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Mid Month 


Iowa Water Trails Association 
February, 2016  
Feb 27 Iowa Games Indoor Paddling Competition in Charles City
Winter Pool Sessions Winding Down
Mar 5 "Slices of Time" Photography Workshop in Quad Cities
Mar 11-13 Canoecopia in Madison, Iowa Exhibitors
Mar 22 IEC Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at State Capitol
Mar 23-24 Iowa Water Conference in Ames--10th Annual
Apr 2-3 Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo
Apr 2 Iowa River Friends Annual Meeting in Marshalltown
More Feedback re Applying Your Boat Registration Decals
Tax Time--Time to "Friend" Our Wildlife!
What Readers are Following & Recommending
A Look at Feb-Mar-Apr on the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar
Thanks to IWTA Readers


Snowman Paddler G.Stark
Patience, patience.
The "Show Season" continues, with more indoor 
events of interest to Water Trails supporters, paddlers,
and other outdoorsy folks. 

There are plenty of events to hold our interest as we await the spring thaw.

If you haven't already done so, it is time to renew memberships in the paddling, photography, and environmental or advocacy groups which rely on our support. And remember the "Chickadee Checkoff"---the "Fish and Wildlife Fund" line--on your Iowa State Income Tax form.

Put simply, it's winter in Iowa , and hypothermia is a very real risk. Proper training, necessary gear, a paddle plan, and the buddy system are especially important for winter paddling. Be careful out there.

Your info and support makes this newsletter relevant, so please keep it coming.
Feb 27; Iowa Games Indoor Paddling Competition, Charles City
Iowa Games Logo
The competition will be held at Charles City Middle School, 
500 N Grand Ave., Charles City, IA 50616. 

Registrations will be accepted ONLY on the day of the event, and Check-In/Registration will be onsite from 9:00 - 10:00 am.
The Indoor Paddling Competition will allow paddlers to participate in time-based competitions in Canoe, Kayak and Paddle Board events, with many age and male/female divisions. Competitions will include a hanging gate slalom, self rescue swimming, boat towing rescue and more! Rope throw rescue skills will also be tested. Participants will be limited to a maximum of 4 events for the day.
This event will be a great opportunity for paddlers of all ages and abilities to compete and improve their skills. Canoes, Kayaks and Paddle Boards will be available if needed, but correct sizes cannot be guaranteed. 

Commissioner: Piper Wall, 515-708-6695,
Winter Pool Sessions Winding Down at Cedar Rapids, Indianola, Waverly
Winter Pool Sessions are a great opportunity to
practice and perfect your rescue skills.
G.Stark photo.
Cedar Rapids at Bender Pool: 
The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department, in cooperation with Linn County Conservation, is offering kayakers a chance to practice their skills at Bender Pool, 940 14th Avenue SE. The two remaining drop-in Sunday pool sessions are from 4:30-6:30 pm on Feb 28 & Mar 13. These are practices, not lessons, but experienced paddlers will be available. Fee is $10 per person per visit. No advance registration required.
Participants bring their own kayaks and equipment and wear proper swim attire and clean life jackets. A helmet is required for those practicing rolls. The kayaks must be rinsed, inside and out, with the hose just outside the door before they can be placed in the pool. Youth must be supervised by an adult. For more information, call Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation, (319) 286-5731.
Indianola at Indianola "Y" Pool: 
Formal paddling skills classes are offered by CanoeSport Outfitters at the Indianola "Y" Pool. Visit the CanoeSport Outfitters website for details:  
Waverly at Waverly "W" Pool: 
Formal paddling skills classes are offered by CrawDaddy Outdoors at the Waverly "W" Pool. Visit the CrawDaddy Outdoors website for dates and details:  
We would be glad to publicize any additional off-season opportunities to develop or practice paddling and safety skills. Please forward your information to
Mar 5; "Slices of Time" Photography Workshop, Quad Cities
Popular exhibitor area during 2015 Photography Workshop in the Quad Cities.  G.Stark photo
Mar 5; "Slices of Time," a full day of photographic enrichment, will be held Saturday, March 5, 9:00 am--3:00 pm on the St. Ambrose campus.

