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Mid Month 


Iowa Water Trails Association 
March, 2016  
Mar 19 IDNR Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring Workshop
Mar 20 "Paddles in the Pool" Kayak & Canoe Clinic in Cedar Rapids
Mar 22 IEC Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the State Capitol
Mar 23-24 Iowa Water Conference in Ames--EARLY REGISTRATION EXTENDED
Mar 28 & 31, Apr 7 Cedar River Watershed Coalition River Restoration Programs
Mar 30-31 IRR Master River Steward "Train the Facilitator" Sessions in Webster City
Apr 2-3 Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo, Optional Sunday Float
Apr 2 Iowa River Friends Conference & Annual Meeting in Marshalltown
Apr 15 First of Six 2016 Paddling Adventures Announced by Clinton County
What Readers are Following & Recommending
Seeking Crew Members for Canadian Wilderness Canoe Trip
A Look at 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar
Thanks to IWTA Readers

We thoroughly enjoyed a visit to Canoecopia last weekend, where we recognized numerous Iowa paddlers and stopped by some display booths promoting NE Iowa Whitewater, Cedar Falls/Waterloo tourism, and Floatzilla, along with Iowa manufacturers Crane  Creek (Styrigger float systems) and Bailey Fabricating (Portage Pal trailers). Canoecopia draws heavily from the midwest, and word of paddling opportunities in Iowa is starting to spread.

Stone City Grant Wood Joslyn Art
Almost spring, and we're dreaming of enjoying Iowa Water Trails flowing through "Grant Wood Scenery."
This Mid Month Reminders issue includes events and announcements relating to Water Trails, watersheds, and the folks who care about our Iowa waterways. Whether you want to learn about, advocate for, or paddle through our waterways, we hope you find some items of interest as we transition from winter to spring.

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.

Astronomical spring begins on March 19, and while we're starting to experience warmer air temperatures, water temperatures remain very cold. Proper training, a PFD, necessary gear, a paddle plan, and the buddy system are especially important to avoid hypothermia. Be careful out there.

Your info and support makes this newsletter relevant, so please keep it coming.
Logo CIP
Bulletin from Central Iowa Paddlers (CIP):
Warning - Bridge Collapse!

The historic Wagon Wheel Bridge on the Des Moines River, located just to the north of the Kate Shelly Bridge, has collapsed. This happened around 1:30 pm today (Thursday, March 10th).

This bridge was damaged last month by moving ice and was scheduled to be torn down. The west side of the bridge up to the bank has fallen into the river and is now creating a strainer hazard.

DANGER! Do not approach. This area is NOT safe for paddlers or on-lookers. Stay away.

---Central Iowa Paddlers

For brief video, more info about the bridge, constructed in 1911, visit:
Mar 19; Iowa DNR Wildlife Diversity Program Final Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring Workshop
IDNR Wildlife Diversity Logo
The Iowa DNR Wildlife Diversity Program has already hosted two of three Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring workshops scheduled in March, but you can still take advantage of that last opportunity:

March 19, 2016 - 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. - SAC County in partnership with the Sac County Conservation Board. Location: 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.
Mar 20; "Paddles in the Pool" Kayak & Canoe Clinic Added in Cedar Rapids
NE Iowa PFest Siefkin in Pool
Darren Siefken, co-owner of CrawDaddy Outdoors, works with a paddling student during a pool session
in Cedar Falls/Waterloo.  G.Stark photo.
On Sunday, March 20, the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department, in cooperation with Linn County Conservation, will sponsor two sessions of a kayak & canoe clinic at Bender Pool. The first session will start at Noon, and a second session (repeat of the first) will start at 3:00 pm. 

The fee will be $10 per person, no registration required. Participants should bring swimwear and a lifejacket. Boats and paddles are being provided by CrawDaddy Outdoors. For more information, call Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation, (319) 286-5731.

Cedar Valley Paddlers in Cedar Falls/Waterloo Area:
It might be too late for this season, but we have learned that this paddlers group sponsors a limited number of pool sessions each winter. For more info about events, activities, trips, meetings, and membership, visit:

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 22; Annual IEC Environmental Lobby Day / REAP Day at the State Capitol, Des Moines
Exhibits and presentations in the Capitol Rotunda
during the 2015 IEC Lobby Day / REAP Day event.
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, scheduling meetings with your legislators, etc. at:

G.Stark photo.  

Mar 23-24; Annual Iowa Water Conference, Ames--EARLY REGISTRATION EXTENDED
IWC Conference 2016 Logo
Early registration deadline for Iowa Water Conference has been extended to Tuesday, March 15. 
Early registration fees are $150, or $75 for students.

