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Iowa Water Trails Association 
 
August, 2014  
PICK, CLICK and READ
In the Eddy: Planning Items Not In the Newsletter
Aug 2 Full Moon Float-Odessa Water Trail
Aug 2 River Critters & Wild Life, Botna Bend Park, Pottawattamie County
Aug 2 Southfork Watershed Float & Water Quality Showcase
Aug 5 Trees Forever & IDNR Upper Cedar Watershed Outreach
Aug 7-17 Volunteers Needed for IDNR Rivers Booth at Iowa State Fair
Aug 7-17 Mobile Museum at Iowa State Fair
Aug 9 River Stressor Float, West Nishnabotna River WT
Aug 9 Riparian Plant Program, Lake Red Rock
Aug 9 Getting to Know Our Mussels, Johnson County, Iowa River Friends
Aug 10 Full Moon Paddle, Madison County Conservation
Aug 15 Aquatic Insect Program, Koser Spring Lake, Cherokee
Aug 16 Archaeology & Cultural History Program, Manchester
Aug 16 2nd Annual River of Dreams Poker Run, Cedar Falls-Waterloo
Aug 16 River Critters & Wildlife Float, Big Sioux River, Sioux County
Aug 16 Annual Floatzilla Event, Quad Cities
Aug 17 Paddling Celebration on South Skunk River WT, Ames
Aug 18-22 Summer Mussel Blitz, Iowa River, Johnson County
Aug 22--24 Annual Lower Wapsi River Cleanup Project
Aug 23 Iowa River Fossils Paddle, Louisa & Johnson CCB
Aug 23 River Critters & Wildlife Float
Aug 23 Amazing Mollusks! Freshwater Mussels Program, Lake Red Rock
Aug 20-21 & Sep 17-18 Iowa DNR Canoe & Kayak Schools
2014 IDNR WT Education Programs for Fall-Winter
Where Is It? Quiz Answer
What Is It? Quiz Answer
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We appreciate your feedback regarding the IWTA Newsletter and IWTA Website.

August Already?!

 

Mother Nature appears to be experimenting with transitioning from spring floods to fall weather. Whether you prefer hot and humid or cool and dry, Iowa weather seems to provide a bit of everything.

 

August includes an array of WT events to appeal to almost everyone's interests.  Some of these events were rescheduled due to rough weather or high river levels, so you might get a "second chance" to participate.

 

While we have a lot more work to do, our IWTA Website includes a complete calendar events under the "Events" tab. Updates may be posted on the website before we have a chance to issue a Newsletter or MidMo issue, so please visit us at http://iowawatertrails.org/ 

 

We are always seeking ways to better serve IWTA subscribers, and welcome your suggestions for improvements to the Newsletter or Website, articles or story ideas, the role of IWTA, or opportunities to represent water trails at events sponsored by some of our "crossover" WT friends interested in archaeology, geology, history, natural sciences, birding, outdoor photography, etc.

 

Contact us at iowawta@gmail.com   

 

Where Is It? Quiz
Lizard Creek RR Trestle David Hilman
Where Is It?

Make your best guess, then click on:
What Is It? Quiz
Softshell Turtle Shell Tight Crop G.Stark







What Is It?

Make your best guess, then click on: 

In the Eddy:  Quick Summary of Planning Items


PLANNING CALENDAR: 

(Dates & Events Not in Newsletter Articles.)

July 27-Aug 2; Great River Rumble, paddling from Prairie duSac on Wisconsin River to Gutenberg on Mississippi.  http://riverrumble.org/basic/People.htm    

August 7-17; Iowa State Fair, visit IDNR building, River Programs, Water Trails, & Project Aware displays.

August 23; Buffalo Creek Trail Day, Buffalo Creek Park in Coggon, nature programs, food & music, www.coggonaba.com.   http://www.coggonaba.com/trail_day-save.htm

 

September 1; Labor Day Holiday (Monday).

September 10; Disabled Veteran Kayaking/Canoeing event at Riverside, in conjunction with VA National TEE Tournament, Wednesday, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm, across Hwy 22 from Riverside Casino, Riverside, IA. Volunteers & boats needed; please contact Gregg Stark, greggpeggystark@yahoo.com

September 20; Annual Iowa River Cleanup, Johnson County. Details tbd, watch for info at http://www.iarvcp.org/

September 23; Autumnal Equinox, 1st Day of Autumn.

