Page 1

Aprll 1994

the monthly newsletter for people who live, work or play on the Upper Mississippi River

The Flood of 1965 -

Part 2

Operation Eagle and Wet Coulees By Rob Drieslein

During the early days of April 1965, residents on the banks of the Mississippi d ownriver from Lake Pepin anxiou sly monitored the river's rampage to the north. On April 6, the Minneapolis Weather Bureau predicted a crest of 16 feet at La Crosse, nearly double the current eight-foot stage and four feet above flood stage. The next day, ice jams smashed into the lock and darn at Dresbach, Minn., and Wisconsin Governor Warren Knowles declared the La Crosse area in a state of emergency. The crest became like a living presence that valley dwellers feared yet longed for, because its passing meant the beginning of the fl ood's end. It slowly worked its way downriver to Alma, Wis., where Front Street residents

The crest became like a living presence that valley dwellers feared yet longed for. evacuated their water-filled homes as the river poured over the locking chamber and roller gates at Lock and Darn 4. The Mississippi River caused headaches for Buffalo County Highway Commissioner Bergie Ritscher, who dealt with flooded Highway 35 between Alma and Fountain City, Wis. The heavily-traveled corridor paralleling the river conveys tons of commodities every day, and Ritscher detoured traffic over the ridges to maintain the flow. "It didn't go real well. We had truckers on those little town roads making wrong turns and getting lost," he remembered. "It's hard to visualize now, but that was a very stressful time." (Flood continued on page 2)

Vol. 2, No. 4


Real Woodpeckers Are Wilder Than Cartoons By Pamela Eyden

For years, I thought all woodpeckers had red, pointy topknots and could buzz-saw their way through trees. As a kid, I spent a lot more time watching cartoons than birds. But outrageous as he was, Woody Woodpecker had nothing on his real-life model, the pileated woodpecker. Pileated woodpeckers are as large as housecats with longer, stronger claws and wingspans of up to 30 inches. They have spiked tongues that wrap around their skulls, a nd a great appetite for carpenter ants that burrow into decaying wood. They are fairly rare everywhere, beca use they need a large territory - 100 to 150 acres for each mated pair. They don't migrate, but manage to survive northern winters by holing up in trees. "Pileateds are heavy craftsmen that can literally rip to pieces any wood that's starting to decay," said Fred Lesher, president of the La Crosse Audubon Society. An English professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Lesher has served as president of both the Minnesota Ornithological Union and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. "Downy woodpeckers, which are much smaller birds, stay on the surface and work the bark. They'll even fly into (Pileat ed continued on page 4)



(Flood continued from page 1)

High water threatened substation switches at the Dairyland Power Cooperative's generating plant in Alma, according to The Winona Daily News. Retired plant superintendent, Julian Nelson, recalled building a dike around the structure and renting pumps, which ran round the clock, to save it. Flood waters surging through Indian Creek, past the Whitman Dam (S), drove a third of Cochrane's 458 residents from their homes. Ritscher, now Alma's mayor, said Cochrane was inundated with water and residents traveled

Aprll 1994

low-lying areas. More than 6,000 people worked on flood control during the emergency. They fought frantically at the near hopeless dike-building tasks. They got an unexpected break during the night of April 16, when the river's 18.8-foot water level suddenly dropped

Rumors immediately started that someone had dynamited the Burlington dike to save Winona.

