14 06, 2017

Karst, Water Quality & Livestock: Finding Balance for a Sensitive Geography

Karst, Water Quality & Livestock Forum: Finding Balance for a Sensitive Geography Held on May 30, 2017 at Luther College in Decorah Iowa From: Thanks to more than 100 attendees at the forum on May 30 for your interest and participation. We especially want to thank the Mississippi River Network (MRN) for a small grant that made the event possible. Additional support came from the Iowa Groundwater Association, Luther College Center for Sustainable Communities and Bob and Donna Bernard-Trout Unlimited Members. Other event co-sponsors were the Allamakee County Protectors – Education Campaign, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Trout Unlimited. [...]

12 06, 2017

Get to Know Matt Frana – Upper Iowa Watershed Project Coordinator

Matt Frana has been hired as the Project Coordinator for the Upper Iowa River Watershed. Mikael Mulugeta with IIHR/Iowa Watershed Approach, talked with Matt about his work skills and hobby interests: Following six years of experience with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa native Matthew Frana will serve as the project coordinator for the Upper Iowa River Watershed (UIRW). In this new role, Frana will work with the UIRW to facilitate watershed planning activities, manage the implementation of flood resiliency conservation projects, and share information with the public across the watershed to ensure the program’s effectiveness. He will help identify suitable [...]

9 06, 2017

In the News: Farmers’ Water Quality Efforts Help Trout Flourish in NE Iowa

Trout need clean, cold water to survive. And thanks to many Iowa farmers who are taking on the challenge to improve water quality, the fish are getting just what they need in northeast Iowa. Farmers and landowners are improving the trout habitat with watershed and land use improvement projects that control erosion and reduce the amount of sediment in the water. That’s good news for the fish, anglers and local economies in Iowa’s Driftless region, where annual spending on fishing and tourism is estimated at $20 million. The recovery of Iowa’s trout streams has been remarkable. In 1980, only six [...]

1 06, 2017

Decorah Trail Re-opened Following Flood Damage

Just in time for summer recreation & tourism, Decorah Parks & Recreation is re-opening Dug Road. A section of the popular bike & recreation trail collapsed following heavy rainfalls and flooding last fall. Get a bird's eye view of the extent of the damage on this video, courtesy of Decorah Parks & Rec's YouTube page. After that, head outside to enjoy the temporarily patched-up trail for yourself!

16 05, 2017

Rare Lake Sturgeon Spawning in the Upper Iowa River

Decorah Fish Hatchery Natural Resource Technician Chris Larson is sharing a story with about a lake sturgeon caught by  Rob Griffith of Urbandale, Iowa: Griffith caught the fish in the Upper Iowa River on May 5th.  Lake sturgeon are considered an endangered species in Iowa.  They are found occasionally in the Mississippi River and in some of Iowa's interior rivers as they move into these rivers to spawn. They are considered a primitive fish since they have cartilage instead of bones and have been around for millions of years. Their numbers have declined in the last century due to [...]

1 05, 2017

Trout Fishing is Big Business in the Driftless Area

Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp at the Decorah Fish Hatchery Trout streams in Northeast Iowa bring in significant visitor spending, according to a new economic impact study released last week. Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp, Northeast Iowa RC&D Executive Director Lora Friest, and Trout Unlimited’s Duke Welner spoke at report’s unveiling Friday afternoon at the Decorah Trout Hatchery. The new report quantifies the direct, indirect and induced effects of trout fishing in the Driftless Area. Based on a survey of trout anglers who purchased trout stamps in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the report details the demographics of trout [...]

14 04, 2017

Water Sampling Season Begins

Ross Evelsizer of Northeast Iowa RC&D measures water temperature & pH at Silver Creek. It's spring in Northeast Iowa--time again to begin collecting samples for water quality analysis. Since 2004, volunteers have been going out once a month from April to November to collect samples at 30 locations along the Upper Iowa River and its tributaries. Sample collectors measure water temperature, pH, and transparency in the field. The samples are then sent to Coe College where they are tested for concentrations of e. coli, nitrogen, chloride, and phosphorus. The data is made available on the Upper Iowa River [...]

28 03, 2017

In the News: Watershed Planning Underway

The Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority recently kicked-off a process to develop a 20-year plan for increasing resiliency to flooding along the Upper Iowa River and its tributaries. The planning process, led by Northeast Iowa RC&D, is part of a $96.9 million state-wide Iowa Watershed Approach project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Record-setting floods in recent years prompted new approaches to flood risk reduction. The Iowa Watershed Approach gives communities an opportunity to evaluate past and future flood impacts and invest in strategic solutions at the watershed level. “Developing a watershed resiliency [...]