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Iowa Water Trails Association 
April, 2016  
Tax Time--Time to "Friend" Our Wildlife!
Apr 2-3 Outdoor Adventure Fest in Waterloo
Apr 2 Iowa River Friends Annual Meeting/Conference in Marshalltown
Apr 4 & 7 Two River Restoration Workshops, Ft. Dodge & Cedar Falls
Retailer "Demo Days" Begin in April
Apr 14 & 15 First of Seven Paddling Adventures Announced by Clinton County
Apr 23 "Crossing the Delaware," Paddling Event on Maquoketa River in Delaware County
Molly Hanson Named New Iowa Rivers Revival Executive Director
Wanted: Adventurous Crew Members for Canadian Wilderness Canoe Trip
Project AWARE Will Take On Lower Des Moines River in July
IDNR Announces Five Canoe & Kayak School Sessions
What Readers are Following & Recommending: Buffalo River Trip Opening, Motor Mill, Blue Heron, Iowa Trails Summit, Decorah Eagle Egg Hatch, Moose Peterson, "Workender" Event, GRR Itinerary, Lower Iowa and Cedar Rivers News
A Look at This Month's IWTA Planning Calendar
Pardon Me. Is That My Boat?
Thanks to IWTA Readers


neotropical flyways
Spring Migrations--Another Good Reason to Get Outdoo
Over 140 entries for 2016--on-water & off-water events, extended trips, activities, meetings, conferences, holidays, observances, full moon & meteor shower dates, holidays, observances--are now available in the Events Calendar on the IWTA W
ebsite. Whether you're trying to find something to do or trying to avoid conflicts as you make your own event plans, we hope you find this IWTA Calendar to be a useful tool.

Check it out at 

We know that many additional floats, training sessions, cleanups, etc. are still "firming-up" dates and plans, so we look forward to receiving and posting your event info as soon as possible. 
Contact us at

Quick Checklist for April:
Remember--Chickadee Checkoff (Fish & Wildlife Fund).
Remember--Iowa boat registration renewals are due Apr 30.
Remember--spring temperatures present the risk of hypothermia.

Proper training, a PFD, necessary gear, a paddle plan, and the buddy system are important for paddling at any time of the year. We encourage you to get out there, but be careful.

We were very pleased by the number of folks at the recent IEC Lobby Day who enjoy the IWTA Newsletter. Those comments help keep us motivated, but your flow of information makes this newsletter relevant, so please keep it coming.
What Is It? Quiz
Lost Canoe Tight Shot

Pardon me. Is that my boat? 
Make your best guess, then click on:

Taxes May Be a Given, But Keeping Our Fish and Wildlife Friends Requires Your Help
Chickadee Check Adv End 2015
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, and these dollars are deductible from next year's taxes.  If every Iowa taxpayer donated just $1 on the Fish and Wildlife Check-off, it would mean $1.5 million for natural resource conservation!  The 1000+ species of birds, butterflies, mammals, frogs, toads, turtles and dragonflies that call Iowa home will thank you.    

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"
This 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, due March 26. 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 4 & 7; Two River Restoration Workshops, Fort Dodge & Cedar Falls
Sandbars along the Cedar River near Palo.
G.Stark photo.
Find more info on both of these workshops on the Iowa Rivers Revival website

April 4; Technical River Restoration Workshop in Fort Dodge.
(Similar to the workshop hosted on the West Nishnabotna last fall.)
9:00 am-3:00 pm, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, 24 N 9th Street, Suite A, Fort Dodge.

Regional and state experts will present compelling, science-based information about natural river restoration practices for professionals assisting landowners and/or designing bank stabilization projects, such as IDALS, NRCS, and SWCD field and engineering staff, county conservation board staff, county engineers, and consultants. However, the workshop is open to anyone interested in participating.

Registration: Cost is $25 to participate. Lunch is included. Due to limited space, advanced registration is recommended. Please RSVP by emailing Jenn Dreier, 

Staci Williams with American Rivers is contracted to coordinate the workshop. Contact: 

April 7; Natural River Restoration Workshop in Cedar Falls.
5:30 pm at the University of Northern Iowa Business and Community Services Building (BCS) 8120 Jennings Dr, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 (local coordinator Josh Balk,

This is the last of three such workshops co-sponsored by Iowa Rivers Revival and the Cedar River Watershed Coalition. 
Landowners, farmers, policymakers, city staffers, conservationists, educators,
and the public are invited to attend the free, 1.5 hour-long workshop. It will provide an introduction to natural river restoration benefits and practices, an overview of river restoration techniques, and examples of current river restoration efforts in the area. 