From novice to professional, all can benefit from attending. The information-packed day will begin with a series of lively presentations:

* Gregg Alliss--storm and weather photographer; regular contributor to National Weather Service training programs
* Lou Brems--photojournalist Quad City Times
* Anna Pagnucci---Professor of Fine Art at Ashford University
* Gregg Stark--Editor and photographer of lowa Water Trails Association Newsletter
* Brian Tugana--documentary photographer and founder of Shared Talents

The new venue at St. Ambrose is spacious, easily accommodating all attendees in a single tiered presentation theatre.

From noon till 3:00 pm, there will be a variety of exhibits, demonstrations, and photoshoot opportunities. Learn about drone photography, data storage, printing options and more. Experts from the major camera and equipment companies will be available to field questions and demonstrate new products.

From 1 pm till 3 pm an optional 2 hour workshop, "An Introduction to Photography," will be held, led by four expert photographers---Patrick Cheak, Ted Doty, Trent Foltz, and John Schultz. For those interested in feedback about some of their pictures, we have lined up experts to give confidential feedback.

$5 for general admission to the morning presentations and afternoon exhibits and demonstrations. There is an additional $5 charge to attend the afternoon workshop.

Info and registration at
Mar 11-13; Canoecopia in Madison, WI
If you attend Canoecopia, be sure to visit the NE Iowa Whitewater booth (above), and others with Iowa ties.
The annual Canoecopia event in Madison, Wisconsin is the world's largest paddling sports show. It has always been a great place to see new paddling gear, learn about paddling destinations, and improve paddling skills. In recent years, we have seen increased participation by Iowans exhibiting on behalf of whitewater activities, special events, travel destinations, and now products manufactured in Iowa. 

2016 Canoecopia exhibitors known to have Iowa ties:
  • Northeast Iowa Whitewater--Charles City, Manchester, Elkader
  • Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau
  • Portage Pal Canoe/Kayak Trailers, Humboldt, IA
  • Great River Rumble info will be available in the Wenonah booth
Iowa events and destinations such as Floatzilla, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, etc. may be promoted within an "umbrella group" booth. If you are aware of other Iowa exhibitor connections, please let us know so we can include the info in the March 1 IWTA Newsletter.

Find Canoecopia general show info, directions, exhibitor lists, and presentation schedules at:

Photo by G.Stark
Mar 22; Annual IEC Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the State Capitol
IEC Logo
The Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) will host its annual Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the State Capitol on the morning of March 22.  

Each year, organizations and individuals from across the state come together at the Iowa State Capitol to speak with legislators about the importance of protecting Iowa's natural resources at Environmental Lobby Day. Speaking face-to-face with legislators and showing that there is a broad base of support for a healthy environment is one of the most important ways to help advance programs and policies that protect Iowa's water, land and climate. 

Find more info about attending, participating, exhibiting, etc. at: 

Mar 23-24; 10th Annual Iowa Water Conference, Ames
"AtTENtion - EnlighTEN - InTENsify: TEN years of the Iowa Water Conference" is set for March 23-24 at the Scheman Building in Ames.

The conference features six plenaries, eight breakout session tracks, two optional workshops, and an evening reception and community event that combines art and the sciences.
IWC Conference 2016 Logo
Through general and concurrent sessions, conference goers will explore current trends across water resource management in both urban and rural landscapes, with a particular emphasis on the interconnected nature of our water resources, and the opportunities this offers for collaboration. There are 8 different tracks offered with 4 sessions each:
  • Strategies for Social Engagement
  • Green Infrastructure: Function
  • Green Infrastructure: Benefits and Maintenance
  • The Soil/Water Connection
  • Water Quantity
  • Current Technology
  • Nutrient Management
  • The Next Generation of Water Professionals
The conference will also offer sessions for research and educational posters from water professionals, as well as a poster competition for studentsThe 2016 Iowa Water Conference Photo Contest is up and running, with an entry deadline of March 1, 2016. See the full rules at: 

View the full agenda, plenary topics, and program information at: 
Apr 2-3; Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo; Mark Your Calendars
Keynote speaker Dr. Jim Pease.
Organizers ask you to mark your calendar for the April 2-3 Outdoor Adventure Fest at the Black Hawk County YMCA in Waterloo. Saturday's keynote speaker will be Dr. Jim Pease, who will address the "Status of Iowa Rivers." 