September 27; "Middle River Water Trail Paddle," Madison County, 13 miles Pammel Park Ford to Holliwell Covered Bridge, Madison CCB at 515-462-3536 or email madccb@madisoncountyparks.org

September 27; Annual Upper Iowa River Cleanup, Chimney Rock Campground http://www.chimneyrocks.com/events.html   

 

FULL MOON SCHEDULE 2014:

(Iowa 2014 dates, Central Daylight Savings Time at Cedar Rapids.)

August 10, Sun             Sunset 8:14, Moonrise 8:00

September 8, Mon         Sunset 7:28, Moonrise 7:08

October 8, Wed            Sunset 6:36, Moonrise 6:52

  

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Aug 2; "Full Moon Float-Odessa Water Trail," Louisa County

Louisa CCB Photo of Evening Paddle
 

Under a nearly full moon, join Louisa County Naturalists to explore the calm waters of the Odessa Wildlife Complex and learn about the night sky. This round trip will run from 8:30 pm -10:30 pm, starting and ending at Snively Campground on the Odessa Water Trail. Participants will enjoy a leisurely paddle around Odessa, stopping along the way to hear various stories of the constellations and our night sky. 

 

The event is free (thanks to funding from the Iowa DNR Rivers program) but all participants must be registered in advance. There is a limit of 20 boats for this trip, so be sure to register early!  Canoes and kayaks are available.  Info and registration at www.LouisaCountyConservation.org  or call 319-523-8381.

 

This trip is an official Iowa River Water Trail event cosponsored by Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Louisa County Conservation.

 

Aug 2; "River Critters & Wild Life" Program, Botna Bend Park, Pottawattamie County Conservation

Dr. Jim Pease

 

The public is invited to a special "River Critters & Wildlife" program at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 2 in Olsen Lodge at Botna Bend Park,42926 Mahogany Road, Hancock, IA 51536.

 

Dr. Jim Pease will highlight the unique critters and wild life that live in and along Iowa waterways like the West Nishnabotna.  Jim has paddled Iowa's rivers since age 12, and is a wildlife and interpretive specialist who will help you find and understand the critters that call our rivers and surrounding area their home. 

 

Now retired from Iowa State University, Jim consults on a variety of projects, leads international trips, and can be heard monthly on Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" program.  Jim has over 3 decades of experience as a front-line interpreter, 24 years as a professor of interpretation to undergraduate and graduate students, two decades as an Extension Wildlife Specialist, fifteen years in youth development and natural resources, and served as director of Iowa's Nature Mapping and Master Conservationist programs. He helped design and coordinate Iowa's new Master River Stewards Program with Iowa Rivers Revival.

 

This program is free of charge, and preregistration is not required.

 

The "River Critters & Wildlife" presentation is one of many events planned for an all-afternoon 50th Anniversary Celebration of Botna Bend Park.  See details on all the events and activities at http://www.pottcoconservation.com/Post/sections/13/Files/agenda%20new.pdf 

 

This "River Critters" event is cosponsored by Pottatawattamie County Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

 

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Aug 2; "Southfork Watershed Authority River Float & Water Quality Showcase," Hardin & Franklin Counties

Southfork Watershed Logo

 

The 2014 SFWA River Float and Water Quality Showcase has been rescheduled for August 2, 2014, presented in cooperation between the SFWA and the Hardin County Corn & Soybean Association. Register today here.

 

The Float will begin at Hardin City and end at Steamboat Rock.  Participants will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Steamboat Rock Boat Club in Pine Ridge Park located just before you cross the bridge going east in to Steamboat Rock.  Floaters will then be shuttled by bus to Hardin City where they will pick up canoes or kayaks and life vests and receive safety and "how to" information about the float by Hardin and Franklin County Conservation Boards. For safety reasons, alcoholic beverages are discouraged.  

The float will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  A meal will be served with the Water Quality Showcase immediately following.  Info at http://www.southforkwatershed.org/events.html 


Camping is available at Pine Ridge Campgrounds where the float begins and ends.  The float program is also right next door within easy walking distance of the Steamboat Rock Boat Club.