eight inches. The Burlington and Green Bay Railroad bed downriver on the Wisconsin side - had broken. The constricted flood waters spread across the 4,000-acre Delta Fish and Fur Farm, relieving pressure on the dike upriver. "We were lucky," Voss said. "That bought us time so we could sandbag." The river continued rising until it crested on April 20, at 20.7S feet - 7.7S feet above the flood stage and 2.8S feet by boat through the village's streets. Local farmer Kenneth higher than the previous high set in 19S2. The dike held. The Averbeck watched workers build a dike, seemingly overevacuated residents returned to their homes on April 22, and night, on his property to prevent Cochrane from becoming the city watched the water recede. the Mississippi's new main channel. Were the events of April 16 a lucky _break or an imposJust downstream, in Fountain City, 11 families and 10 sible coincidence? Rumors immediately started that someone businesses were evacuated when five feet of flood waters had dynamited the Burlington dike to save Winona . Jim crossed North Shore Drive. The U.S. Army Corps of EngiStoltman, an alderman at the time, told the Daily News in neers' boatyard in Fountain City became the focal point for 1990 that foul play never occurred. The constant wave action area sandbagging efforts. It hired 1,372 men to fill sandbags of the raging river needed no assistance. and reinforce Lock and Dam SA. Before the waters receded, "That dike gave way by itself," he said. "It was an act of the boatyard would issue more God, really." than a million sandbags. But to this day rumors Dam 4 Wisconsin Wabasha * April 19, 65 persist in the Winona and The Battle for Winona Trempealeau area that God Dam 5 *Alma April20,6~ Wally Voss, lockmaster at had nothing to do with Dam5a _ __ Lock and Dam SA, below destroying the dike. Winona April 20, 65 Winona * Fountain City, fought with may have escaped serious hundreds of others to flooding because of the *La Crosse strengthen the dam's spillway, incident, but the city's gain Minnesota Dam 8 on the Minnesota side of the came at a long-term loss to the - - April 22-23, 65 river. Time was precious, and Trempealeau National *Genoa the river was rising faster than Wildlife Refuge, which bought sandbags could reinforce the the fur farm in 1979. The Lansing* Iowa dike. If flood waters overflooded waters overrunning Wisconsin R. topped the structure, Winona the area had deposited tons of and its 26,000 residents would thick, muddy silt into the * Prairie du Chien be underwater. backwater area . The silt For a few precarious days, provides a poor substrate for all eyes watching the great aquatic vegetation, an imporflood of 1965 focused on tant food source for wildlife. Operation Eagle, the effort to Refuge personnel blamed the save Winona. In preparing for poor substrate, in part, for the failed attempts to establish . the worst, mayor Rudy K. Ellings ordered the evacuation wild celery in the refuge The crest took a week to travel from Alma to Dubuque. of 1,035 residents who lived in during the mid-1980s.

Flood waters surging through Indian Creek, past the Whitman Dam, drove a third of Cochrane's 458 residents from their homes.


April 1994


Coulee Region Woes Farther downriver, the Trempealeau Lakes became part of the Main Channel when the river worked its way through the 50 cottages along the river's normal shore. The high water mocked residents who had raised their floodplain homes in the Birch Acres and Trempealeau Lakes area following the 1952 flood . Water levels quickly covered the additional cement blocks underneath the buildings and reached the ceilings of several seasonal residences. On April 15, as the crest approached La Crosse, businesses along the city's Causeway prepared to protect their property, according to records from the La Crosse Tribune. That night and the following day, portions of the Causeway disappeared beneath the water, rerouting traffic for two weeks. On April 16, Roland Fischer, 55, of La Crescent, Minn., disappeared into the Mississippi's West Channel and became the area's first flood-related fatality. Three days later, when a 75-foot section of dike on La Crosse's north side broke, water from the Black River flooded 25 homes. National guard and police patrols swept