Additional confirmed presentations (more to come) include Bill Schoon "Views from the Cockpit," Prairie Rapids Audubon Chapter "Birding in Iowa," Kip Ladage "Nature Photography of Iowa," and Vern Fish (Topic TBD). 

An optional outdoor kayak/canoe float will be hosted on Sunday. 

Named "PaddleFest" for its first two years, this event has been re-branded as "Outdoor Adventure Fest" to broaden its focus to include all types of outdoor recreation, including paddling.

Apr 2; Iowa River Friends Annual Meeting, First "Iowa River Report," Marshalltown
Iowa River Friends Logo
Iowa River Friends (IRF) will host its Annual Meeting on April 2 in Marshalltown. 

This "Whole Watershed Gathering" will include major presenters on water quality, making change, and enjoying the Iowa River. IRF will release its first "Annual Iowa River Report." This will be an opportunity for people of common purpose & vision, from all along the length of the Iowa River, to begin strategizing for the River's betterment.

The public is encouraged to attend, but only members may vote. 
Contact Mel Schlachter or visit
More About Applying Your New Boat Registration Decals. . . (Old Ones Expire April 30)
Iowa DNR Logo
In our Feb 1 issue, we shared some suggestions about replacing your expired registration decals with the new (green) decals. Reader "Joe" shared that he uses a heat gun to soften the adhesive and ease removal of the old decal.  He stressed exercising caution, whether using a heat gun or a hair dryer, to avoid damage to the boat hull or skin.

You can reference our entire article in the Newsletter Archives, but the following information clarifies the proper location and placement of the decals and boat numbers:

Key points regarding decal location:
1. The number and decal must be displayed on the forward half of each side of the boat.
2. Note that the decal is displayed 4" aft (toward the back of the boat) from the number. This means that the decal will be to the right of the number when viewing the left side of the boat, but will be to the left when viewing the right side of the boat. 

If this is confusing, refer to pages 6-8 of the Handbook of Iowa Boating Laws. It's a cumbersome pdf, here's the link:
Taxes May Be a Given, But Keeping Our Fish and Wildlife Friends Requires Your Help
Chickadee Checkoff Logo
Since the 1980s, thousands of Iowans have supported Iowa wildlife by making donations when they prepare their taxes. Today, 100 percent of those dollars go to the state's Wildlife Diversity Program, which protects nongame and vulnerable species through habitat development, data collection and research, education and much more.
Donating is easy. Simply enter your donation amount in the Fish and Wildlife Check-Off contribution line (usually between lines 55-59 on form 1040), and the sum is either automatically deducted from the refund or added to the amount owed. As with all charitable contributions, these dollars are deductible from next year's taxes.  Don't forget to talk to your tax preparer if you have your taxes done professionally - many tax preparers forget to mention donation opportunities. 
If every Iowa taxpayer donated just $1 on the Fish and Wildlife Check-off, it would mean $1.5 million for natural resource conservation!  So, if you're able, take a moment this tax season to get a little wild and consider making a donation.  The 1000+ species of birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, toads, turtles and dragonflies that call Iowa home will thank you.    

What IWTA Newsletter Readers are Following & Recommending
IWTA does not advocate for positions on issues, but readers occasionally ask questions or share articles about issues which may be of interest or concern to other readers & WT supporters.  To balance IWTA neutrality, reader participation, and the exchange of potentially useful information, while minimizing the impact on IWTA Newsletter space, following are brief comments and links to items that your fellow readers find interesting:

Permanent Ice Fishing Shelters Must Be Removed by Feb 20.
The Iowa DNR reminds us that permanent ice shelters must be removed from all state-owned lands and waters by February 20. Ice shelter owners are encouraged not to wait until the last minute to get their shelter off the ice. If a shelter falls through the ice, the owner is responsible for getting it out of the lake.

