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Iowa Water Trails Association 
November, 2016  
IRR Offering Reward for Holiday Card Photo
Nov 4-5 Rescheduled Mussel Rescue in Waterloo, Volunteers Needed!
Nov 5 "Migration Paddle," Mississippi River Backwaters, Louisa CCB
Nov 8 Vote in Elections, National, State, Local
Recap of IRR "River Roadshow" Success
Preparing for First Quarter 2017 "Show Season"
Retailers Offer Winter Trips & Indoor Classes
What Readers are Following & Recommending
A Look at The IWTA Planning Calendar
Thanks to IWTA Readers

Flat at Palmetto

Once again, be aware that November is a "transition month," with an occasional day of calm winds and sunny skies impersonating a day from July or August. Please remind yourself that the water is very cold, and the days are shorter, and plan your paddling accordingly. Ensure that your plans include warm clothing, energy snacks, and paddling friends.

Speaking of shorter days, note that we set our clocks BACK one hour on the morning of Sunday, November 6.

For traditionalists, those unable to decide, or those waiting for the very last "October Surprise," be sure to VOTE on Tuesday November 8. Check the back side of your ballot; some of our most important local issues will be decided there.

Veterans Day is Friday, November 11. Please display your flag, and make an effort to thank your neighbors or coworkers who are veterans. And, if you are a veteran, please accept our sincere thanks for your service.

A quick reminder, we're gathering info for the 2017 IWTA Planning Calendar. These items will appear in both the IWTA Newsletter during the year, and on the IWTA Website Calendar as soon as possible. Please let us know as soon as you have tentative or confirmed info about your 2017 events.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the IWTA Newsletter.
To keep your newsletter relevant, please keep your info coming. 
Contact us at 

IRR Offering Reward for Holiday Card Photo
Camera Line Art Image
Iowa Rivers Revival is looking for a great river photo (ideally with people in it or some indication of people involvement, e.g. the bow of a boat) for the front of our 2016 holiday card.  Winning photo will earn the photographer $50 and recognition in the form of the photographer's name (and town, email, or website) on the back.

Please submit any photos to Jenn Dreier at by Tuesday Nov 15.  
Include name of photographer, location and date taken.

Nov 4-5; Rescheduled Dennis Wendel Mussel Move in Waterloo, Volunteers Needed!
Higgins Mussel Wapsi 2013 Scott Gritters
The "Dennis Wendel Mussel Move" project is a volunteer effort to save the estimated 1,000 mussels stranded on sandbars by the annual lowering of the bladder dam on the Cedar River in Waterloo. Cedar Valley Paddlers spearheads this project in memory of Dennis Wendel, who first recognized the problem, and led efforts to save the mussels.

Recent heavy rain up in Floyd County is raising the level of the Cedar River, necessitating a delay in our mussel recovery to the following weekend, Fri., Nov 4 and Sat., Nov 5. Please let Pam Wolter know if you can volunteer either or both days.
The plan is to work from the sandbars beginning at George Wyth River access in Waterloo, then down to Cedar Bend  access and a bit beyond. Volunteers are needed to work shifts Friday morning, Friday afternoon, then Saturday all day. The task is:
1. Locate the mussels on the sandbar or in low water
2. Group them at the water's edge
3. Make a count by species and size
 4. Paddle them to the middle of the river. Very easy. 
The Cedar Valley Paddlers Club will provide maps, gloves, and mesh bags in advance and an inventory/species list.  
Let Pam know if you can volunteer and what day/time. 
Phone 319-231-0541 or Email
Nov 5; "Migration Paddle," Mississippi River Backwaters, Louisa County
Louisa CCB Logo
Louisa County Conservation will host a "Migration Paddle," along the Mississippi River Backwaters, from 9:00 am-12:00 pm on Saturday, Nov 5.
Iowa's fall is filled with sunny days, beautiful colors, and migrating animals.  Where better to experience all three than in a boat floating along the Mississippi River?  This paddle will start at the Port Louisa Access and end at the Toolesboro Boat Access.  Participants will paddle mostly backwaters, staying close to the Iowa shoreline.  There is a short portage around the spillway at Lock and Dam 17. 
 A shuttle service will be available to participants.
Registration is required for this event, and participation is limited to twenty boats.  Canoes and kayaks are available for rent. The canoe rental fee is $20 while the kayak rental fee is $15. If participants are bringing their own boat, the registration fee is $5.  Due to the intensity of the river, this trip is open to experienced paddlers only. 

To register please call 319-523-8381 or email Lana Artz-McComb at 
More info at:

Nov 8; Elections at National, State, Local Levels. Prepare to Vote!!!
On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Americans will have the right, opportunity, and responsibility to vote for candidates at the national, state, and local, along with bond issues and/or other initiatives.

On the national level, Iowans will be voting for President/Vice President, one U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representatives in all 4 Iowa districts.

On the state level, Iowans will be voting for State Senators in even-numbered districts 2-48, and State Representatives in districts 1-100.

On the county level, Iowans will be voting for some members of county boards of supervisors, county auditor, county sheriff, and any vacant offices needing to be filled.

Ballots may also include some township officers, public hospital trustees, soil and water conservation district commissioners, county agricultural extension council members, or judges standing for retention.

Find information about voter registration, important dates, absentee voting, candidates, sample ballot, voting sites, special elections, links to political parties, etc. on your county's election web page.
Example: Linn County Auditor's Election Web Page:

Enter your address on the Iowa Legislature "Find Your Legislator" web page:  to identify the districts for your residence, and the state senator or representative currently representing you. This site will also indicate current state senators/representatives by county, and U.S. senators and representatives.

General information about the Iowa 2016 elections, key dates, voting provisions for persons in the military, disabled, or absent on Nov 8, candidate filings, etc. can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State website at:

IRR "River Roadshow" Recap Indicates Noteworthy Success, and a 
Great Example To Repeat in 2017
IRR Logo
Our sincere thanks to Molly Hanson, Executive Director of Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR), for sharing this recap of the inaugural (and hopefully annual) "River Roadshow." 
"It is a constant struggle and goal of our organization to connect citizens and leaders to the resource.  As our group is called Iowa Rivers Revival, that resource is the 70,000 miles of interior rivers and streams in Iowa.  While brainstorming and caffeinating this spring, my friend Nate and I decided to put this idea into motion.
"Working with our partners at the DNR and our lobbyists, we highlighted areas around the state that had a few crucial things in common for this summer:
  • Legislative representatives who needed to be nudged in the natural resource direction.
  • Communities with dam modification or water trail projects in motion.
  • Local partners who could provide support
"We zoned in on Waterloo, Mason City, Ft. Dodge and Johnston.  The next step was to reach out to our local partners in the area.  This was generally the county conservation boards with facilities, staff and canoes and equipment that could help us with bodies on the water.  We then submitted possible dates out into the universe and over to the Director of the DNR, Mr. Chuck Gipp.
"We found dates that worked for our partners, and put together lists of senators, representatives, mayors, city council members, city planners, community leaders and avid paddlers for each location.  Ft. Dodge was already hosting an event so we decided to postpone that trip until 2017. 
"Invitations were sent out to all the community leaders by Director Gipp, inviting them out to 'Realize Their River.'  IRR handled the food and coordinating details as well as the RSVP's from participants. On that glorious week in late August/early September, we set off for three consecutive days of an unprecedented river road show with our leaders.  
"We held informal working lunch meetings where leaders could discuss their communities' unique issues and projects.  Tammie Krausman was there to answer questions about REAP and other forms of support funding, along with the political climate.  Nate Hoogeveen was there to discuss construction possibilities and past projects.  Director Gipp and Deputy Director Trautman were there to talk about the role of the DNR with rivers and streams in Iowa and the value of these projects in terms of economic development and recreational opportunities for communities in this wonderful state.  And then we went paddling.
"Each leader was paired with an experienced (canoe school trained) paddler to steer so they had the opportunity to see their own community from a new perspective at the water's edge.  Each adventure was unique and included individuals from both political parties-in some cases, individuals running against each other this November.  All participants were great sports, even when water got a little rough on the Winnebago or trees provided navigation challenges on Beaver Creek.  We were unable to actually paddle the Cedar in Waterloo due to high water levels, so we rode around to dam location sites instead.  We had to "go with the flow" so to speak.
"The feedback from these events has been overwhelmingly positive and Director Gipp has already agreed to participate in a similar road show next summer.  If the work of environmental education taught me anything, it's that if you want people to care, you have to get them out in it.  They need to see it, experience it, enjoy it and remember it before they will care about it.  Our legislators care. 
Molly Hanson Paddling OutingThey just need a little reminder about the resources that we value in hopes that they will value them as well.  It's good for Iowa. 
"If anyone out there is interested in hosting a River Roadshow stop next summer with Director Gipp and IRR, please contact me.  There is so much more to see in this great state and we will do our best to engage our policy leaders in conversations about the value of our last remaining wild spaces."
Happy Trails!
Molly Hanson, IRR Executive Director   or (515) 724-4093
Find info about IRR events, programs, & initiatives at

Jan-Feb-Mar Show Season: Looking Back at 2016, Planning Ahead to 2017
ICNC Paddle Day 2016 Canoe Winner Lance Looney G.Stark
ICNC Paddle Day 2016. Presenter Lance Looney (left) traveled from Alaska to present "Paddle for Prevention: A Mississippi Voyage," then won the raffle for a Sassafras solo canoe built by Bill Schoon (center). At right are ICNC event coordinators Andrea Stohler and Jan Aiels.
It may only be the beginning of November, but it is certainly not too early to be planning for your participation in the paddling and outdoor shows of "First Quarter 2017."
Event organizers are busy selecting and confirming dates, presentation topics, presenters, exhibitors, venues, and the myriad of details which must be addressed. If you or your organization want to be involved, now is the time to step up!

Following are 3 significant paddling and outdoor sports "shows" which have occurred annually for at least 10 years. IWTA will gladly publicize additional events of interest to paddlers and other WT users. Just send us an email at  We would also be glad to list the organizations which will be exhibiting at such events, helping our readers to connect with available resources.

Jan 21, 2017; ICNC "Paddle Day," Cedar Rapids. 
Indian Creek Nature Center will be celebrating 
ICNC Paddle Day 2016 Darrin Siefken
ICNC Paddle Day 2016. Darrin Siefken, owner of CrawDaddy Outdoors in Waverly, shared info & advice on paddling gear and paddlin
its 10th Paddle Day, set in its brand-new "Amazing Space" facility.  Tentative plans include an expanded all-day schedule with more presentations, more displays and exhibits, and lunch onsite. For anyone who has not yet visited this facility, it will be an opportunity to combine learning about paddling opportunities, socializing with other paddlers, and exploring the state-of-the-art features of this, well, amazing space!
Paddle Day organizers welcome and encourage suggestions of topics or presenters, or inquiries about exhibit space. Contact Andrea Blaha   or Erin Angelone
Find more info about Indian Creek Nature Center facilities and programs at
Feb 10-12, 2017; CSO "Iowa Paddle & Pedal Sport Expo," Indianola.
IA Paddle Pedal Expo 2016 Keith Diane John
CSO Iowa Paddle & Pedal Sport Expo 2016. Keith Garrett & Diane Michaud Lowry delivered advice, techniques, and encouragement for outdoor photographers. John Pearson (right) coordinates presentations for the Expo.
CanoeSport Outfitters will celebrate the 21st birthday of its annual Iowa Paddle & Pedal Sport Expo. The product lines have evolved over those years, but the CSO remains loyal to its' original ideas of providing excellent service by passionate, enthusiastic paddlers, stocking quality products all year, and sharing their knowledge and love of paddling through a variety of events, instructional programs, and adventure trips. Loyal CSO customers and fans return annually to "the Expo" to check out new gear, learn about paddling experiences and destinations, renew old friendships, and start some new ones.

If you have questions about the Iowa Expo, or suggestions for presenters, please contact Jeff, Casey, or Shireen at (515) 961-6117 or email
Info about CSO events, trips, pool sessions at
Canoecopia 2016 Styrigger Exhibit
Canoecopia 2016. Crane Creek Kayaks of Denver, IA exhibited their "Styrigger" canoe & kayak stabilizers. Watch video at 

Canoecopia 2016 Portage Pal Trlrs
Canoecopia 2016. Bailey Fabricating of Humboldt, IA exhibited their line of "Portage Pal" canoe & kayak trailers. 

Mar 10-12, 2017; Rutabaga Paddlesports "Canoecopia," Madison.
Yes, this show is in Wisconsin, not Iowa, but Iowans find this show to be an irresistible source of information, encouragement, and fun. Canoecopia is the largest paddle sports consumer event in the world, with more than 250,000 square feet of boats and gear, plus over 110 seminars and clinics to expand your skills and potential destinations. The list of Iowa-related tourism groups, whitewater parks, paddling events, and manufacturers exhibiting at Canoecopia has continued to grow over the last few years. If you attend, please be sure to visit their exhibits and thank them for promoting Iowa.

OBTW, Rutabaga indicates that the word "Canoecopia" was first used ia mailer from the old store in 1981, promoting an event at the 20,000 sq.ft. Dane County Forum and Arena, with piles of merchandise and one speaker. It has come a long way!
Canoecopia allows select outfitters, guides, schools, & people with specialized outdoor products to exhibit. Contact Darren at  (Spaces fill quickly!)
If you have a great story or skill to share, add yourself to their speaker proposal contact list; proposals are accepted mid-September thru October. Email Nancy at 
Follow progress toward Canoecopia 2017 at

Retailers Prep for Winter Indoor Classes & Winter Trips to Warmer Climes.
Iowa Paddle Shops offer great opportunities to expand your knowledge of boats, gear, and skills.
While the seasons for warm-weather paddling may come and go, our paddle shop friends always maintain an inventory of information, advice, and encouragement to help you enjoy your time on the water and in the outdoors. When you're ready to upgrade your boat, your gear, your paddling skills, or your paddling horizons, they're great places to start. 

Crawdaddy Outdoors in Waverly organizes outdoor adventure trips year-round, hosts special in-store events, and offers indoor classes at the Waverly/Wartburg "W" facility. Learn more about demos, classes, trips, and sales at

Canoesport Outfitters in Indianola maintains an online list of new and used boats, hosts special off-season promotions, offers classes at the Indianola "Y", and organizes winter trips to warmer areas like Louisiana and Georgia. Find details on trips and classes at
G.Stark photo.  
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 summaries and links to items that your fellow readers find interesting.

Linn County Conservation Board Works to Gain Support for $40 Million, 20 Year Bond Proposal; Will Need 60% Approval in Nov 8 Vote. Could Be Model for Other Counties.  
A Sep 25 Cedar Rapids Gazette editorial mixed support for the proposed bond issue with concern regarding the lack of specific project targets, funding priorities, and partnerships: "But the board, despite its lack of polish, has identified a genuine need, especially when it comes to the critical work of protecting our land and water. A majority of our editorial board feels that the final product is too important to be scuttled because of a lackluster sales pitch. This majority urges Linn County voters to approve the conservation bond." Read the full CR Gazette endorsement at:

IWLL Statewide vs. IWLL by County.  If passed, the proposal would be only the third such conservation bond in the state, joining similar bonds in Johnson and Polk counties. While such efforts may reflect citizen impatience with the legislature's unwillingness to fund the statewide Iowa Water & Land Legacy Fund, the local entities would still be eligible to participate in that larger funding mechanism, if and when it becomes available. In 2008, Johnson County voters passed a similar conservation bond issue - of up to $20 million - with a narrow 61 percent approval. Of the $5.6 million of bond funds spent so far, another $4.7 million has been leveraged from grants.

The "Linn County Water and Land Legacy" proposal would fund water quality and land protection, park improvements and trails. Responding to concerns regarding a lack of specifics on project funding, the Conservation Board approved a resolution establishing percentages - 55 percent for water quality and land protection, 30 percent for parks and 15 percent for trails. The proposed bond would cost the average Linn Co homeowner $27 per year in increased property tax.

A Quick Look At the IWTA Planning Calendar!  
Have We Missed Something for the Balance of 2016?  
Do You Have Any Event Dates for 2017?

Nov 4-5; Rescheduled "Dennis Wendel Mussel Move," Waterloo. Annual event to move mussels to deeper water following seasonal deflation of the downtown bladder dam on the Cedar River. City of Waterloo decides on date of reduction each year. Over 1,000 mussels were saved in 2015 by Cedar Valley Paddlers working with the Chris Wendel family and mussel expert David Kesler.  CVP Coordinator Pam Wolter at 319-231-0541 or
Nov 4-5; Taurids Meteor Shower. Minor shower (5-10/hour) but long-running (Sep-Dec).
Nov 5; "Migration Paddle," Mississippi River Backwaters, Louisa County. "Migration Paddle" will be held 9:00 am-Noon, launch at Port Louisa Access, and takeout at the Toolesboro Boat Access. Experience crisp fall day, beautiful colors, migrating animals as you paddle mostly backwaters, close to Iowa shoreline. Short portage around spillway at Lock & Dam 17. Shuttle service available. Registration is required, participation limited to 20 boats.  There is a fee, and canoes and kayaks are available for rent. Due to the intensity of the river, this trip is open to experienced paddlers only. Registration at 319-523-8381, info packet at
Nov 6; Daylight Savings Time Ends, set clocks back one hour, replace smoke alarm batteries.
Nov 8: National, State, Local Elections. Vote!
Nov 11; Veterans Day.
Nov 14; Full Moon. Monday, Sunrise 6:56, Sunset 4:46, Moonrise 5:24   CST
Nov 17-18; Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks. Average shower, peaking at 15 meteors/hour.
Nov 24; Thanksgiving, Thursday.

Do you have more WT-related events or planning info for 2016? 
Or event dates for 2017?
Please 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 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

If you are not one of over 1,200 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. 
Gregg Stark
Editor, Iowa Water Trails Association Newsletter