God, can you imagine fire moving along this crest?" 11

the area by night and day, watching for looters, the Tribune reported . When asked what he would do if anyone gave him trouble, guardsman Duane Gerke said, "We've got orders, if anyone wants to fight, to use the bayonet if necessary, as a last resort." Water washed out the earth beneath a 250,000-gallon Texaco storage tank containing 107,000 gallons of gasoline. The tank tilted about 10 degrees, but didn't collapse. With the smell of gasoline heavy in the air, officials ordered no smoking west of Copeland A venue. "God, can you imagine fire moving along this crest?" said a police officer assigned to emergency guard duty near the tank. Before the water crested at 17.9 feet on April 21 almost six feet above flood stage - 214 homes in the La Crosse area suffered flooding, most on French Island and the city's north side. Downriver, officials in Prairie du Chien, Wis ., couldn't move an elderly couple who refused to leave their home on Wednesday, April 21. "I've lived in this house for 10 years," said Mrs. Sam Ferris. "And I don't intend to let a little water drive me out." Volunteers from as far away as Madison and Milwaukee assisted with sandbagging and odd jobs in the historical river town. The river eventually crested at 25.57 feet at Prairie du Chien, seven feet above flood stage, and flooded a large section of the city, leaving one-fourth of the town's 5,600 residents temporarily homeless. Police Chief Donald Lyons


told the Tribune on April 23 that water was so high that garages were beginning to float and houses were shifting downstream in the current. The same day, a fisherman caught three catfish with setlines on a flooded street. Further downstream, in Cassville, Wis., seepage damaged nearly 60 percent of the little village's homes. Pumps drew sewage out of manholes because the sewage plant was shut down . Bill Whyte, Cassville's current village president, said high water had closed the village's north entrance, so ridge dwellers traveled the long way to enter town from the south. Whyte remembers moving his furniture to the attic when eight inches of water covered his floor .

The Aftermath Damages following the flood staggered the small communities. Buffalo and Trempealeau counties estimated damage at $1.5 million, mostly in the Cochrane and Trempealeau area, and La Crosse alone tallied another $1.2 million. Winona eventually spent almost $2 million creating its dike system to prevent such turmoil from happening again . When the flood's crest passed St. Louis, on May 8, and disappeared into the wide, southern Mississippi River channel, 19 people upstream lay dead . Forty thousand people had been homeless at one time or another, and the cost of damaged reached $200 million. Volunteers wiped their weary brows, shook their heads and turned to the massive cleanup job. In the nation's capital, Wisconsin senators William Proximire and Gaylord Nelson were busy drafting flood relief legislation. And, as in the atermath of the flood of 1993, editorials began popping up in the nation's newspapers during the weeks following the flood questioning the wisdom of human settlements in a floodplain. Rob Drieslein is a reporter for the Winona Daily News . :-.·.·=·.·.·.·.·>.·.·.·.·.· ·=· ·.·:-:-..;-:-.-:·:···:.:··-·.·. ···:·:-:·:.:-··:·:-:.:-:-:-:-:·:·:·:·:·:-'.·:·:·:·>:<-:·:·:::·:;:;::::;:

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April 1994

(Pileated continued from page 1) cornfields and drill in cornstalks. But pileateds go deeper. You won't find them 50 miles west of the Mississippi on the plains. They need mature growth forest." Pileated woodpeckers are often seen tapping tree trunks and cocking their heads, as though listening for a reaction. They apparently hear ants inside the tree, but they may also feel vibrations or smell the formic acid ants use as an alarm signal. "They can probably hear those ants chewing easily enough," said Lesher. "If you go camping in the woods, you can hear termites chewing at night, especially if you camp near a woodpile." In winter, ant colonies are dormant. Could the tap-andlisten strategy work then, too? "Birds do have some amazing powers. Great gray owls and boreal owls can hover over snow, then dive under to get a mouse. They can't see it, they must be hearing it." The pileated woodpecker is well equipped for its lifestyle - an air sac to surround and cushion the brain; stiff tail feathers that serve as a brace; and sturdy neck muscles. But its tongue is one of its most amazing tools: • It is as long as a human's, round as a worm and sticky all over. • A bone sticks out the tip like a bayonet. • Barbs on the sides prevent grubs from slipping off. • It's extendable two inches beyond the tip of the beak. • It can turn corners, to chase carpenter ants that try to escape through tunnels. • Its roots branch into two long, whip-like structures that go over the top of the head and down the forehead to anchor at the base of the bird's beak. When the bird sticks out his tongue, it might feel the pull at the end of its nose. This kind of tongue could be a cartoon character itself. Woody Woodpecker's taunting laugh may be the most widely known bird call in the world, but don't expect to hear it in the woods. The most common pileated call is a series of 10 to 15 low-pitched "cuk cuk cuks" that carry a great