Bald Eagle Watch Events Are Being Held Around the State.
Several such events were held in January, and the opportunities continue.

Feb 26-27; Effigy Mounds Bald Eagle Watch. Outdoor and indoor programs at Prairie Du Chien, WI, 563-873-3491 or 608-326-8555.
Feb 28; Saylorville Bald Eagle Watch. Outdoor viewing at selected sites around reservoir, start at Visitor's Center 11 am - 4 pm, 515-276-4656.
Mar 6; O'Brien County Bald Eagle Watch. Prairie Heritage Center with elevated viewing deck, in Peterson, 2 pm live bald eagle program, 712-295-7200.
Mar 12; Sioux Rapids Eagle Watch. Outdoor viewing at selected sites, live eagle programs at American Legion Building in Sioux Rapids, 10 am-2 pm, lunch at noon, 712-296-4920

For more info about Eagle Watches and other wildlife events, 
visit the Iowa DNR Wildlife Diversity Program website:

DNR Wildlife Diversity Program has three Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring workshops scheduled in March:
  • March 5, 2016 - 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. - CLAYTON COUNTY in partnership with the Clayton County Conservation BoardLocation: Osborne Park Nature Center near Elkader, IA
  • March 12, 2016 - 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. - WAYNE COUNTY in partnership with the Wayne County Conservation BoardLocation: Bobwhite State Park, Wayne County Conservation Offices, near Allerton, IA.
  • March 19, 2016 - 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. - SAC COUNTY in partnership with the Sac County Conservation BoardLocation: Sac County Conservation Center near Sac City, IA.
All the workshops are scheduled in areas where we have eagle nests that need a volunteer monitor.  So if you know of someone who would enjoy and be a good fit for this citizen science program, I'd appreciate you letting them know about the workshops!  Space is limited and it will be first come, first served.  Learn more about the program and download a registration form at
Contact Stephanie Shepherd, Wildlife Diversity Biologist, or phone 515-432-2823.

Program Updates from Iowa Rivers Revival:
March 30-31 - Master River Steward Program (MRSP) Train the Trainer sessions. These are in preparation for MRSP offerings in several areas of the state in the next 2 years.  Watch for announcements

March/April - Three River Restoration programs (2-3 hour meetings) will be held in the Upper/Middle/Lower Cedar River Watershed. The 2-3 hour meetings will be coordinated by Erica Blair ( and Mary Beth Stevenson
April 4 - A Technical River Restoration Workshop will be hosted in  Fort Dodge. This will be similar to the workshop hosted on the West Nishnabotna last fall. Staci Williams with American Rivers is contracted to coordinate the workshop. 

A Look At Feb-Mar-Apr On the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar!

Feb 15; Presidents' Day.
Feb 22; Full Moon. Monday, Sunrise 6:53, Sunset 5:48, Moonrise 6:00 CST
Feb 27; Iowa Games Winter Events. Includes indoor paddling in Charles City.
Feb 29; Extra Day for Leap Year.
Mar 5; "Slices of Time" Photography Workshop, Quad Cities, 9:00am-3:00pm, St. Ambrose campus. Five morning presentations include weather, photojournalism, sports, art, on-water, & documentary; plus afternoon demonstrations & exhibits; for novice to professional.
Mar 8; Best Time to View Planet Jupiter. Jupiter and 4 of its moons visible with binoculars.
Mar 11-13; Canoecopia at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. World's largest paddling sports show; several Iowa exhibitors.
Mar 13; Daylight Savings Time Begins, set clocks ahead one hour.
Mar 17; St. Patrick's Day.
Mar 19; Vernal Equinox, First Day of Spring.
View of 2015 IEC Lobby Day at the Capitol.
G.Stark photo

