how to teach others about paddling efficiently and safely are encouraged to attend one of the Iowa DNR's paddling schools scheduled May through September.


Each two-day course will cover skills, hazard and river feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management. The focus will be one-third classroom and two-thirds on-water in both lake and river environments, solo and tandem. Paddling schools are set up for either canoeing or kayaking instruction. Make sure you sign up for your preferred instruction.  All courses will be taught at Briggs Woods, along the Boone River in Hamilton County.


Each paddling school is limited to 10 students, and is taught by two American Canoe Association certified canoe instructors--Glenn Harmon, Todd Robertson, John Wenck or Nate Hoogeveen. Students have the options to camp, rent a cabin, or stay in Webster City at a motel while participating in the two-day school. Overnight accommodations are not included in the class fee.  Registration is required and the fee is $25. This is not considered a novice course; students should have previous paddling experience.


The schedule for the Iowa DNR's Canoe & Kayak School:

  • May 6, Flat-Water Essentials (lake only) Special One Day Class for Naturalists, Scout Leaders, & Youth Group Instructors
  • May 20-21, Canoe School
  • June 25-26, Canoe School
  • Aug. 20-21, Kayak School
  • Sept. 17-18 Canoe School

The DNR's Paddling Schools fill up fast, so get your registration in quickly.  Access a pdf info sheet at

To register or get more information, contact Todd Robertson, DNR River Programs, 515-979-9538 or email


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Expanded Iowa DNR WT Education Programs for 2014

Jim Pease on Iowa River WT
Dr. Jim Pease encourages a future biologist
during a 2013 "River Critters & Wildlife" float
 on the Iowa River WT. 

Last year's successful Iowa DNR WT Education Program initiative is being expanded for 2014.  New for this year will be a "Riparian Plant Program" with IDNR botanist John Pearson, and "Iowa's Archaeological Past" with OSA staff members Cherie Haury-Artz and Elizabeth Reetz.  


In addition to his role as an IDNR botanist, Pearson is a frequent Project AWARE field trip leader, and Lake Red Rock kayak ecotour guide.  


Cherie Haury-Artz and other members of the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) participated in several very popular history programs along the Lower Des Moines WT during 2012-13.


Most of the topics available for 2014 can be adapted to a presentation in a classroom, in the field, or a combination of the two:


Fish Assemblage & Sampling; Biologists with IDNR Watershed Improvement or Water Monitoring Sections.

Observe electro fishing techniques & learn the unique features of each fish species & their role in the river ecosystem.


Aquatic Insects; Jacklyn Gautsch, Biologist with IDNR Watershed Monitoring & Assessment Section.

Discover the interesting adaptations & life cycle of aquatic invertebrates which dwell below the water surface.


Freshwater Mussels; Jennifer Kurth, Natural Resources Biologist in IDNR Watershed Improvement Section.

Meet these valuable components of freshwater biodiversity-Mother Nature's water filters.


Geologic History of Iowa River Valleys; Geologists from IDNR Geology & Groundwater Section.

Learn about the origin & evolution of Iowa's river valleys & the surrounding upland landscape.


River Critters & Wild Life; Wildlife and Interpretive Specialist Dr. Jim Pease.

Find & understand the wide variety of interconnected wildlife along Iowa's rivers, from birds & mammals to trees & shrubs.


Riparian Plant Program; IDNR Botanist John Pearson.

Learn to recognize the trees, shrubs, & wildflowers which inhabit our waterways, lakeshores, riverbanks & floodplains. 


Iowa's Archaeological Past, A History of Iowa Cultural History; OSA Staff Cherie Haury-Artz & Elizabeth Reetz.

Reflect on the importance of Iowa's water trails to various people and cultures through time.


In 2013, these and similar WT Education Programs drew over 720 people to 24 events, many of which were river floats with participation limits.  To learn more about the IDNR WT Educational Programs or schedule one for your WT, contact Todd Robertson, Outreach Coordinator for DNR River Programs, at 515-979-9538 or


Report: Progress of Iowa Legislative Study Committee on Rivers & Waterways
RvrsWtrwysComm2013 CoChrs GStark
Committee is co-chaired by Sen. Dick Dearden (D, District 16) and Rep. Lee Hein (R, District 96).

Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) reported that the bi-partisan Iowa Legislative Study Committee on Rivers and Waterways met on Jan 16 and unanimously agreed to adopt the following recommendations for next steps in developing a River Restoration Program for Iowa:

  • That DNR and IDALS, in collaboration with other involved entities, develop a plan that builds upon current and emergent efforts and related programs to identify and facilitate meaningful and effective river restoration priorities. 
  • That DNR and IDALS continue to initiate and cooperate in demonstration projects with local landowners and watershed groups to provide examples of options and outcomes that could address a range of restoration needs and opportunities.    