This kind of tongue could be a cartoon character itself. distance. Another common call is a series of six to eight high-pitched "kek kek keks" with the last note in a lower pitch, followed by bursts of drumming. There are 175 different woodpecker species in the world and 22 in the United States, not including the ivorybilled woodpecker, which is probably extinct now. "The ivory-billed seemed to require a certain wooded habitat, which is gone now, so they are, too. The pileated may be luckier. They seem to be quite common," Lesher said. He didn't know if anyone was monitoring the status of

pileated woodpeckers in the Mississippi River Valley. "They aren't raptors and they don't migrate, so there's probably not a lot of attention paid to their susceptibility to hunting or chemicals, or to loss of their habitat," he said. "Yet foresters want to log off a lot of the mature oaks in this area, some of which are 100 years old. Who knows how that might affect pileated woodpeckers. Maybe it will take away their habitat. Maybe it will help them, if a lot of logs are left to rot." Note: Walter Lantz, creator of Woody Woodpecker, died March 22, at the age of 93. -

Pamelil Eyden is assistant editor of Big River. Illustration by Vera Ming Wong.


April 1994

CURRENT EVENTS By Pamela Eyden and Reggie McLeod


Natives versus Zebras

ebra mussels attach themselves to just about anything, including native mussels. Biologists expect the zebra invasion to take a heavy toll on native mussels. The Upper Mississippi River Conservation Cornrnittee(UMRCC) questions whether commercial clamming should be suspended on the river to protect native mussels, according to the UMRCC News Letter (Jan./Feb. 1994). Most UMRCC members are biologists or river managers from the five states bordering the Upper Mississippi River. They have not pressed for an immediate ban, but may recommend that clamming be banned in selected pools in 1995 to study the effect. Mean while, the zebra invasion of the Illinois River is so intense -with densities as high as 94,504 per square meter that managers may grow native mussels in fisheries and freeze native mussel eggs so they can be reintroduced into the river if zebra populations decline in the future. Meanwhile, in Missouri and Arkansas aquaculturists propose raising black carp to control zebra mussels. However, the Asian fish eats native mussels as well as the tiny zebra mussels. The NorthCentral Division of the American Fisheries Society has asked management agencies to "take irnrnedia te steps to eliminate all existing populations of the black carp now in North America," according to the Zebra Mussel Update (3-7-94). The number of zebra mussels found on locks and darns in the upper Mississippi is increasing, but they are not yet a problem. The Army Corps of Engineers found that dewatering locks during cold weather kills mussels attached to the lock, according to the Update. Zebra mussels have not yet been found in the St. Croix or Narnekagon rivers. The St. Croix flows into the Mississippi near Hastings, Minn. The Narnekagon is a Wisconsin river that flows into the St. Croix. Last summer river managers worked to keep zebras

from hitching from the Mississippi into the St. Croix on boat hulls, by operating an interception station that turned back boats that might be infected.


Fishing Teens

eenagers pay adult prices for movies and most other activities, but Wisconsin teens will get a break next year when they buy fishing licenses. Currently a fishing license costs $11.25, but after January 1, 1994, 16- and 17-year olds will pay only $4.25, according to State Senator Dale Schultz (RRichland Center), who sponsored the bill.


Rambling Rainbow

ome fish may just hang around waiting for the right bait, but some like to travel. Zebra Mussel Update (3-7-94) reports that a rainbow trout stocked in Lake Michigan's Diversy Harbor, in Chicago, turned up last fall in the Mississippi River, in Louisiana. The5.5-pound rainbowjourneyed 1,200 miles, probably up the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal to the Illinois River to the Mississippi.