 

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Aug 5; Trees Forever & Iowa DNR - Upper Cedar Watershed Outreach Project

Trees Forever Logo

 

The Upper Cedar Watershed Outreach Project, a three-year program funded by the USDA Forest Service, was initiated last fall by Trees Forever and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau. The project has been hosting a series of public meetings to discuss the importance of trees and riparian buffers. 

 

Riparian buffers, which are rows of trees, shrubs, and/or native grasses planted along waterways, decrease soil erosion, prevent sediment and pollutants from entering streams, and lessen stream bank erosion. These plantings also provide wildlife and pollinator habitat for many species.  

 

Field days and public meetings will take place over the next several months:

  • Public meeting, Tuesday, August 5, Riceville (Welcome center/trailhead of Wapsi Great Western Line Trail, 100 E. Main St., 6:30 pm )
  • Field Day, Saturday, September 6, near Charles City

For more information, visit: http://www.treesforever.org/News_Watershed_Mtgs 

 

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Aug 7-17; Volunteers Needed for Iowa DNR Rivers Booth at Iowa State Fair

Iowa DNR Logo
 

It's time once again for the Iowa State Fair! Iowa DNR River Programs Outreach Coordinator Todd Robertson is developing a schedule of volunteers and would like to know who is interested in volunteering for a shift or two at the IDNR River Programs booth and display. You will receive a free ticket to the fair and a pretty cool hat! 

 

This is your chance to talk to the public about your passions--water trails, paddling, and the future of our resources.  The booth will include the low-head dam model to explain the dangers of these drowning machines to the public, especially children. There will be a selection of water trail maps to hand out, and examples of a canoe, kayak and stand-up-paddleboard on display.

 

Robertson explained, "Many of you have helped in the past and we would love to have you back. We would also love to see some newer members this year. Your enthusiasm is infectious and you make great spokespeople for this wonderful activity we call paddling!"

 

This year's Iowa State Fair runs August 7-17. Shifts will be approximately 4 hours. Do a shift and then spend the rest of the day enjoying the State Fair. Weekend and evening help would be especially appreciated. The DNR building opens at 9am and closes at 9pm.

 

Contact Robertson at todd.robertson@dnr.iowa.gov or call his DNR work cell at 515-979-9538 to sign up for a shift.  

 

Aug 7--17; UI Mobile Museum at Iowa State Fair

UI Mobile Museum 2014
 

The "Dare to Discover" Mobile Museum is on the road, delivering a unique look at the history and culture of Iowa. 

 

One of its major stops this summer will be the Iowa State Fair August 7-17. The Mobile Museum will be located just inside Gate 11, at the West end of Grand Avenue. Be sure to check out the facebook & Twitter accounts for updates on hours, activities and giveaways each day!

 

Email mobile-museum@uiowa.edu to invite the University of Iowa Mobile Museum to your community or event! 

 

Aug 9; "River Stressor Float," West Nishnabotna River WT

Golden Hills Rev Logo

Enjoy a float on the West Nish on Saturday, August 9th at 9:00 am, as Natural Resources Biologist Jason Palmer identifies and discusses problems that cause stress for bugs and fish living in the West Nishnabotna River. Jason Palmer is a project leader with the Watershed Improvement Program's Stressor Identification Team at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  He earned a bachelor's degree in fisheries and aquatic science, and a masters degree in environmental science/water resources.

 

We will meet at 9:00 am in Oakland Community Center, 614 Dr. Van Zee Road, Oakland, IA 51560, leave our vehicles and shuttle up to Botna Bend Park in Hancock to begin our paddle by 10:30 am. We will finish in Oakland at our vehicles and be free to leave. Please pack a sack lunch as we will stop during our float to enjoy it on a sandbar. Wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get muddy and wet. Children and families are welcome to participate.

 

The float time will depend upon water levels, but we hope to be done by 4:00 pm, covering 8 miles of river. Be prepared to possibly go longer or shorter. We will be able to better read the river closer to the day of the event.

 

This event is free, but to ensure adequate safety and effective instruction, the float will be limited to 20 boats, so preregistration is required.  Participants may use their own boats or boats/paddles/PFDs will be provided. 