"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.

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 students, and the 2016 Iowa Water Conference Photo Contest. 
View the full agenda, plenary topics, and program information at: 
Mar 28 & 31, Apr 7; River Restoration Workshops by IRR & Cedar River Watershed Coalition
Dry Run Creek After Josh Balk
Dry Run Creek in Black Hawk County is an example of a waterway benefited by restoration efforts.
Iowa Rivers Revival and the Cedar River Watershed Coalition are collaborating to present an introduction to natural river restoration benefits and practices. Landowners, farmers, policymakers, city staffers, conservationists, educators, and the public are invited to attend the free, 1.5 hour-long workshop. Presentations will provide an overview of river restoration techniques and benefits, as well as highlight current river restoration efforts in the area.

Natural river restoration can be an affordable and practical solution for addressing streambank erosion issues across Iowa. Eroding streambanks can mean the loss of crop buffer areas, productive farmland, and local infrastructure. In addition, streambank erosion is a major contributor to sediment and nutrients in our water. Understanding river dynamics can lead to much more cost-effective, fish and wildlife friendly solutions to these problems. River restoration also enhances aquatic ecosystems and improves river recreation, fishing, and hunting - boosting local economies and quality of life.

These workshops are being coordinated by Erica Blair and Marybeth Stevenson. There is no fee to participate, but advanced registration is recommended due to limited space. Please RSVP by emailing

The workshop will be offered in three locations on three dates; hopefully one will fit your schedule:
  • March 28, 5:30 pm - Lime Creek Nature Center (Todd Von Ehwegen,
  • March 31, 3:00 pm - West Branch City Hall (Matt Muckler,
  • April 7, 5:30 pm - University of Northern Iowa Business Building (Josh Balk,

April 4; Technical River Restoration Workshop in Fort Dodge
In addition to the above workshops, a Technical River Restoration Workshop will be hosted in Fort Dodge on April 4.. This will be similar to the workshop hosted on the West Nishnabotna last fall. Watch for more info and updates. Staci Williams with American Rivers is contracted to coordinate the workshop. Contact: 

Mar 30-31; IRR Master River Steward Program "Train the Facilitator" Sessions
Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) is looking for a few dynamic river-loving facilitators for their Master River Stewards Program (MRSP). If you and/or your organization or agency are interested in teaming with IRR to provide MRSP workshops to adults in your area, consider applying to attend the MRSP Train the Facilitator training on March 30 and 31 at the Fire Station in Webster City.

MRSP provides 32 hours of instruction to adult Iowans on:
  • Watersheds
  • River and stream dynamics
  • River and riparian habitats and wildlife
  • River paddling and navigation
  • River chemistry and water monitoring
  • River and stream restoration and stewardship
  • Policies related to protecting river and stream water quality
Find more information on the MRSP program and the training sessions at:

Apr 2-3; Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo on Saturday; Optional Paddle on Sunday
Jim Pease on Iowa River WT
Dr. Jim Pease encourages a young naturalist.

Named "PaddleFest" for its first two years, this Black Hawk County Conservation event has been re-branded as "Outdoor Adventure Fest" to broaden its focus to include all types of outdoor recreation, including paddling. The Outdoor Adventure Fest will be held at the Black Hawk County YMCA in Waterloo. 
Dr. Jim Pease, Saturday's keynote speaker, will address the "Status of Iowa Rivers." A variety of displays and exhibits will provide ideas for creating your own outdoor adventures. A series of concurrent morning and afternoon presentations will include:
  • Bill Schoon "Views from the Cockpit" 
  • Prairie Rapids Audubon Chapter "Birding in Iowa" 
  • Kip Ladage "Nature Photography of Iowa" 
  • Vern Fish (topic TBD) 
  • Darrin Siefken, CrawDaddy Outdoors, pool sessions.
An optional outdoor float will be hosted on Sunday.

Apr 2; Iowa River Friends Conference, Annual Meeting, "Iowa River Report," Marshalltown
Iowa River Friends Logo
"Life in the Iowa River:
Conversations about Wildlife, People,
and the River that Connects Us"
A "Life in the Iowa River" conference will be held Saturday, April 2 from 9:30 am--2:00 pm at the Grimes Farm & Conversation Center near Marshalltown, bringing together people from the full length of the Iowa River Watershed. 
(The center is located on the west side of Highland Acres Road and on the north side of 233rd Street.) 

Iowa River Friends (IRF) invites environmentalists, farmers, paddlers, nature lovers, educators and anyone interested in learning about the Iowa River and getting involved with improving the quality of life in and around the river to attend. The IRF Conference/Annual Meeting will feature speakers on wildlife, paddling, and opportunities to improve the Iowa River. 

Doors will open at 9:30 am for registration and coffee. The meeting will begin at 10:00 am with a keynote address from Duane Ninneman, Executive Director of Minnesota-based CURE (Clean up the River Environment). Duane is a recognized rural environmental leader and will share his understanding of rural history, culture, and the environment. 

John Wenck, Iowa DNR Water Trails Coordinator, will then provide a historical perspective on the Iowa River and ways to enjoy paddling on the river. Vince Evelsizer, Iowa DNR furbearer biologist, will speak after lunch on predators of the Iowa River valley (wolves, bears, and mountain lions).

Iowa River Friends will present for discussion its first State of the Iowa River Report, which will provide a background on the conditions of the Iowa River watershed and possibilities for future improvement. A short business meeting to elect Iowa River Friends Board members and a discussion on "Next Steps for Watershed Connections" will take place over lunch.

The cost to attend the event is $10, and includes lunch and refreshments. Registrations are required for all attendees. To register for the event, visit

Iowa River Friends is a grassroots organization devoted to protecting, improving and enjoying the Iowa River and its many creeks and streams.  For more information, visit
Contact Mel Schlachter: or Bob Sessions:

Apr 15; First of Six 2016 Paddling Adventures Announced by Clinton County
Logo Clinton Co Con
Mark your calendars for these six paddling adventures, just announced by Clinton County Conservation:

Apr 15; Paddle the Refuge, 6 PM till Dark, Rock Creek Marina and Campground, Camanche, Iowa ~ Meet at the paddle craft racks near the Mississippi River Eco-tourism Center at 5:45 PM to register. The trip will start promptly at 6 PM and as the sun will set at 6:45 PM we plan to be off the water by 7:15 PM. We will spend our time exploring the hidden pools and channels of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife & Fish Refuge. This is a great warm season opener for paddlers and is family friendly. Afterwards we'll light a fire pull out the guitar and roast some snacks. You MUST REGISTER by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on the 15th of April.

Details on the following events will be posted on the IWTA website Events Calendar, and will be included in the IWTA Newsletter as we approach the date of each event:
Jun 10; Paddle the Wapsi ~ Oxford Mills to Walnut Grove, 9 AM till 4 PM, Walnut Grove Park, Toronto, Iowa.  Meet at 8:45 am, cover 10 miles on the Wapsi, complete paddle and vehicle shuttle approx. 4:00 pm. You MUST REGISTER by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on the 9th of June.
Jul 25; Paddle the Wapsi II ~ Walnut Grove to Syracuse, 9 AM till 4 PM, Syracuse Wildlife Area Boat Ramp, Calamus, Iowa.  Meet at 8:45 am, shuttle vehicles, launch by 9:30, complete trip approx. 4:00 pm. You MUST REGISTER by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on the 22nd of July.
Jul 26; Paddle The Wapsi III ~ Syracuse Wildlife Area to Sherman Park, 9 AM till Noon, Sherman Park Boat Ramp, Calamus, Iowa. Meet at 8:45 am, shuttle vehicles, launch by 9:30, lunch at Sherman Park, shuttle drivers back to Syracuse WA. You MUST REGISTER for this event by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on the 22nd of July.

Aug 19-21; Lower Wapsi River Clean-up Project (32.3 Miles) ~ Syracuse Wildlife Area to Gambril Access, Sherman Park, Calamus, Iowa. Gather and camp at Sherman Park off 160th Avenue. On Friday we'll have an early bird half day clean-up from 1 till 4 PM covering 6.3 miles above the park. Saturday's stretch is 11.5 miles and 14.5 on Sunday.  You MUST REGISTER online at coordinator@  or by calling 563-349-0811 by noon on the 12th of August.
Oct 7; 35th Old Time & Blue Grass Festival Paddle Trip, Maquoketa River/Canton Access to Millerton Access (5.6 Miles), Noon till 4 PM ~ Eden Valley Refuge, Baldwin, Iowa. Meet at Eden Valley Refuge Nature Center at 11:45 register and car pool to Millertown Access to deposit a shuttle vehicle. Launch at 12:30 pm. After supper, the park will be filling with music around many campfires as the 35th Annual Old Time & Blue Grass Festival begins. Saturday there will be stage shows from various bands, a pot luck dinner at the Nature Center and more music into the night. You MUST REGISTER for the paddling event by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on the 30th  of September.

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. 
Connie Mutel
UI Press Offering 25% discount on Cornelia Mutel's New Book "A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland."
University of Iowa Press is offering 25% off Mutel's just-published new book. Just go to their website and visit the A Sugar Creek Chronicle book page , and use promo code MUTEL16. This is case sensitive, so be sure to make those letters capitals! This offer is transferable; feel free to forward to family and friends. Offer Expires: 5/2/16

Mutel is a senior science writer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering in Iowa City, but most of you probably know "Connie" for her quiet advocacy on behalf of prairies, watersheds, and many other environmental concerns. In a departure from her previous writings, Mutel adopted a more personal approach, writing for readers who have "loved family, treasured a special place, worried about illness, been drawn to things non-human, wondered about our rapidly changing world and worried about where the future is taking us."

Mutel edited the book "A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008," (2010) and authored "Fragile Giants: A Natural History of the Loess Hills" (2010) and "The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa" (2008). 
To learn more about "A Sugar Creek Chronicle," and order a copy, visit: 
To read Orlan Love's Cedar Rapids Gazette article about Mutel and her new book, visit: 

Moose Peterson Photographer LAPC
Nikon Ambassador Moose Peterson will be featured at an April 23 photography seminar in Cedar Rapids.

Update From the Folks Monitoring the Decorah Eagles.
We are excited to share with you that after quite a bit of suspense the third egg has been laid in Decorah!  The egg was laid at 6:59 PM CT on February 25, 2016.
We have added video of the third egg to the site.
We look forward to keeping you updated!
Watch the Video Now!
Watch the Live Feed Now!

Apr 23; Linn Area Photo Club (LAPC) Seminar, Nikon Ambassador Moose Peterson, Cedar Rapids. 8:30am-5:00pm. Anyone interested in outdoor photography should find this full day seminar to be informative, interesting, and inspiring. 

See Peterson's aviation & outdoor photography at
Access LAPC Seminar & hot catered lunch registration info at

Seeking Crew Members for Wilderness Canoe Trip, Nueltin Lake to Hudson Bay
Vern Fish Iowa Rose Canoe
Vern's canoe "Iowa Rose" negotiates
wilderness rapids during 2014 trip.
Vern Fish is at it again, recruiting crew members for a wilderness canoe trip, paddling part of the Oberholtzer and Magee epic 2,000 mile, 1912 canoe trip to Hudson Bay.  The 1912 trip is summarized in the book "Bound for the Barrens," by Jean Replinger. This year's route will retrace approximately 250 of those miles in 16 days. Add the drive to Manitoba and this will be a 3 week adventure, tentatively set for late June to early July.

Vern is seeking 3 adventurous souls to join him on this trip. Expect some world class northern and grayling fishing, and the chance to see barren land caribou, wolves, an occasional freshwater seal, maybe a polar bear. Paddling will include lakes, rivers, and some Class I-III whitewater. There are no established portgages.

Training sessions will include paddling Lizard Creek in Webster County on April 24, and the Big Cobb River in southern Minnesota June 4.

Interested paddlers should contact Vern Fish for more detailed information:
Email  or phone 319-215-7830 (cell).

A Quick Look At the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar!

Mar 17; St. Patrick's Day.
Mar 19; Vernal Equinox, First Day of Spring.
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; Tree Day at the Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines. Displays, discussions with legislators, sponsor
Trees Forever Logo
ed by Trees Forever.
Mar 23-24; Iowa Water Conference in Ames; 10th annual gathering of water professionals, researchers, educators and students from across Iowa and surrounding states. Event agenda, registration, & photo contest rules at
Mar 23; Full Moon. Wednesday, Sunrise 7:04, Sunset 7:23, Moonrise 7:46 CDT 

Apr 2-3; Outdoor Adventure Fest, Waterloo. 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), Darren Siefken Pool Sessions. 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 15; Paddle the Refuge, 6:00 pm till Dark, Rock Creek Marina and Campground, Camanche. Meet at the paddle craft racks near the Mississippi River Eco-tourism Center at 5:45 PM to register. Explore the hidden pools and channels of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife & Fish Refuge. Great warm season opener for paddlers, family friendly, followed by campfire, songs, snacks. You MUST REGISTER by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on April 15.
Apr 17; Jones County Earth Day Fair & Grant Wood Trail Pancake Breakfast, AnamosaSunday, 8:00 am-1:00 pm, Lawrence Community Center. Exhibits, food, music. Michele Olson, (319) 481-7987
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 new 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