This final workshop will be offered on April 7, 5:30 pm at the University of Northern Iowa Business Building (local coordinator Josh Balk,
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

Retailer "Demo Days" Begin In April
Demo Days are great opportunities to learn about
boat design, handling, fit, and comfort.

Apr 7; Crawdaddy Outdoors will host its "season-opener" Free Kayak Demo Day, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm at Avenue of the Saints Lake, Waverly. Experienced staff will help you understand the features and benefits of various kayaks, PFDs, and paddles.

Regular Demos are held every other Thursday evening at Avenue of the Saints Lake. They are free and no pre-registration is required. The lake is located 1 mile west of the Hwy 3 and Hwy 218 intersection. Turn south on Atlas Avenue and follow the gravel until you reach the lake. Find a full calendar of demos, classes, trips at

Apr 9; Canoesport Outfitters will host its annual DemoFest at Lake Ahquabi, south of Indianola. This year's event will include an angling clinic and demo, private demos,  and public demos; concessions will be available. Test paddle canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and the new line of Nigel Dennis Designs kayaks. Special discounts on boats and gear. There is a fee, and preregistration is requested. 
Full schedule of events on website

April 16; Crawdaddy Outdoors will begin its series of Saturday Free Kayak Demos, hosted at various locations around Eastern Iowa. These Demo Days are free and no pre-registration is required. Test from their fleet of 16+ kayaks to find "that one" that is right for you. Crawdaddy staff will explain the features and benefits of each kayak, and help you choose the right PFD and paddle to enhance your kayaking experience. Saturday Demo Days are from 10 am to 2 pm.
Upcoming dates and locations:
  • April 16 - Hannen Lake - Blairstown
  • May 14 - Otter Creek County Park - Tama Co Lake Meyer - Calmar
  • June 18 - Lake Hendricks - Riceville
  • July 9 - Kohlmann Park -Waverly
  • August 6 - Lake Meyer - Calmar
  • September 17 - Rodgers Park - Vinton
G.Stark photo.  
Apr 14 & Apr 15; First 2 of 7 Outdoor & Paddling Adventures Announced by Clinton County
Logo Clinton Co Con
Mark your calendars for these outdoor and paddling adventures, just announced by Clinton County Conservation:

Apr 14; Spring Migration on Mississippi Flyway, Clinton County.  5:30 pm at Bulger's Hollow, off US 67 North of Clinton. Mississippi River's Lake Clinton is a perfect place to view the spectacle! Naturalists will have spotting scopes set up in search of returning waterfowl including ducks, cormorants, pelicans, swans, herons, cranes and eagles. At 6:30 pm paddle-craft will be on hand for those who wish to venture out onto the water for a closer look if conditions are right. No need to sign-up for this free event, but contact Clinton County Conservation 563-259-1876 with questions.

Apr 15; Paddle the Refuge, 6 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. 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.  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.  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.  (Sherman Park has variety of campsites & new shower house; best choice for an overnight before or after Wapsi III.)
Jul 26; Paddle The Wapsi III, Syracuse Wildlife Area to Sherman Park, 9 AM till Noon, Sherman Park Boat Ramp, Calamus. 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.  (Sherman Park has variety of campsites & new shower house; best choice for an overnight before or after Wapsi III.)

Aug 19-21; Lower Wapsi River Clean-up Project (32.3 Miles), Syracuse Wildlife Area to Gambril Access, Sherman Park, Calamus. 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. 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.