 

Click on the link below to register online:

 

 http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=oqgqe6jab&oeidk=a07e9kp1xqq70288315 

 

Online registration will be open through August 7.  After that date, please contact Lance Brisbois, (402) 350-9267 or 712-482-3029.

 

This event is cosponsored by Golden Hills RC&D and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

 

Aug 9; "Riparian Plant Program," Lake Red Rock

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will offer a special indoor program on "Riparian Plants of Iowa," beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday, August 9 in the Red Rock Visitor Center. 

 

Join Iowa DNR Botanist John Pearson to learn about the trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and other plants which inhabit the waterways, lakeshores, riverbanks and floodplains of Iowa.  Learn to recognize plants that you commonly paddle past or camp next to! 

 

John is a well known botanist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Southern Illinois and a doctorate in botany from the University of Wyoming. Since joining the IDNR in 1985, John has worked with natural areas inventory, threatened and endangered species and state nature preserves. As an avid kayak paddler, he is a frequent event trip leader for Project AWARE and he leads kayak eco-tours of Lake Red Rock for local paddle sport outfitter Canoe Sport Outfitters.

 

The program is free of charge, and preregistration is not required.  For more info:

Lake Red Rock US Army Corps of Engineers website: http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/LakeRedRock.aspx    

Contact the Corps office at (641) 828-7522 or (641) 628-8690 or via email at lakeredrock@usace.army.mil.

 

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

 

Aug 9; "Getting to Know Our Mussels," Johnson County, Iowa River Friends

Mussel Snacks Alden Library
 

On Saturday, August 9th from 10 am - 12 pm, the Iowa River Friends will host an educational event about the Iowa River's mussels. While river mussels may seem rather unassuming, they can tell us a rich story of the river's history and current health. Jen Kurth, a Natural Resources Biologist with the Iowa DNR, will give a talk on unique biology and ecology of these animals, and if weather and river conditions permit, will lead a short field trip to a nearby river access point to investigate mussels in their native habitat. Directions to the field site will be provided the day of the event.

 

This event is free and open to the public.  Meet at the Johnson County Extension Office (3109 Old Highway 218 S., Iowa City, IA 52246)

 

Info about Iowa River Friends: http://iowariverfriends.org/ 

 

Aug 10; "Full Moon Paddle," Madison County Conservation

 
Middle River WT Sign

Meet at Criss Cove County Park (8 miles S of Winterset on Hwy 169) at 7:30 pm.  This will be a good event for beginner paddlers and families.  Enjoy a shoreline campfire and s'mores following the paddle.  Bring your own beverages. 

 

This event is free, but registration is required.  Contact Madison County Conservation at 515-462-3536 or email madccb@madisoncountyparks.org

 

Aug 15; "Aquatic Insect Program," Koser Spring Lake, Cherokee

 
Iowa DNR Logo

Join us on Friday, August 15 at 4:00 pm in Koser Spring Lake Park, Cherokee, IA 51012 to explore the fascinating diversity of life that dwells beneath the surface of the water. Participants will use dip nets to collect and investigate the aquatic invertebrates that call water their home. Learn about their adaptations for life in the water, interesting life cycles, and how they are used as bio-indicators for water quality.

 

This event will be led by Jackie Gautsch, a Biologist with the Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Section of the Iowa DNR.  She holds a BS degree in biology and earth science from the University of Wisconsin, and has participated in projects as varied as herpetological studies, caddisfly research, and fish monitoring on the upper Mississippi.

 

This program is free of charge, but preregistration is requested.

Click on the link below to register online:

 

http://tinyurl.com/moy8lff 

 

Online registration will be open through August 13.  After that date, please contact Michelle Bostinelos, (712) 279-6286 or mbostinelos@simpco.org.

 

This event is cosponsored by Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Find more information about SIMPCO at http://www.simpco.org/

 

Aug 16; "Archaeology & Cultural History Program," Manchester

Cherie Haury-Artz explains the
use of the atlatl.  G.Stark photo.
 

Delaware County Conservation will offer a special indoor program on the "Archaeology & Cultural History of Iowa," beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 16 in the Delaware County Nature Center, 2379 Jefferson Road, Manchester, IA 52057. 