Poisonous Sinkers

nglers should consider retiring their lead sinkers, if they don't want to poison waterfowl. Environmental groups, sporting groups and government agencies are pushing for a ban on lead sinkers, because they sometimes poison waterfowl that have scooped them up from river or lake bottoms. The Environmental Protection Agency is being pressed to list lead as a toxic substance, according to River Crossings (Jan. /Feb. 1994). Tackle manufacturers have come up with substitute products made of tin or bismuth or a plastic compounded with iron and tungsten.


Flood Marketing

ome of the damage left by last year's flood will be repaired with marketing and advertising. The U.S. Travel and

5 Tourism Administration has offered $1.8 million in aid to the five states bordering the Upper Mississippi. It spent another $500,000 on a national campaign to encourage tourism in areas affected by the floods.

Toss the Seat Cushions


uoyant seat cushions no longer qualify as life preservers in Iowa boats. This year, boats of any length must carry at least one wearable, CoastGuardapproved life jacket for each passenger. Passengers need not wear the jackets, but they must be "readily accessible." "The seat cushion still qualifies as an approved throwable device, like a ring buoy. And we still require a throwable device, in addition to a wearable life jacket, for each person on board a boat that is 16 feet or longer, but throwables are not r_equired for canoes or kayaks," explained Sonny Satre, recreational safety coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


Looking for Birders

f you are a good birder and want to become a better birder, consider volunteering: • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Tex Hawkins is looking for people familiar with grassland birds (meadowlarks, bob-o-links, grasshopper sparrows and savanna sparrows) to track changes that result from converting farmland from intensive row-cropping to managed grazing, at six Minnesota sites: New Prague, Mantorville, Lake City, St. Charles, Lewiston and La Crescent. Call Tex at (507) 452-4232. • Biologist Eric Burns - same office and phone number - wants help studying rnigra tory birds that nest and breed in floodplain forests from Wabasha to La Crosse. • The Minnesota Valley Refuge, in Bloomington, needs volunteers to monitor wildlife and public use of the refuge. Call Judie Miller at (612) 854-5900. • The Mark Twain Refuge needs good birders for point counts near Big Timber, Iowa; and Keithsburg, Illinois. Call Michael Bornstein at (319) 323-6982. (Current Events continued on page 6)



(Current Events continued from page 5)

Nov Study Seeks Input


he Army Corps of Engineers' has been the target of criticism since it launched a massive study of the future of commercial navigation on the Upper Mississippi River. The most common complaint accuses the Corps of initiating and carrying out the study with very little public input. Many environmentalists and river managers also worry that the study is an exercise to justify the expansion of the navigation system without considering the environmental costs. In response, the Corps has enhanced the public involvement portion of the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway System (UMR-IWWS) Navigation Study. It added five public meetings to the formulation portion of the study. Those interested may call 1-800-872-8822 for meeting announcements and other study information or to leave comments. They may also ask to be added to the mailing list by leaving a message in the Public Involvement menu at the above numberorbywritingto: ATTN:CENCRPD-C, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clock Tower Building, P.O. Box 2004, Rock Island, IL 61204-2004 The Corps also publishes the UMRJWWS Navigation Study Newsletter, which you can ask for at the above address or phone number.

April 1994

Island Corps District. "After gaining a firm toehold in the St. Paul Engineer District, the environmental movement is spreading its influence down the river ... " the editorial fretted. "Keeping the nine-foot channel open for commercial navigation is becoming increasingly more difficult - unquestionably a serious threat to the viability of low-cost water transportation." An article in the Journal on March 14, "Environmental/Dredging Fight Accelerating," described the "bathtub" method of disposing of dredge spoil, in which spoil is placed in huge holding areas and later moved off the river. The St. Paul Corps has used this more costly method for years to keep the material from washing back into the channel and backwaters.


River Remedy Report

second major report in as many months (see "Biologists and river managers warn of ecosystem collapse" in the March 1994 Big River) catalogs threats to and problems in the Mississippi and suggests remedies. The 53-page report, Restoring the Big River: A Clean Water Act Blueprint for the Mississippi, was recently completed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Izaak Walton League of America. It lists so many staggering statistics about river pollution that the task of cleaning

up the river looks almost hopeless. For instance: • As of 1991, at least 150 major chemical manufacturing facilities were located along the river. Forty-seven of those facilities discharge more than 296 million pounds of toxic chemicals directly into the Mississippi annually. • 621 municipal wastewater treatment facilities discharge more than 1 billion gallons of wastewater directly into the river each day. The report also does a good job of explaining which government agency does what on the river. It suggests solutions -from grass-roots volunteerism to Congressional action - for the river's problems. The Izaak Walton League was largely responsible for lobbying Washington to establish the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge in 1924. For copies of the report or to share feedback on its contents call the League at (612) 922-1608.


Wing Bee

n February, waterfowl experts met at Southern Illinois University to inspect the wings of more than 20,000 waterfowl shot by hunters last fall and to identify the species, age and gender of the birds. They discovered that more ring-necked ducks and more young ducks of all spe-

Winnebagos Buy Land


he Wisconsin Winnebago Nation purchased more than 600 acres of land on the Wisconsin River near Muscoda. The property used to contain 64 Indian mounds, half of which were effigy mounds. However, all but 15 have disappeared beneath the plow, according to the •Boscobel Dial (2-17-94). The tribe is considering building a cultural center and a youth camp on the site. It is also investigating prairie restoration and raising buffalos there.


Percent Loss . (Circa 1980s)

Estimated Acreage Remaining









421.900 .





87 .













n editorial in The Waterways Journal (3-21-94) titled "Dredging Crisis" warns that dredging methods used by the Army Corps of Engineers on the Upper Mississippi may spread to the Rock


787,000 4,067,000


Environmentalism Spreads


33,052,592 Percentage Loss of

. 0

Source: Dahl 1990.


Weiland Area


From: Restoring the Big River: A Clean Water Act Blueprint for the Mississippi


April 1994

cies were taken than expected. Ringneckedducksaredivers. Theywereprobably shot in greater numbers than usual because wood ducks, teal and other puddle-dabbling ducks went west to feed on unharvested grain in flooded fields. The large number of young ducks indicates that nesting was more successful than the experts expected. Experts from up and down the Mississippi Flyway have been flying in for the gathering, which they call a "wing bee," every year since 1961. They stay for five days and then disperse.


Watch for ...

aid eagles' nests: If you find a bald eagle's nest- probably the biggest nest you're likely to see in these parts report it to your state Department of Natural Resources, who will teach property owners how to help protect the eagles during nesting season. Such protection and the banning of DDT in the 1970s helped the great birds make a spectacular comeback. There are now 568 nesting pairs in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Loggerhead shrikes: If you see logger head shrikes anywhere in Minnesota, call the Minnesota DNR (1-800-766-6000). The loggerhead shrike is a small bird, about the size of a robin, that lives in shrubs and hedgerows. It hunts insects, mice, lizards and birds smaller than itself, and has the macabre habit of impaling its prey on barbed wire or thorns. Farming and development have taken a toll on its numbers. It's now endangered in the state. Blanding's turtles: 'Tis the season for turtles to cross roads looking for food and nesting places, so keep your eyes peeled as you drive through wetland areas; you may spot a Blanding's turtle. These slow-moving reptiles with bright yellow throats and high-domed shells are listed as threatened in Minnesota. If you see one in the Twin Cities area, call the Minnesota DNR, which is trying to plot nesting sites on public lands. It's not easy being a Blanding turtle. If they escape predation by skunks and raccoons, which kill more than 80 percent of them, the 12 or so eggs laid in each nest will hatch in about 60 days. Then the hatchlings have to make it to the water,

where they become prey for birds, mammals and predatory fish. If they survive these threats, they can live as long as 75 years. That is, if they're not flattened under the wheel of your car or their habitat isn't turned into a parking lot.


River Cleanup Help

or help organizing river cleanups or other stewardship activities in your community, contact the Mississippi River Revival, a nonprofit organization with a lot of experience. It recently received a grant from the McKnight Foundation to help organize activities in ten communities between Little Falls, Minn., and Bellevue, Iowa. For more information contact Mary Coughlan, (507) 452-9323, or write the Mississippi River Revival, P.O. Box 315, Winona, MN 55987-0315.


Boxcars Fall into River

our boxcars loaded with about 100 tons of shelled corn fell into the Wisconsin River near Lone Rock in early March. The conductor said he felt the engine lean to the right a bout 200 feet out onto the bridge, but the engine was off the bridge by the time it collapsed. The conductor stopped the train and walked back over the top of the cars to find that "four cars out of the middle of the train were gone," according to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal (3-9-94). Officials speculated that ice may have damaged the bridge. Since the corn had not been treated with pesticides, it was not expected to harm the river, even if it leaked out. The story did not say why the accident, which occurred at 10:30 p.m., was not reported to authorities until 7:30 a.m.


Wildlife Posters

f you' re looking for ·something to liven up those walls, check out the fullcolor, wildlife posters available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: • Endangered species success stories, features grizzly bears, orchids, cutthroat trout, bald eagles and more; #024010-00702-8; $6.50. • 27 common sport fish, including largemouth bass, red drum, catfish and rainbow trout; #024-010-00700-1; $6.50.


• "Songbirds of Forest and Field" with artwork by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, one of America's finest bird painters; #024-010-00699-4; $6.50. • two posters previously released in a series called "Endangered Means There's Still Time": desert-dwelling creatures (#024-010-00698-6, $5.50); coastal species \#024-010-00693-5, $4.75). For posters, write to Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C 20402, or call (202) 783-3238. Applications and a brochure tell how to apply for federal grants to protect or improve wetlands through the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund; free, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Publications Unit, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr., 130 Webb Bldg., Arlington, VA22203.


Recreation Benefits

oaters, bird watchers, rock skippers and other folks recreating on the Upper Mississippi River support about $1.2 billion in total industrial output and 18,500 jobs a year. This factoid is one of the highlights of a study done by the Army Corps of Engineers analyzing economic aspects of recreational activities along the river. For a summary of The Economic Impacts of Recreation on the Upper Mississippi River System, contact Bruce

Carlson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attention: CENCS-PD-ES, 190 Fifth St. E., St. Paul, MN 55101-1638. Or call (612) 290-5252.

Ft. Snelling Seeks Center


he only state park in the Twin Cities, Fort Snelling, gets a lot of traffic, and it needs a new visitor center, says the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has asked the state legislature for $2 million to build one.


The Dammed

he effects of dams on river ecosystems are coming under intense scrutiny. "Dam Yanking," in The Minnesota Volunteer (March-April 1994) examines issues related to removing dams that no longer serve their original purpose. Three feature stories in Trout (Winter 1994) examine the effects of dams and watershed conservation on rivers. -

Bm RlvER


RIVER CALENDAR APRIL March 25-April 3 Northwest Sportshow, Minneapolis Convention Center. 9 Mississippi Corridor Neighborhood Coalition, 1 p .m .-3 p.m., Bottineau Park, Minneapolis. 11 Spring Fish & Game Rule Hearings in every Wisconsin county, 7 p.m. Buffalo County, Alma High School Auditorium Crawford County Courthouse, Prairie du Chien Grant County Youth and Ag Building, Lancaster La Crosse County, Central High School Auditorium, La Crosse Pepin County, Government Center, County Board Room, Durand

April 1994

MAY 1-3 Aldo Leopold education workshop, St. Croix State Park, Hinckley, Minn. Call Pheasants Forever, (612) 481-7142. 3 Navigation Environmental Coordination Committee, of Corps UMR-IWWS Navigation Study, meeting, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Moline Ill. Call 1-800-872-8822. 7-8 Take A Mom Fishing Weekend, Minnesota . 10-12 Zebra Mussels, biology, ecology and control workshop, Radisson Hotel, Denver, Col. Call Larry Sanders, (601) 634-2976. 14-15 Apple Blossom Volksmarch, O.L. Kipp State Park, Dakota, Minn . 14 Northern, Walleye & Sauger Opener, Minnesota . 28 Bass Opener, Minnesota. Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center, West Brooklyn Park, Minn. Call (612) 424-8172 for reservations .

Pierce County, Hillcrest Elementary School Auditorium

April 2 Waterfowl Courtship, naturalist walk, 2 p.m.

Trempealeau County Courthouse, Whitehall

April 3 Floodplain Forest Walk, 2 p.m.

Vernon County Courthouse, Viroqua

April 17 Project Wild Aquatic Workshop, 9 a.m .-4 p.m. Fee, $19.

13-15 American Waterways Operators, spring convention, Adam's Mark Hotel, St. Louis. Call Tina Norris, (703) 8419300. 16 Trout fishing opener, Minnesota . 16 Trail-clearing in northeastern Minn. To sign up, cal! 1800-818-HIKE. 17-23 National Wildlife Week. 19 Wonders of Wetlands, 7 p .m ., West Salem (Wis.) Elementary School, free and open to the public. 19-22 Rivers Without Boundaries, symposium on river planning and management, Holiday Inn Grand Junction, Col. Call Caroline Tan, American River Management Society program director, (510) 655-5844. 21-22 Minnesota Water '94 - Managing Minnesota's Rivers and Watersheds, Minneapolis Convention Center. Call Water Resources Research Center, (612) 624-9282. 22 Trails for All Americans '94, forum focuses on the National Trails System Act and lntermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, 1 p .m., Havenwoods State Forest, Milwaukee, $15 fee includes dinner. Register by April 15. Call (608) 266-2181. 22 Earth Day. 23 River Caring, riverfront landscaping workshop, FargoMoorhead. Call (701) 235-2895. 24 Earth Day Art Show opening, Winona Art Center. Earth Day and Mississippi River theme. Submissions invited. No entry fee . Call Kirsten, (608) 697-3225. 28-29 Mississippi River Research Consortium, annual meeting, Holiday Inn, La Crosse. Call Chuck Theiling, (618) 259-9027. 29 Arbor Day.

April 23 Mystery of Loons, 10 a.m. May 1 Ducks and Donuts, bird watching along the river, 9a.m . May 7 Mississippi River Critters, 1 p.m. Wildlife Art in America, Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, February 26 - May 15. An exhibit of more than 100 works by great historical artists and the finest of the present generation. For information call Byron Webster, (612) 624-0225. Minn.-Wis. Boundary Area Commission meetings. For information call (612) 436-7131 or (715) 386-9444. April 5 St. Croix River Regional Committee. April 14 Full commission. May 3 St. Croix River Regional Committee. May 12 Mississippi River Regional Committee, Red Wing. Sierra Club's St. Croix Valley Interstate Group, monthly meetings, 6:30 p .m., Stillwater (Minn .) Public Library. April 11 Political endorsements, land preservation and wetlands. May 9 David Paxson, president of Population Balance. Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board meetings, 5 p .m. Ca!l 1-800-221-3792 or (608) 739-3188. April 14 Sauk City, Wis . May 12 Bridgeport, Wis.


Profile for wsuopenriver

Big River - April 1994  

Big River - April 1994