Both the Senate and House will make recommendations within the Ag and Natural Resources Budget for an appropriation to fund this process.  IRR will issue updates when the proposals are presented to the Governor.  

Concerned citizens are encouraged to express their appreciation to members of the Iowa Rivers and Water Study Committee.



The Iowa House Democrats website offered the following comments after the Jan 16 committee meeting:    


Earlier this fall, the legislative Rivers and Waterways Study Committee asked for public input on how to protect Iowa's Rivers. Based on the amount of public comments received from Iowans across the state, plus the information received from agencies, landowners, and other entities involved in river restoration, the Legislative Committee studying Iowa's rivers and waterways made it clear today that river and waterway restoration is necessary, that it will provide numerous benefits to water quality and wildlife habitat in Iowa, and should be a focus of state government.


To that end, the committee recommended the Dept. of Natural Resources and Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship develop a plan that builds upon current and emergent efforts that identify and facilitate meaningful and effective river restoration priorities; and continue to initiate and cooperate in demonstration projects with local landowners and watershed groups to provide examples of options and outcomes that could address a range of restoration needs and opportunities.


Iowa DNR "Keep It Clean, Keep It Fun" Campaign Expands Statewide


Keep It Clean Sticker IDNR
These new decals can carry a positive message
on your boat or your bumper.

An Iowa DNR public relations campaign to improve behavior on Iowa's rivers, called "Keep It Clean, Keep It Fun," was initiated on a limited scale late last year, and is being expanded statewide for 2014.  "We want people to have fun on the river, but not at the expense of others," says Nate Hoogeveen, director of DNR's river programs. River users need to respect the water resource, the private property rights of landowners living along the river, including sandbars and riverbanks, as well as others recreating on our rivers." Hoogeveen emphasizes.


The message is simple: 

Keep It Clean. Pick up trash as you go and pack out the trash you bring in.

Keep It Fun. Use respectful language and behavior.

For Everyone! Respect private property.


Campaign posters and decals will be available at many boat rental outfitters and retailers, and at IDNR exhibits during outdoor shows.  The logo and message will also appear on the popular mesh trash bags in early spring.  Store owners, conservation boards and other businesses that would like to help display and distribute "Keep It Clean" promotion materials may contact Todd Robertson, Outreach Coordinator for DNR River Programs, at 515-979-9538 or


Would You Like Outdoor Photographers to Focus On Your WT?
Camera Line Art Image
Help photographers focus on your WT.


Whether they're stalking shy birds with a 400 mm telephoto, viewing insects eye-to-eye(s) with a macro, or capturing scenery or memories with a point-and-shoot, photographers will find your WT to be an endless source of interesting subjects and artistic inspiration throughout the year.  Photography seminars and workshops are obviously ways to improve our photography skills, but they can also be opportunities for you to identify topics, presenters, and resources for your own WT-related events.  Following are several examples, and we recommend the pdf list of Iowa camera clubs in our Quick Links for additional resources.


Feb 3 Bald Eagle Presentation with acclaimed Iowa outdoor photographer Ty Smedes.  This free event will be held Monday, February 3, social at 7:00 pm, program at 7:30 pm, at Prairiewoods Spirituality Center, 120 E Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, and is sponsored by Linn County Conservation Department, Cedar Rapids Audubon, and Prairiewoods Spirituality Center.  Smedes' 2011 book of photos and text, "The Return of Iowa's Bald Eagles," documents the raptor's comeback from the brink of extinction, and is now in its second printing. 

Read more: 

To view a full schedule of Ty Smedes' upcoming photography presentations across Iowa, visit 


Mar 8 Free Photography Workshop in Quad Cities.  River Action and the Figge Art Museum are co-sponsoring "Beyond a Snapshot: the Art of Building and Creating Fine Photographs," a workshop for photographers of all skill levels who are interested in exploring ways to improve the quality of their photos. The workshop will be held Saturday, March 8 at the Figge Art Museum from 12:45 to 4:30 pm. 

Exploring the concept that quality photographs combine light, composition, and an interesting story, presenters will include professional photojournalists Todd Mizener of The Dispatch/ Argus and John Schultz of the Quad City Times, EICC fine arts instructor Robyn Smith, fine art photographer and digital photography teacher Roxanne West-phal, Camera Corner manager Ted Doty, and event organizer Brian Tugana, who has a broad background in art and photography, and seven years' involvement with the Valley Bank Calendar Project. The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for presenters and participants to network, socialize and swap insights.

The workshop is free, but reservations are required due to limited seating.  Email River Action at:  or call River Action at 563-322-2969.


Apr 12 Linn Area Photo Club 6th Annual Canon Explorers of Light Seminar in Cedar Rapids, featuring award-winning outdoor photographer Rick Sammon.  In this informative and fun-filled presentation, Rick Sammon will begin by sharing his people, wildlife, landscape and travel pictures from around the globe - illustrating the difference between taking pictures and making pictures.  For every image, Rick will share a photographic technique, digital darkroom tip, or a photo philosophy. He will cover seeing the light, controlling the light, playing with the light, HDR photography and some composition techniques.

This is not just a slide show of pretty images. Rick is here to share what he's learned over his many years as a professional photographer.  As Rick "takes" us on a visual journey through the exciting world of digital photography, he will share some of his favorite Lightroom and Photoshop enhancements.  Learn more about Rick Sammon's photography at   

The seminar is free, but seating is limited and advance registration is highly-recommended.  Be aware that you need to register separately for the seminar and for the convenient lunch at 


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Thousands of Bald Eagles Wintering in Iowa Create Viewing Events


IDNR News Release: Iowa's midwinter bald eagle surveys indicate high numbers of eagles in areas of open water where gizzard shad are plentiful, but the Mississippi River has the greatest concentration. The Mississippi from Fort Madison to Keokuk reported as many as 2,300 eagles. During Keokuk's Annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days, upwards of 900 eagles were in the area, many perched on the giant cottonwoods and oaks along the bluffs. Bald eagles will provide spectacular eagle viewing until the spring thaw; watch events are scheduled into mid-March.


Mississippi River Visitor Center, Arsenal Island, Rock Island, Ill.

Saturdays and Sundays, through Feb. 15, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Combination Eagle Watch and Historic Clock Tower Tours

Reservations are recommended as group size is limited.

For more information contact Visitor's Center Staff at 309-794-5338


Coralville Bald Eagle Watch

Feb. 8 Indoor Expo

Outdoor viewing at Tailwater West Picnic Shelter downstream from the dam at Coralville Lake

Indoor programs 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at North Central Junior High, 180 Forevergreen Road, North Liberty

For more information call 319-338-3543 ext. 6308


Grays Lake Des Moines Bald Eagle Watch

Feb. 14-15

Des Moines Parks and Rec will be hosting a Valentine's Day Bald Eagle Watch at the eagle nest at Grays Lake on Fleur Drive in Des Moines on Feb. 14, and viewing with indoor live eagle at 6th St. on Feb. 15.

Outdoor viewing and replica nest 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Grays Lake, Friday

Outdoor viewing, replica nest, live eagle indoors 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 6th bridge, Saturday

For more information call 515-283-4294


Effigy Mounds Bald Eagle Watch

Feb. 22

Outdoor viewing at Prairie du Chien Visitor's Center on the River

For more information call 563-873-3491     


Saylorville Bald Eagle Watch

Feb. 23, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Outdoor viewing at selected sites around reservoir, start at Visitor's Center

For more information call 515-276-4656


O'Brien County Bald Eagle Watch

March 1, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Prairie Heritage Center, 4931 Yellow Ave., Peterson

There will be spotting scopes and binoculars available.

Ty Smedes will be presenting his book "The Return of Iowa's Bald Eagle" at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For more information call Charlene Elyea 712-295-7200


Sioux Rapids Bald Eagle Watch

March 22

American Legion Building, 200 Main Street, Sioux Rapids

Registration from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

Speakers from 10 a.m. to Noon, morning refreshments, free will offering lunch at 12:15 p.m.

Outdoor viewing at selected sites.

For more information call: 712-296-4920 or 712-295-7200


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Water Trail Reflections & Resources -- Resoluteness on the Lower Des Moines in the 1850's
Riverboat "Twilight" recreates history
on cruises between LeClaire and Dubuque.


The book "Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi," by William J. Petersen, was published in 1968 by The State Historical Society of Iowa, a reprint of the original 1937 edition.  Original sources for the following excerpt are noted.

Excerpt from Chapter 44, "When Captains Ruled Like Kings," p.443-444:


A distinguishing characteristic of Upper Mississippi steamboat captains was their stubborn courage and perseverance.  In 1857 Captain George H. Wilson of Onalaska, Wisconsin, brought out the powerful stern-wheel towboat G.H. Wilson.  Built at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, this 159 ton craft was capable of showing a foaming wake to most of the race horses on the Upper Mississippi.  After running somewhat irregularly in the St. Paul trade during the year 1857, Captain Wilson entered her in the Des Moines River trade.  It was while engaged in this traffic that Captain Wilson demonstrated a "resoluteness in the face of difficulties" which is typical of the steamboat captain.


It appears that the Des Moines River was obstructed with numerous dams thrown across its course by mill owners.  It was the practice of steamboatmen to take a run at these makeshift obstructions and force the boat through or over them.  Sometimes a boat was hung up on the crest of the dam without being able to run either forward or back.