 

Join Cherie Haury-Artz, from the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, for an introduction to Iowa's archaeological past, a chronology of its cultural history, and the importance of the state's water trails to people throughout time.  Cherie Haury-Artz works in education and outreach at the UI Office of the State Archaeologist.  She holds a BA and MA in Anthropology, and recently wrote "A River of Unrivaled Advantages: Life Along the Lower Des Moines River."

 

This program is free of charge, but space is limited, so preregistration is required. 

Click on the link below to register online:

 

http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=oqgqe6jab&oeidk=a07e9hz6py0920cd414  

 

Online registration will be open through August 11.  After that date, please contact Mary Hyland, (641) 373-6302.

 

For more information about Delaware County Conservation go to:  

http://co.delaware.ia.us/offices/conservation/index.htm

For more information about the city of Manchester go to:

http://www.manchester-ia.org

 

This event is cosponsored by Delaware County Conservation, the City of Manchester, the UI Office of the State Archaeologist, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

 

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Aug 16; "2nd Annual River of Dreams Poker Run," Cedar River, Cedar Falls--Waterloo

River of Dreams Logo

 

(Note: Organizers are looking for additional volunteers to help with registration, and to assist people entering or exiting boats. Call Pam Wolter at 319-231-0542.)

 
The 2nd Annual "River of Dreams" Poker Run, benefiting Magical Mix Kids, will be held in Cedar Falls/Waterloo on Saturday, August 16, 2014. 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 still participate in the poker and fun.

 

Cedar River WT Course Description

1. Washington Park-Cedar Falls Access: Registration, receive t-shirt, safety information and 1st poker card.
2. George Wyth Park Access: Receive 2nd poker card, activities.
3. Cedar Bend Park Access: Receive 3rd card, activities.
4. Sherwood Park: Receive 4th card, activities.

5. Waterloo Boat House/Exchange Park Access: Receive last card, hand verifications, food by Mark's Smokin Que, and information booths.

 

For more info on event regulations, maps, and registration, visit http://www.935themix.com 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, Cruisin 1250 Real Oldies, 1650 The Fan, Shirt Shack, Cedar Valley Paddlers, Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments, City of Waterloo, Black Hawk County Conservation, & Iowa DNR.

 

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Aug 16; "River Critters & Wildlife Float," Big Sioux River, Sioux County Conservation

Jim Pease on Iowa River WT
 

Sioux County Conservation will offer a special "River Critters & Wildlife Float" on the Big Sioux River, starting at 9:00 am from Oak Grove Park, 4051 Cherry Ave, Hawarden, IA 51023. We expect to arrive at Carrs Landing around 2:00 pm. Pack a lunch to eat somewhere along the river. Drinking water, sun and bug protection are advised. 

 

The float will be led by Dr. Jim Pease, a wildlife and interpretive specialist who will help you find and understand the wild life along the Big Sioux. Jim has paddled Iowa's rivers since the age of 12, and will help you identify wildlife, from birds and mammals to trees and shrubs, and understand their relationship with the river. We will stop frequently to watch and learn what the river has to teach us. Family groups are welcome.

 

Jim has over 3 decades of experience as a front-line interpreter, professor of interpretation, and writer and consultant on many interpretive and environmental education projects. He has taught thousands, from youth through senior citizens, in formal and non-formal settings, written dozens of publications for professionals and lay people alike, and communicated by a regular statewide radio program, TV segments, podcasts, and websites. His experience includes teaching interpretation to undergraduate and graduate students for 24 years, research on impact of interpretive and education strategies, over two decades as an Extension Wildlife Specialist, director of Iowa's Nature Mapping and Master Conservationist programs, and fifteen years in youth development and natural resources. He helped design and coordinate Iowa's new Master River Stewards Program with Iowa Rivers Revival. Now retired from Iowa State University, he consults on a variety of projects, leads international trips, and can be heard monthly on Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" program.

 

This event is free, but to ensure safety and a quality experience, participation is limited to 20 boats, so preregistration is required.  Call Sioux County Conservation at 712-552-1047 or email soococon@siouxcounty.org. 

 

This program is cosponsored by Northwest Iowa Planning & Development Commission, Sioux County Conservation, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

 

Aug 16; "Annual Floatzilla Event," Quad Cities

Floatzilla 2012

 

Organizers invite paddlers to join them in the Quad Cities on Saturday, August 16 to participate in this annual event to set a world record, promote paddling on our rivers, and host the largest gathering of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards on the Upper Mississippi River.

 

Sign up in advance or at Lake Potter in Sunset Park, Rock Island, IL the day of the event.  You can register for any of six launch points around the Quad Cities, depending on paddlers' interests and skill levels.  Guided floats for all skill levels begin at 7AM. Registration prices are per person, not per boat. Go to www.floatzilla.org for details about registration, launch sites, floats, as well as River Roots Live--a free music & rib festival, and other activities.

Guinness World Record breaking attempt for largest flotilla of canoes and kayaks will take place at 2:00 PM in Lake Potter [Mississippi River backwater] at Sunset Park, Rock Island, IL. The current record of 1,920 boats was set in Inlet, NY in 2011.

 

Registration includes one Floatzilla t-shirt, commemorative boat sticker, registration wrist band, free parking, and free shuttle to and from off-site parking for "floats." T-shirts and boat decals guaranteed for paddlers who register by Aug 6. Shirts and decals are subject to availability for those who register after Aug 6.

 

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Aug 17; "Paddling Celebration on South Skunk River WT," Ames

 

(rescheduled from June 22)

 

The public is invited to a free Paddling Celebration on Sunday August 17 from 2 pm--5 pm at the Cottonwood Shelter in River Valley Park, near the 13th Street dam in Ames, on the South Skunk River.  The event is sponsored by Story County Conservation Board, with event coordination assistance by Skunk River Paddlers. The celebration is designed to introduce people to the Skunk River, both by paddling a short stretch of it, and by talking to local experts who will provide background information. Learn what it would mean if the Story County segment of the South Skunk River would become a state designated water trail.

 

This free event is open to the public, all ages are encouraged to participate, and no preregistration is needed.  Come to paddle on the river, learn about the water trail designation process, and learn about river cleanups, dam safety, and how the South Skunk ground and surface water are related to the Ames water supply.

 

Canoes and all necessary paddling equipment will be available all afternoon to paddle on the pool upstream of the 13th Street Dam. The Skunk River Paddlers will be on hand to help with basic paddling skills and assistance while paddling.

 

Jim Colbert and Bill Simpkins, two local experts with strong interests in the South Skunk, are excited to meet the public, discuss the river, and answer your questions. Colbert leads the Skunk River Navy, an organization of students and adults from ISU and the Ames area which conducts large scale river cleanups. Much of Simpkins' research focuses on South Skunk River aquifer. He is developing groundwater models for the City of Ames. Both Colbert and Simpkins are ISU faculty members.

 

River Valley Park is located at 725 East 13th Street, Ames 50010.

For more info, contact Mimi Wagner, wagner.mimiLA@gmail.com

 

Aug 18-22; "Summer Mussel Blitz," Iowa River in Johnson County

Mussel Pile
Photo by Robin Fortney

 

The 2014 Iowa Mussel Blitz will be on the Iowa River from Coralville Reservoir to Hills, Iowa August 18-22.  

 

Monday, August 18 will be a training day with educational and fun events planned for the entire week, but the main purpose of the week is to try to get a picture of the mussel population of this stretch of the Iowa River. ALL people interested in Mussels or River Ecology are welcome.

 

If you would like more information, contact Scott Gritters (Scott.Gritters@dnr.iowa.gov; 563-872-4976) or Paul Sleeper (319)350-8399.

 

Aug 22-24; "Annual Lower Wapsi River Cleanup Project."

Wapsi Cleanup 2012 Scrap Sorter

 

For 2014, LWRCP will be base-camped at Rock Creek Marina & Campground. Free primitive camping will be provided. Catered meals will be offered. 

 

Volunteers will be cleaning from McCausland to the convergence with the Mississippi, and on the second day they will cover the Wapsi bayou and Mississippi River sloughs near Rock Creek Marina.  

  

Canoes, lifejackets, and paddles will be supplied but it is suggested that you bring your own lifejacket for comfort. Registration will be available online soon; info at http://www.LWRCP.org  

 

Any questions, please call coordinator Melisa Jacobsen at 563-349-0811.

 
Photo by LWRCP. 

Aug 23; "Iowa River Fossils Paddle," Louisa & Johnson County Conservation

Iowa River Float LouisaCCB
Louisa CCB Photo

 

(Rescheduled from July 12)

(This event is full, but contact organizers if you would like to be added to a waiting list.)

 

Spend a delightful day on the river learning about the geology of the river and the fossils found along the way. This trip will start at Sturgis Ferry Park in Iowa City at 9:00 am, and end nine river miles downstream at Hills Access, just outside of Hills, Iowa around 3:00 pm. Participants will leisurely paddle down the river, stopping at sand and rock bars along the way, looking for evidence of past marine inhabitants of Iowa found in the fossils washed down the river. 

 

Shuttle and boats (if needed) will be provided. All ages and experience levels are welcome; ages 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult

 

This event is free, but all participants must be registered in advance. There is a limit of 20 boats for this trip, so get registered early!

 

Registration information: Please call (319)-523-8381 or email btiller@lccb.org to reserve canoes or kayaks, to register your own boat, or to reserve a spot on the shuttle!

 

More info at http://www.louisacountyconservation.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=80:iowa-river-paddle&Itemid=528 

 

This trip is an official Iowa River Water Trail event, cosponsored by Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Johnson County Conservation and Louisa County Conservation.

 

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Aug 23; "River Critters & Wildlife Float," North Raccoon River, Sac County Conservation

Raccoon WT Bluffs
Photo of North Raccoon River
by Mike Delaney

Sac County Conservation will host a special "River Critters & Wildlife Float" at 1:30 pm on Saturday, August 23 at White Horse Access on the North Raccoon River.

 

Dr. Jim Pease will highlight the unique critters and wild life that live in and along Iowa waterways like the North Raccoon.  Jim has paddled Iowa's rivers since age 12, and is a wildlife and interpretive specialist who will help you find and understand the critters that call our rivers and surrounding area their home. 

 

Now retired from Iowa State University, Jim consults on a variety of projects, leads international trips, and can be heard monthly on Iowa Public Radio's "Talk of Iowa" program.  Jim has over 3 decades of experience as a front-line interpreter, 24 years as a professor of interpretation to undergraduate and graduate students, two decades as an Extension Wildlife Specialist, fifteen years in youth development and natural resources, and served as director of Iowa's Nature Mapping and Master Conservationist programs. He helped design and coordinate Iowa's new Master River Stewards Program with Iowa Rivers Revival.

 

This program is free of charge, but to ensure safety and a quality education experience, participation is limited to 20 boats, so preregistration is required.

 

To register, contact Renee Stroud at 712-662-4530 or sccbnat@frontiernet.net.

 

This event is cosponsored by Sac County Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 

 

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Aug 23; "Amazing Mollusks! Freshwater Mussels" Program, Lake Red Rock

Mussel PG

Pistol Grip Mussel
 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a public program titled "Amazing Mollusks! Freshwater Mussels" at the Lake Red Rock Visitor Center at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 23. 

 

Join Iowa DNR Biologist Jennifer Kurth for a closer look at these "one-footed" wonders roaming our water trails. Freshwater mussels can be found in many rivers and lakes in Iowa.  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!

 

Jennifer is a Natural Resources Biologist in the Watershed Improvement Section of the Iowa DNR.  She has a BA in Theatre and a BS in Biology from the U of Minnesota, and an MS in Ecology & Environmental Science from the U of Maine.  She works on streams which are listed as impaired for aquatic life, referring to it as "environmental CSI."  She is currently in the midst of a six-year, statewide survey of freshwater mussels in Iowa rivers and streams.

 

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 lakeredrock@usace.army.mil for more information.

 

Lake Red Rock US Army Corps of Engineers website:

http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/LakeRedRock.aspx

 

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

 

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Aug 20-21 & Sep 17-18; Few Remaining Opportunities to Enroll in Iowa DNR Canoe or Kayak Schools

Iowa DNR Logo
 

The Iowa DNR Canoe & Kayak School has a few openings in the final Canoe School session of  2014.  While the Aug 20-21 Kayak School appears to be filled, you might ask to be put on a standby list.

 

Each one or two-day course will cover skills, hazard and river feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management. 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. 

 

To register or get more information, contact Todd Robertson, DNR River Programs, 515-979-9538 or email todd.robertson@dnr.iowa.gov. 

  • Aug. 20-21, Kayak School - FILLED!
  • Sept. 17-18 Canoe School

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Expanded IDNR 2014 WT Education Programs Available for Fall & Winter
kids_learning.jpg

 

Summertime WT Education presentations and floats are obviously in full swing, keeping both local organizers and expert presenters busy across the state.  Please keep in mind that most of the 2014 topics can be enjoyed as indoor presentations during the fall and winter. Contact Todd Robertson, Outreach Coordinator for DNR River Programs, at 515-979-9538 or todd.robertson@dnr.iowa.gov

 

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.

 

WhereIsItWhere Is It? Quiz ANSWER

 

 

 

David Hillman shared a few photos "from our paddle on Lizard Creek Water Trail up near Fort Dodge.  The railroad trestle crosses over the creek about 1/2 way down the 14 mile run."

 

Find a map of Lizard Creek WT (#3 map on PDF):

http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/riverprograms/map_upperdesmoines.pdf  

 

Read a report about paddling Lizard Creek WT on the national Paddling.Net website:

http://www.paddling.net/places/showReport.html?621 

 

Find more info about the trestle bridge on the Bridgehunter.com website:

http://bridgehunter.com/ia/webster/bh53621/ 

Those of you more familiar with the area might enjoy reading a section from the book, "History of the Illinois Central RR:"

http://books.google.com/books?id=Ggk7AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA732&lpg=PA732&dq=lizard+creek+trestle+bridge+illinois+railroad&source=bl&ots=QX6PgJgnce&sig=zGgR2WnYL_Jrs-r9U9AJ8fSMVfQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QfvPU4jKK4SuyASRnIDgBQ&ved=0CFEQ6AEwDA#v=onepage&q=lizard%20creek%20trestle%20bridge%20illinois%20railroad&f=false   

  

WhatIsItWhat Is It? Quiz ANSWER
Softshell Turtle Shell Outside G.Stark

 

At first, it appeared as the curve of an almost-submerged basketball?  Then, maybe a sunflower yard-ornament?  When lifted from the water and turned over, the vertebrae clearly indicated the shell of a living creature.

 

 

Softshell turtles have a flat, leathery carapace, unlike the bony scutes of other Iowa turtles.  Softshells also have more extensive webbing than other turtles.  They are found in rivers and lakes with sandy or muddy bottoms.  Sandbars are important as egg-laying sites.  

 

 

Softshells may be active from April into October.  They overwinter by burying themselves in mud or sand at the bottom of rivers or lakes.  Iowa has both Spiny Softshell Turtles and Smooth Softshell Turtles.

 

 

Visit Herpnet.net to learn more about the Spiny softshell turtle:

http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=76&Itemid=26 

 

 

Visit Herpnet.net to learn more about the Smooth softshell turtle;

http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=75&Itemid=26 

 

  Softshell Turtle Shell Inside G.Stark

The turtle shell was discovered while paddling and surveying the shoreline challenges to cleaning up Cedar Lake, an urban lake in Cedar Rapids.  Learn more about "Friends of Cedar Lake," a coalition of stakeholders committed to creating and implementing a plan to improve Cedar Lake and its adjacent urban area: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofcedarlake 

 

 

 Photos by G.Stark

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We Hope That You Are Enjoying the IWTA Newsletter
IDNR Blue Trash Bag
 
Our special thanks to:
  • David Hillman for sharing his photo of the railroad trestle on the Lizard Creek WT for our "What Is It? Quiz."  And best wishes for success on the Paint Creek Project.
  • All of the WT event organizers and presenters who are providing a summer full of Iowa WT education and enjoyment
  • Everyone who provided WT event information for this issue of the IWTA Newsletter.
We encourage you to keep spreading the message (and the blue bags) to "Keep It Clean. Keep It Fun. For Everyone!"  You are making a difference!
 
Groups interested in helping to display and distribute "Keep It Clean" promotion materials should contact Todd Robertson, Outreach Coordinator for DNR River Programs, at 515-979-9538 or todd.robertson@dnr.iowa.gov . 

 

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.  

 

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

 

If you are not one of the over 1,000 Iowans who currently subscribe to this free, monthly email IWTA 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. 

 
Sincerely,

Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter