Category Archives: Water Trail Events

Water Trail Meetings to Convene on behalf of the Boone River through Hamilton and Wright Counties

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Boone River Watershed Management Authority (WMA) will host two virtual meetings to discuss expanding the Boone River Water Trail through Hamilton and Wright Counties. The schedule is as follows:

  • Landowner Meeting: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
    To register for the meeting, visit
  • River Users/Public Meeting: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. To register for the meeting, visit

The Boone River Water Trail currently runs from the confluence with the Des Moines River in the southern portion of the Boone River Watershed to Webster City. The DNR and WMA are gathering feedback on the prospect of expanding the water trail designation from Webster City north to the Wright/Hancock County line. Landowners along the Boone River, river users and the public are encouraged to participate in these meetings by providing input on current needs and discuss interest in water trail extension. Following these meetings, the DNR and WMA will discuss next steps in extending the Boone River water trail. JEO Consulting Group will assist in facilitating these meetings and any proposed next steps.

A public survey has also been created to facilitate feedback. This survey can be found here and will be open through Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Jefferson County Conservation and Iowa DNR Water Trails Events

Birmingham, with the State Hygienic Laboratory, allows participants to carefully touch
or closely investigate the fish from the river.

With Bike Van Buren drawing people to Van Buren County, Jefferson County Conservation and the DNR Water Trails planned two additional programs to enhance the weekend. On Friday, August 16th the Full Moon Float was held at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park on the lake. Saturday morning, August 17th was the Aquatic Life of the River program at the Boat Ramp at Bonaparte along the Des Moines River.

Naturalist, Brittney Tiller led the Full Moon Float as she discussed the stories of the night sky. The sky was overall cloudy but there were enough breaks in the clouds to see several different constellations. Nineteen people attended the paddle with an even mix of kayaks and canoes. Tiller led participants across the lake, stopping several times. With each stop, participants heard stories of various constellations, stars, and planets.  Participants were able to see the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, and Jupiter. Tiller shared stories of the constellations even though they were not able to be seen through the clouds.   The stories behind the constellations spanned several thousand years and many different cultures. Participants were held captive by the oral history of the stars, much like the people groups who created the stories or the nations that once called the Des Moines River home.

The following morning, Mike Birmingham and his team from the State Hygienic Lab brought their equipment to sample the river. They used various techniques to sample the river, but the most exciting was the electroshocking boat. While using this boat, they were able to net several different fish species such as flathead catfish, walleye, bigmouth buffalo, smallmouth buffalo, quillback, shortnose gar and sturgeon. After shocking the river, the boat returned to shore to allow participants an up-close view of the fish. Over forty participants were able to watch from the boat ramp as Mike brought up the different species of fish. Participants from various ages, locations, and backgrounds all attended the program.

Overall both programs were successful at educating the public on two different topics both while getting people outside.

Article provided by Jefferson County Conservation

2014 August Event Updates & Reminders.

Iowa Water Trails events are particularly plentiful in the second half of August, so visit the “Events” page, choose one, two, or a few . . .and get out there!

The Iowa State Fair is winding up, but there is still time to visit the Iowa DNR River Programs booth and the UI Mobile Museum.

Choices on Aug 16 include an Archaeology & Cultural History program at Manchester, River of Dreams Poker Run at Cedar Falls-Waterloo, and the Annual Floatzilla Event in the Quad Cities.

Aug 17, enjoy the Skunk River Celebration in Ames.

Aug 18-22, join the Summer Mussel Blitz near Iowa City.

Aug 22-24, participate in the Annual Lower Wapsi River Cleanup.

Sorry, but Aug 23 Iowa River Fossils Paddle is already filled.

Aug 23, learn about Amazing Mollusks! (freshwater mussels) at Lake Red Rock.

Sorry to report that two events have been canceled: Aug 15 Aquatic Insect Program in Cherokee, and the Aug 23 River Critters Float in Sac County.

Enjoy!  Enjoy!



2014 July WT Event Cancels, Reschedules.

Rough weather, heavy rains, and high river levels are playing havoc with WT Event plans across the state.  Here’s the latest updates on July WT Events canceled and rescheduled:

July 11 “Wet & Wild: Critters on Iowa’s Rivers,” an indoor program at Bentonsport with presenter Jim Pease, has been canceled.  Efforts are underway to reschedule.

July 12 “Wildlife Paddle,” a float on the Lower Des Moines River with Jim Pease, has been canceled.  Efforts are underway to reschedule this event along with the indoor program above.

July 12 “Iowa River Fossil Paddle,” a float on the Iowa River with Louisa County Naturalists, has been canceled, but rescheduled for August 23.  All event times and details will remain the same.

Stay tuned for more updates.

2014 June 22 South Skunk River Celebration Cancelled.

South Skunk River Celebration Cancelled

June 19 – Due to unsafe river conditions, the Skunk River Celebration scheduled for Sunday, June 22, at River Valley Park has been cancelled. The event will be rescheduled for a later date this summer. Story County Conservation was co-sponsoring the event.

The celebration was designed to introduce people to the river both by paddling a short stretch of it and by talking to local experts. The Story County segment of the river is under consideration to become a state designated water trail.

For more information about this program, contact the Story County Conservation Center by calling 515-232-2516 (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday) or emailing