Apr 23; 4th Annual Crossing the Delaware Paddling Event, Maquoketa River in Delaware County
Paddle Across Delaware Maq Rvr Sam & Hannah Childs
Sam & Hannah on the Maquoketa River.
Brother and sister team Sam Childs and Hannah Childs have announced plans for their 4th annual paddling event on the Maquoketa River through Delaware County.
The planned put-in is scheduled for 7:00 am at Joy Springs Park west of Strawberry Point. Take-out will be "as far as we can paddle down the Maquoketa River, or Hoeger's Bridge (Pioneer Road Access) south of Delhi off Hwy 38, whichever comes first." The approximate distance from Joy Springs to Hoeger's Bridge is 43 river miles.
Sam and Hannah cautioned that "Current water level the day of the paddle will affect how far up we can put in. This will be determined the evening before the paddle as river levels fluctuate.
"Plan A: Meet at the planned put-in or any put-in of your choice, and paddle down the river. Set your own shuttle, bring your own lunch; no cost, just join us on the river!
"Plan B: We will provide the shuttle and lunch on the river for $25.00 per person. You must have all your own paddling equipment.
"Please let us know you're coming (Plan A or B) so we can get a general count of how many paddlers to expect. Plan B participants must RSVP by April 16th, so we can get the shuttle and food rounded up."
Forward questions and RSVP direct to Hannah at: or Sam at: 563-213-0839.
For more info, Find them on Facebook. - Crossing the Delaware
Molly Hanson Selected as Iowa Rivers Revival Executive Director
IRR Logo
Iowa Rivers Revival has announced that Molly Hanson will be the group's first full-time Executive Director. 

Hanson, 29, has been a Naturalist since 2012 with the Madison County Conservation Board, focusing on environmental education, outreach and collaboration. She earned her BA from UNI in 2009 in Earth Science and Geology.  Hanson has served on the IRR Board of Directors for the past three years, and as Vice Chair of the Board for the last two. She is a YPC Young Professionals Connection Ambassador, a Mentor Iowa mentor, a Blank Park Zoo volunteer, and a Des Moines Music Coalition member.

"We're thrilled," said IRR Board Chair Jerry Peckumn of Jefferson.  "Molly will build on IRR's legacy of successful river advocacy, education, and outreach."

Hanson, a native Iowan, stated, "The more I learn and travel and interact with the land and the citizens of Iowa, the more I understand my mission of helping to preserve, protect and enhance our natural resources. The rivers of Iowa have a long and rich story to tell, but the most important lesson we can learn from them is that we are all connected.  I look forward to reaching out and connecting with scientists, public agencies and departments, legislators, students, teachers, business leaders, paddlers, sportsmen and women, and every single one of you. I will work to communicate the value and importance of our rivers -- everything from the habitat they provide, to the recreation they support, to the river restoration and protection efforts that will improve the quality of life for all living things in Iowa. It is an honor and a pleasure for me to work on strengthening our connections to each other and to our rivers."

Congratulations and best wishes to Molly in her new role.

Seeking Adventurous Crew Members for Wilderness Canoe Trip, Nueltin Lake to Hudson Bay     Training Sessions Begin Apr 24
Vern Fish Iowa Rose Canoe
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 Cell 319-215-7830.

Project AWARE 2016 Cleanup To Take On Lower Des Moines River
Project AWARE Logo No Year
Project AWARE organizers have announced that volunteers will have an opportunity this summer to spend their vacations cleaning up, learning about and exploring 53 miles of the Lower Des Moines River between Eldon and Farmington from July 11 to 15.

Project AWARE, which stands for A Watershed Awareness River Expedition, is the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' annual volunteer river cleanup event. In addition to muscling trash out of the river, participants learn about watersheds, water quality, recycling, and other natural resource topics. This year's expedition marks Project AWARE's 14th year.

"We are excited and honored that Project AWARE has chosen the Lower Des Moines River for its project this year," said Stacey Reese, Executive Director of the Villages of Van Buren. "The river is a great asset for our tourism efforts and having it cleared of trash and debris will help make the experience more pleasurable for everyone who uses the river for recreation." 

Volunteers participate by paddling down the river in canoes and cleaning up river trash along the way. Opportunities for land-based volunteers are also available. While the expedition lasts five days, volunteers may stay and help for as little or as long as they like. Project AWARE is family-friendly and provides the opportunity to experience a different river each year.

"Project AWARE is a great opportunity to introduce young and old alike to Iowa's rich natural resources by annually showcasing various areas of the state," said Dan Ceynar, an Iowa City resident and 10-year Project AWARE veteran. "With the abundant heritage and natural history of the Lower Des Moines River area, AWARE's proven organizational expertise and intriguing educational programming, the 2016 Project AWARE is sure to become another awesome enlightening shared experience."
In addition to river cleanup, Project AWARE also offers a unique blend of educational programs and demonstrations, volunteer camaraderie, camping and other outdoor recreation opportunities that enrich the experience.

"We're thrilled to have this worthwhile event coming to the Lower Des Moines River," said Detra Dettman, Executive Director of Pathfinders Resource Conservation & Development.  "Compared to other rivers in Iowa, we feel the historic significance really sets this stretch of river apart.  The route features two historic districts and nine sites on the National Register of Historic Places adjacent to the river."

In the past 13 years, more than 3,700 AWARE volunteers from across the state have cleaned up over 1,000 river miles, removing 337 tons of trash (76 percent of which has been recycled) from rivers all across Iowa.
For more information on this event and to download the registration materials, please visit
MEDIA CONTACT: Lynette Seigley at 515-310-0376 or

Five 2016 Canoe & Kayak School Sessions Announced by Iowa DNR River Programs
Canoe School Boone River by Todd Robertson
Todd Robertson, Outreach Coordinator for Iowa Water Trails, has just released the dates and other details for the 2016 "Canoe & Kayak School" sessions. 

All the sessions are oriented toward Naturalists, Scout Leaders, Youth Group Instructors-those who will be leading groups or conducting instruction. The focus is on paddling skills, hazard feature identification, teaching to different learning styles, and risk management. The sessions differ in being geared for canoe or kayak, flatwater lakes or flowing rivers. Boats and life jackets are provided. Each session has a fee and a limit on the number of participants. The annual Canoe & Kayak School sessions fill up fast, so you are advised to register early. Find more info, directions to site, and registration at
  • May 11; "Flat-Water Essentials" One-Day IDNR Canoe School for Naturalists, Scout Leaders, Youth Group Instructors, Gray's Lake, Des Moines, 10:00 am-3:00 pm.  FILLING FAST--ONLY 2 SPOTS REMAIN!
  • May 24-25; Two-Day IDNR Canoe School for Naturalists & Trip Leaders, Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River).
  • Jul 5-6; Two-Day IDNR Kayak School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders, Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River).
  • Aug 16-17; Two-Day IDNR Kayak School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders, Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River).
  • Sep 13-14; Two-Day IDNR Canoe School for Naturalists and Trip Leaders, Briggs Woods Park, Hamilton County (Boone River). 
Photo by Todd Robertson
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: 

One Double Bed Open On Cedar Valley Paddlers Apr 14-18 Buffalo River Trip.
It's last-minute, but Cedar Valley Paddlers currently has a double bed open on its April 14-18 organized trip to the beautiful Buffalo River in NW Arkansas. Great opportunity for a single or a couple to travel and paddle with some of the friendly folks of CVP. If interested, email Pam Wolter at

Motor Mill Summer Larry Stone
Motor Mill

Motor Mill Announces 2016 Free Tour Dates.
Putting in at Elkader and floating down the Turkey River WT past the iconic 1860's Motor Mill is an almost-mandatory trip for Iowa paddlers. You can make it even more memorable by scheduling your float to coincide with a free tour of the historic mill, related buildings and town site. Tour dates in 2016 are May 14-15, May 28-29, Jun 11-12, Jun 25-26, July 9-10, Jul 23-24, Aug 6-7, Aug 20-21, Sep 3-4, Sep 17-18, & Oct 8-9. Motor Mill will be open for tours from noon to 5 pm. Takeout for paddlers is just below the mill on the left, with a path back upstream to the mill and bridge. Motor Mill Historic Site is located on Galaxy Road, Elkader. 
Find more info and a "drone's eye view" of Motor Mill at  
Find Turkey River WT maps and info at

Blue Heron Boat Clinton CCB
Blue Heron
Clinton County Conservation Announces the Return of the "Blue Heron."
"Blue Heron Eco Cruises" will resume in May, operating out of Rock Creek Marine & Campground, south of Camanche. 
The Blue Heron is a 26-passenger pontoon boat which gives cruisers an up-close and personal look at the Mississippi River. It's a fun way for people to talk, laugh and celebrate nature together. A naturalist conducts tours through backwaters, sloughs and the main channel. Fish, wildlife & bird habitat, hunting, fishing, recreational boating, gravel pits, barge traffic, endangered species and water quality are all part of the ecological puzzle of the river.

Free Public Sunset Cruises are offered Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM, May to October (earlier times in the fall). Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 563-259-1876 to make your reservation. Special cruises such as our moonlight music, bald eagle and fall colors cruise are also offered throughout the year; check the events page for dates and times. All children must be accompanied by an adult. See more at:

"Iowa Trails Summit" Asks You to "Save the Date-Jun 17," Offers Preliminary Program Info.
The 2016 Iowa Trails Summit will be held on Friday, June 17, in Cedar Falls. The annual Summit continues to provide a terrific opportunity to connect with developers, managers, and resources for all types of trails-water, hiking, biking, equestrian, snowmobile, off road, etc. The 2016 Summit will focus on the "people" side of Iowa trails--inspiration, health, friendship, and connections to history, archaeology, geology, and our natural heritage. One panel session, moderated by John Wenck, will focus on water trails, and feature naturalist Brittney Tiller, geologist Joe Artz, and archaeologist Cherie Haury-Artz. An annual highlight is the session of 5-minute progress and innovation reports from trails and recreation destinations across Iowa. The event will include an exhibitor area and lunch. Find Summit info and registration at
Find related info at:

New Newsletter Shares Info re Lower Iowa & Cedar Rivers. 
The Lower Iowa & Cedar Valleys Conservation Alliance is a collaboration of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Johnson County Conservation Board, Louisa County Conservation Board, Muscatine County Conservation Board, Muscatine County Soil & Water Conservation District, Trees Forever, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. The mission of the Alliance is to improve the ability of people to care for the lands and waters in the Lower Iowa & Cedar Valleys. The Lower Iowa and Cedar Valleys feature extensive and diverse natural areas including a wealth of unique woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. Conservation organizations in Iowa generally agree that this area comprises the most biologically diverse landscape in the state. The Alliance hopes to distribute this newsletter entirely through e-mail in effort to save printing and postage costs. Contact Josh Spies at (563) 370-9165 or to receive the newsletter via e-mail. View a recent newsletter:

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

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 photography seminar to be informative, interesting, and inspiring. 
LAPC Seminar & hot catered lunch registration info at 
See Peterson's aviation & outdoor photography at

Apr 23; Bass Pro Shops "Workender" Event in Altoona.
On Saturday, April 23, from 3-6 pm, Bass Pro Shops in Altoona will host an event called "The Workender." It is geared toward the adventurous millennial crowd, with a "social gathering" from 3-6 pm. They are inviting naturalists, and other folks who are heavily involved with trails, camping, etc., in Iowa, to come in and spend time visiting with people about recreation opportunities in Iowa and beyond. This could be a great way to promote Iowa's Water Trails and to lend your expertise to others. It will be a very informal setting and an opportunity for people to learn more about all they can do in Iowa.
For more info, contact Gail McMahon, Social Media/Merchandising, Bass Pro Shops Altoona, at

Update From the Folks Monitoring the Decorah Eagles, Received Mar 29.
"We are very excited to share that the first hatch has been confirmed for 2016 in Decorah.
D24 hatched earlier this morning. We have added video of the first glimpses of D24 to the site. We look forward to keeping you updated."
Watch the video now!
Watch the live feed now!

Great River Rumble Releases Itinerary for Jul 31-Aug 6 Paddling Adventure.
The 2016 "GRR" will paddle about 100 miles from Eau Clair, WI on the Chippewa River to Winona, MN on the Mississippi. Paddle past Red Cedar River confluence, through the "Driftless Zone" and Lower Chippewa River State Nature Area, and navigate three locks on the Mississippi. Itinerary for The Great River Rumble 2016:
  • Saturday 7/30, Bus from Winona, MN to Eau Claire, WI
  • Sunday 7/31, Eau Claire, WI to Caryville, WI, 13 mi
  • Monday 8/1, Caryville, WI to Meridean, WI, 10 mi
  • Tuesday 8/2, Meridean, WI to Durand, WI, 19 mi
  • Wednesday 8/3, Durand, WI to Wabesha, MN, 21 mi
  • Thursday 8/4, Wabasha, MN to Great River Harbor, WI, 13 mi
  • Friday 8/5, Great River Harbor, WI to Fountain City, WI, 15 mi
  • Saturday 8/6, Fountain City, WI to Winona, MN, 9 mi
  • Saturday night, Farewell banquet in Winona, MN
Find more info about this annual weeklong 100+ mile paddling trip, shuttles, campsites, meals, gear transport, itinerary, & registration at

A Quick Look At the 2016 IWTA Planning Calendar!

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), Darrin Siefken "Pool Sessions." An optional outdoor float will be hosted on Sunday. Info at:
Volga R Mederville Bridges 2010 G.Stark
"Call of the Rivers"
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 14; Spring Migration on Mississippi Flyway, Clinton County. 5:30 pm at Bulger's Hollow, off US 67 North of Clinton. Mississippi River's Lake Clinton is a perfect place to view the spectacle! Naturalists will have spotting scopes set up in search of returning waterfowl including ducks, cormorants, pelicans, swans, herons, cranes and eagles. At 6:30 pm paddle-craft will be on hand for those who wish to venture out onto the water for a closer look if conditions are right. No need to sign-up for this free event, but contact Clinton County Conservation 563-259-1876 with questions.
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. This is a great warm season opener for paddlers and is family friendly. Followed by campfire, songs, snacks. You MUST REGISTER by calling 563-259-1876 by noon on the 15th of April.
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) 81-7987
Apr 18; Best Time To View Planet Mercury. Low in western sky just after sunset.
Apr 18; Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline for Iowans (IA State Income Tax filing due 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.
Chickadee Checkoff Logo 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; 4th Annual "Crossing the Delaware" Paddle, Maquoketa River, Delaware County.
Hosted by brother and sister team Sam Childs and Hannah Childs. Put in 7:00am at Joy Springs Park, west of Strawberry Point. Paddle as far as we can or to Hoeger's Bridge, south of Delhi off Hwy 38, (43 miles) whichever comes first. Options for shuttle &/or lunch (RSVP by Apr 16). Questions and RSVP direct to Hannah at: or Sam at: 563-213-0839. More info on Facebook - Crossing the Delaware.
Apr 23; Linn Area Photo Club Seminar, Nikon Ambassador Moose Peterson, Cedar Rapids. 8:30am-5:00pm. LAPC Seminar & hot catered lunch registration info at
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.

May 6-7; Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peaks. Above average shower, peaking at 60 meteors/hour.
May 8; Mothers Day.
May 8; "Mother's Day On the Marsh (MOM)," Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge, Odessa WT, near Wapello. Sunday, 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Leisurely paddle with naturalists to learn about birds & their broods. Canoes and kayaks are available, participation limited, registration required, fee. Open to everyone, but children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Visit  or call 319-523-8381. 

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

What Is It? ANSWER

Lost Canoe Wide Shot
Old Town Guide, in camo color, was
temporarily lost on Blackhawk Creek
Pardon me, but is that my boat?

In February, we received an email from a gentleman who had capsized on Blackhawk Creek, managed to get himself to shore, but lost his canoe. Being shorter than 13', the canoe had no registration numbers or decals, and other than its color, manufacturer and model, it had no distinguishing characteristics. Luckily, with the assistance of Al Donaldson and friends, the canoe was located along the creek and returned to its owner within a few days.
This situation, however, begs the question whether most of us could identify our boats at a glance. If your boat was lost on the water, or disappeared from an access, campsite, or your yard, could you quickly distinguish your boat from a similar one? If you walked past a similar boat on a roof rack, could you easily confirm whether it was, or was not, your boat? In the extreme case of someone stealing your boat and removing the numbers and decals, could you still identify your boat, or provide a key bit of identification to authorities? If asked to supply the boat's serial number, could you provide it easily and quickly? Do you have a clear digital photo of your boat?
Those of you who have constructed your own boat can probably identify it like another member of the family. Paddlers with factory-built boats may regret those noteworthy scrapes or repairs, but they are likely unique to your boat. Unusual color schemes may be helpful. Ditto for customized "tug-eyes," seats, deck-rigging, foam brace outfitting, etc. The addition of a piece of deck hardware, high-visibility deck lines, or beads on deck lines could be easily noted. A small bit of carving or wood-burning on a gunwale could even allow you to identify your boat by touch.
A "tag ink" pen can be used to print your name somewhere inside the hull. "Tag ink," used to label the tags on livestock, is especially durable outdoors, and is available at most farm stores. With a little creativity, tag ink might be used to add a small, personalized "tattoo" to your boat.
Many of us will be applying the new registration decals to our boats this month--they are due by the end of April. This is a good time to identify all of our boats, whether they require decals or not. 

OBTW. . . 
As of the beginning of March, an estimated 10,000 Iowa boat owners who were notified that their hull identification number (HIN) is not in compliance with the U.S. Coast Guard, had yet to verify their HIN with the Iowa DNR before their current registration expires on April 30. Let's hope that none of those are canoes or kayaks. And certainly not IWTA Newsletter readers.

The DNR has placed information regarding the process and to help answer questions online at   
If boat owners have questions, they should contact the Iowa DNR at or 515-725-8200. 

Photo courtesy of David Adams
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 providing & updating 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