A story is told of the indomitable Captain Wilson wrestling with the dam at Keosauqua.  The G.H. Wilson stuck several times in attempting to pass the dam and had to fall back and try it over again.  "Getting desperate," eyewitnesses relate, "the captain ordered the engineer to get up a big pressure of steam, open the throttle valves wide, and shouted his commands so that they could be heard half a mile: 'Send her over--or blow her to hell!'  The boat went over amid the cheers of the spectators.  The engineer said afterwards that he rather expected the other alternative."


Photo: Today's Riverboat "Twilight" operates in a much more relaxing (and safer!) manner on cruises between LeClaire and Dubuque.  One or two day cruises are available from late May thru early November.  Photo is from the Riverboat Twilight website: 


(Do you have thoughts, experiences, insights, or conclusions about Water Trails you would like to share?  Maybe you have read an interesting article about WTs you would like to recommend to others?  Please email us at


WhereIsItWhere Is It? Quiz ANSWER
During the ceremony in the gathering area, (then) Jones CCB Director Larry Gullett
recognizes the families, groups, and individuals who
made the Maquoketa River WT and Pictured Rocks access possible.  Photo by G.Stark


These photos were taken at the Pictured Rocks Access along the Maquoketa River WT, downstream from Monticello. 


The photos record the dedication of the refurbished access and the Maquoketa River WT from Mon Maq Dam to Pictured Rocks on October 9, 2010.  The extensive use of native limestone, the launch area width, the circular drive, gathering area, native plantings, and other features made this access a model for WT developers across the state.


The July 25 Lake Delhi flood had inundated this area, requiring heroic efforts to remove several inches of silt in time for the October 9 dedication.  On hand were Diane Ford and Todd Robertson of the IDNR, Dave Thompson of the NPS, and Cathy Cutler of the IDOT.


Jones County Conservation is continuing to move forward with planning related to modification of the Mon Maq Dam.


Learn more about paddling in Jones County: 

Download a map of the Maquoketa River WT: 


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WhatIsItWhat Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Is this the end of a story?  Or the beginning of a story?

CURIOSITY and AWARENESS are two attributes we hope to cultivate as we introduce people, especially young people, to new experiences along our WTs.  That could be sighting a real, live-in-the-outdoors deer or turkey. Photographing a blooming native wild orchid.  Viewing pond life through a microscope.  Learning the challenges of mussel reproduction.  Hearing the laughter of children in a canoe full of driftwood, fossils, and other treasures.  Or discovering the serenity of floating on a deep pool in the shadow of a cedar-capped rock bluff.


Sometimes, it's just a "driving-along, what-was-that?" moment.  Nobody would knowingly abandon their camera on a sandbar in the middle of the Cedar River, would they?  If they accidentally lost it, could it possibly be returned? 


It required returning home for a change of clothes, especially shoes, but the draw was too strong.  Was the camera still operable?  What kind was it, and how valuable?


The muddy bottom half, and a high-water line across the lens, indicated that life was over for this Sony.  The batteries had been removed, along with the memory card.  So, maybe just a long, muddy walk for an object of zero value.


But how did it come to rest on the sandbar?  Did it go directly into the water?  Or had it waited, initially dry, as the river level advanced and receded?  Had it simply failed, and someone threw it from the nearby bridge, seed material for the next river cleanup?  Was it the victim of accidental drowning in an unfortunate swamping during a canoe float?  Was it simply forgotten by revelers after a party on the sandbar, where someone else later removed the batteries and card?


Since we don't know the real circumstances, we are all free to reflect on our past experiences, and create our own unique stories.  "It was a dark and stormy night . . ."


We Hope That You Are Enjoying the IWTA Newsletter
We'd like to hear from you.
Our thanks to everyone who provided information for this issue.


None of you "Stream Sleuths" responded to identify the January Where Is It? Quiz as either the North Fork or South Fork Skunk, so I'll have to watch for the signs when I drive over on I-80 for Nick's Breakfast and the Paddle & Pedal Expo.  But it's not easy to focus on bridges when I'm traveling with Maria Muldauer, Delbert McClinton, and Hot Club of Cowtown.


The mission of the IWTA is to facilitate the exchange of information, ideas and encouragement among Iowans working to create, enhance, or utilize our water trails.  Although we have grown to over 900 subscribers, the success of the IWTA Newsletter will be measured by how much we share, how much we learn, and how much we contribute to improving the Water Trails experience across the state.


We hope that you will continue to share your events, reports, ideas, and suggestions with us at  Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement.


If you are not already a subscriber to this free, monthly email newsletter, please click on the convenient "Join Our Mailing List" button to get on board.  


And, please share 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