Mar 22; IEC Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the Capitol, Des Moines, 9:00 am-1:00 pm, sponsored by Iowa Environmental Council, REAP Coalition, et al.
Mar 23-24; Iowa Water Conference in Ames; annual gathering of water professionals, researchers, educators and students from across Iowa and surrounding states. Event agenda, registration, & photo contest rules at
Mar 23; "Tree Day" at Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines.  Displays, discussions with legislators, sponsored by Trees Forever
Mar 23; Full Moon. Wednesday, Sunrise 7:04, Sunset 7:23, Moonrise 7:46 CDT
Apr TBD; Jones County Earth Day Fair & Grant Wood Trail Pancake Breakfast, Anamosa. Times TBD, exhibits, food, Lawrence Community Center. Jones CCB is one of the sponsors
Apr 2-3; Outdoor Adventure Fest, Waterloo/Cedar Falls. Saturday's keynote speaker, Dr. Jim Pease, will address the Status of Iowa Rivers, and presentations will include Bill Schoon "Views from the Cockpit," Prairie Rapids Audubon Chapter "Birding in Iowa," Kip Ladage "Nature Photography of Iowa," Vern Fish (TBD). An optional outdoor float will be hosted on Sunday. Info at:
Apr 2; Iowa River Friends (IRF) Annual Meeting, Marshalltown. Presentations, release of first Annual Iowa River Report; open to public, only members may vote. This "Whole Watershed Gathering" will be held in Marshalltown, with major presenters on water quality, making change, and enjoying the River. Opportunity for people of common purpose & vision to begin to strategize for the River's betterment.
Contact Mel Schlachter or visit
Apr 7; CrawDaddy Outdoors "season-opener" Kayak Demo Day, Ave of Saints Lake, Waverly. Free. Full calendar of demos, classes, trips at
Apr 9; Canoesport Outfitter DemoFest, Lake Ahquabi, south of Indianola. Fee, preregistration. Full schedule of events on website
Apr 18; Best Time To View Planet Mercury. Low in western sky just after sunset.
Apr 18; Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for Iowans (Iowa State Income Tax filing deadline Apr 30).
Apr 19; Iowa Legislative Session Target Close; (Day 100 of session, per diem expenses end).
Apr 22; Full Moon. Friday, Sunrise 6:15, Sunset 7:56, Moonrise 8:29 CDT
Apr 22; Earth Day. Annual observance of the first Earth Day in 1970.
Apr 22-23; Lyrids Meteor Shower Peaks. Average shower, peaking at 20 meteors/hour.
Apr 22-24; Outdoor Adventure Expo, Midwest Mountaineering, Minneapolis, MN.  
Apr 23; Linn Area Photo Club Seminar, Nikon Ambassador Moose Peterson, Cedar Rapids. 8:30am-5:00pm. See Peterson's aviation & outdoor photography at
LAPC Seminar & hot catered lunch registration info at
Apr 29; Arbor Day, annual observance last Friday in April,
Apr 30; Iowa State Income Tax Filing Deadline. Remember the Chickadee Check Off.
Apr 30; Iowa 3-Year Boat Registrations Expire. Remember to apply those decals.

Do you have WT-related events or planning info for 2016?
Contact us at

We Hope That You Are Enjoying the "Award-Winning" IWTA Newsletter
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. That is only possible with your participation. Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement.

Our special thanks to:
  • Readers who forwarded info about WT-related events around Iowa.
  • Readers who are already providing items for the IWTA 2016 Planning Calendar.
  • Readers who shared items they are reading, or otherwise found interesting.
  • Other groups who have added our IWTA Website link to their own website; we like to network!
We do our best to include all corrections, cancellations, and reschedules ASAP in our newsletters and other materials, but the most current info on events will probably always be the Events Calendar on the IWTA Website: 

Please continue to share your events, reports, ideas, quiz topics, suggestions, and corrections with us at
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Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter