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Vol. 3, No. 5

May 1995

Living in a Community of Floating Homes By Trudy R. Balcom

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I was immediately enchanted the first time I visited the community of floating homes on Latsch Island, where I now live. Janita, a friend and island resident, gave me a grand tour via canoe. The island was in its springtime glory that day, overrun by the Mississippi. I saw picnic tables and bicycles slide like ghosts underneath the bow of the canoe, while overhead returning songbirds built nests in the trees. To my eyes the odd collection of funky floating shacks, substantial floating homes and little boat docks and shelters seemed like something out of a Kerouac novel. I bought my floating home just a few weeks after that first visit. Latsch Island, named after a local nineteenth century philanthropist, John Latsch, sits across the Mississippi from

When is a Bass Not a Bass? By Lee Kernen

Common or popular names for fish are often confusing and sometimes downright misleading, but they sure are interesting! In much of the United States, smallmouth and largemouth bass are collectively referred to as "black bass." The truth is they are not bass at all, they are sunfish. Scientists long ago placed them in the same family as other nest-building sunfish - like bluegills and crappies for all sorts of anatomical reasons, such as the kind of teeth they have, where their fins are located, and whether the fins are spiny or soft. You may have recently heard about a new fish invading the Great Lakes. The white perch, found in the western end of Lake Superior just a few years ago, is now becoming very abundant in Lake Michigan's Green Bay. I hate to tell you this, but the white perch is not a perch (Bass continued on page 3)

I saw picnic tables and bicycles slide like ghosts underneath the bow of the canoe ... downtown Winona, Minnesota. The island is a busy place home of the local marina, a city park and boat landing, as well as about 100 boathouses and floating homes, some 25 of which are occupied year round. Life on the island requires you to experience the river and the whole local environment in a very intimate manner. My floating home is located on the most primitive part of the

(Floating Homes continued on page 2)

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May 1995

(Floating Homes continued from page 1)

An older, picturesque boathouses on Latsch Island is tied up near an abandoned railroad bridge. island, where no road, electricity or telephone is available because it is below the floodplain. To reach my home, I walk about a half mile down a well travelled, wooded footpath after crossing a narrow, wobbly, homemade bridge across a slender open channel of the river. Nearly all island residents, including myself, live without running water, despite the river that flows beneath us. However, some areas of the island do have electrical and telephone service. Increasingly, homes without utility access are being graced with solar panels to power televisions, stereos and computers. A few have even been fitted with water pumps and filters to provide running water and showers. But even these clever luxuries do not provide a barrier between the river and the boathouse occupant. The floods still come, and the floors of homes are still chilled by the thick winter ice. Daily life requires keeping up with a round of chores, which includes transporting water, dumping chemical toilets, filling kerosene lamps, and the daily hauling of groceries, laundry, etc., on foot or by boat. All of these chores consume time, but are full of surprising rewards. In the periods spent away from my boathouse, I have found myself intensely missing such simple, fulfilling tasks and the intimate contact they brought with nature and my neighbors. Gathering water means knowing where the closest spring or public well is, a primary level of information about the landscape that most people have forgotten about. Hauling the water home means planning your day around a short canoe trip, which might involve getting soaked by a brief shower, or pulling your boat up at a neighbor's on the way for a beer, or watching the nose and wake of a beaver gliding silently before the bow of your canoe. Boathouse life is experienced as a round of Minnesota seasons. Spring is the season of floods - inconvenient, exhilarating and dangerous. I always watch excitedly as the ice breaks up, and neighbors scurry to prepare for the rising waters by securing the ropes that hold their homes to the

island's trees. In the big flood of 1993, my home and neighbors' homes became little islands unto themselves as the water rose 17 feet into the cottonwoods and maples. Travel to and from the house became a challenging test of my canoeing ability. The nearest high ground was the exit ramp off of the Interstate Bridge, about 3/4 of a mile upstream, where I parked my truck and tied my canoe. "Summer on the river and some are not," my neighbor Janita used to quip. As an island resident, you do feel a little indulgent in the summer, because all of the river's summer delights are at your doorstep, while everyone else has to seek them out. I love to slip out into the darkness of a muggy summer night for a quick, cooling swim, or spend a languid day watching the herons fly over, my toes dangling in the water below my deck. Of course, the mosquitoes think it is a grand place to spend the summer, too. In some ways, fall is the most invigorating of the seasons. Fall means rising to brisk mornings when the fog floats up from the water. It is a time for stocking up wood for the winter, and enjoying the color of the bluffs amid the sounds of crickets. The most dramatic part of the season occurs when the Canada geese and tundra swans begin to migrate. From the island, I have a front row seat for the show. Winter is a peaceful time, without the noise of boaters and crowds at the park. The movement of the waves is gone, and boathouses freeze into the ice - full of creaks and groans and all of the strange sounds the ice makes when it thinks no one is listening. My neighbors and I enjoy the season by skiing, skating or throwing bonfire parties on the ice. For these and many more reasons, it is not hard to see why a few people make Latsch Island their home. Only city officials and the Minnesota DNR seem to have a more myo-

t''" Trudy Balcom Photos by Pamela Eyden


May 1995

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(Bass continued from page 1)

pie view. For many years island residents have struggled for their legal right to stay in their homes. Currently the city of Winona and the DNR are each claiming that the other should have legal jurisdiction over boathouse activity; neither is eager to accept the responsibility for this unique use of the river. The state's long-range plan is to phase out all boathouses on the river, especially occupied ones. They expect to accomplish this with regulations that limit repair and ban

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at all, it's a bass! The only true bass native to Wisconsin are related to the large striped bass that live in the ocean: the white bass and yellow bass, both common in southern Wisconsin. Members of the true bass family do not build nests but spawn randomly and leave their eggs unguarded. If that doesn't confuse you, let's discuss walleye and sauger. Anglers often refer to them as pike. But both walleye and sauger are really members of the perch family. In fact there are 18 different species of perch in Wisconsin. Most of

The state's long-range plan is to phase out all boathouses on the river, especially occupied ones. expansion of the structures. So far, boathouse owners, organized as the Winona Boathouse Association, have resisted the regulations, suffering harassment, ticketing and even a court case, which was dismissed in favor of the boathouse owner. Fortunately, all sides have recently expressed some willingness to compromise, so that boathousing can remain viable and legal into the future. However, this will only be accomplished after much hard work and peering into the cracks of dusty regulations, looking for loopholes to manipulate in a manner everyone can live with. But when I take my brief stroll up the path and glimpse a pileated woodpecker working at its nest or meet a friend on the path who stops to share the latest news on the river level at the lock and dam, I won't have a shred of a doubt that the work and the fight will be worth it.

A walleye pike is actually a perch. them are small, pretty little fish called darters that live near the bottom and grow to only 3 to 4 inches in length. So what is a pike? There are three pike in Wisconsin, the common northern pike, the muskelunge and the grass pickerel. Sometimes fish names change from one area to another. The fish we in Wisconsin refer to as a cisco - a silvery fish that lives in our clearest, deepest lakes like Big Green, Elkhart, Tront Lakes and many more - is really a member of the salmon family along with all trout. Yet this same fish

Trudy R. Balcom is president of the Winona Boathouse Association and teaches folklore at Winona State University. Big River (ISSN 1070-8340) is published monthly by Big River, 267 E. Sanborn, Winona, MN 55987; (507) 4546758; Email: bigriver@aol.com; America Online: Bigriver.

Reggie McLeod

editor/publisher

Pamela Eyden

assistant editor

Molly McGuire

circulation and marketing manager

Subscriptions are $20 for one year, $36 for two years or $2 per single issue. Send subscriptions, single copy orders and change-of-address requests to Big River, PO Box 74 7, Winona, MN 55987. Second-class postage paid at Winona, MN. POSTMA$.TER: send change-of-address requests to Big River, PO Box 747, Winona, MN 55987. ¡ Big River, Volume 3, Number 5, copyrightŠ May 1995. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Printedpf] [~pycle<j p<Jper.

Call it a cisco, or herring or a tullibee. Dra w ings by Virg Beck, Wis . DNR.

is called a herring in Lake Superior and Minnesota anglers call them tullibee. Fish names often change, too. Years ago, crappies were called calico bass, and bullheads were often referred to as homed pout. I haven't heard those names recently. Did I mention that the common carp is actually a minnow? They sure are big for minnows - but that's another chapter in the fascinating subject of fish names.

This is one in a continuing series of "Wisconsin Fishing" columns by Lee Kernen, Director of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Fisheries Management.


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May 1995

BIG RrvER

Festival Season on the River River Towns Celebrate St. Cloud, Miss. • Music Fest, May 7, Wings, Wheels & Water Festival, July 6-9 Monticello Minneapolis, Minnesota Heritage Festival, July 1-4; Showboat Days, July 13-16

Wisconsin Tourism Info 1-800-372-2737 State Parks Open House, June 4 munity Festival, June 3; Free Fishing Weekend, June 4·5 of July Celebration · me Fair, Aug. 11-13, 18-20 inco de Mayo Fiesta, May 5-7; innesota State Fair, August 24-Sept. 4 85-mile-long Garage Sale, May 6-7

Minnesota R. 12 Minnesota & Wisconsin towns, Prescott, Rockin' on the River, July 1 Hastings, Front Porch Festival, May 20; • Bay City, Bay City Daze, June 3 from Bay City to Alma Rivertown Days, July 14-16 • Maiden Rock, Summeriest Day, June 17 Red Wing, River City Days, August 4-6 • •Stockholm, Art Fair, July 15 Frontenac, Villa Maria Audobon Weekend, May 12-14 • *Pepin, Laura Ingalls Wilder Days, Sept. 16-17 Lake City, Water Ski Days, June 23-25' Nelson, Good Old Nelson Days, August 1H3 Wabasha, Riverboat Days, July 21, 23 • • Kellogg Watermelon Festival Sept 9. 10 'Alma, Rieck's Park Festival, May 28-29; Mark Twain Festival, Sept. 2·3 ' ' · *Cochrane-Buffalo City, Fourth of July Celebration •Fountain City, Fall Festival, August 12-13 Winona, Steamboat Days, June 28-July 4; Trempealeau, Catfish Days, July 7-9 Minnesota Victorian Fair, Sept. 23-24 • • BlackR. Tourism Info 1-800-657-3700 ' Onalaska, Sunfish Days, May 25-28 State Parks Open House, June 4 • • La Crosse, Riverfest, June 29-July 4; La Crescent, Applefest, Sept. 14-17 Great River Traditional Music & Crafts Festival, Aug. 25·27 Take a Kid Fishing, June 10-11 Brownsville, Horse Pull & BBQ, June 17' •Stoddard, Bergen Fire Dept. Celebration, Sept. 1-4 Take a Mom Fishing, May 13-14 ' Genoa, Fall Fest, Sept. 9 Lansing, Fish Days, Aug. 11-13 Wisconsin R.

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Marquette, Arts & Crafts, May 27-29, Sept 2-4

McGregor, Art Fair, May 27-29 • Guttenberg, Stars & Stripes River Days, July 1-2; Germanfest, Sept. 23 '

Iowa Tourism Info 1-800-345-4692 State Parks Open House, north: May 1-6 south: May 7-13

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Prairie du Chien, Prairie Villa Rendezvous, June 15-18 • Bagley, Celebration & Fireworks, July 4 Cassville, Let the Eagle Scream 4th of July • Dairy Heritage Festival, June 11 •Potosi, Catfish Festival, August 12-13

Dubuque, Dubuquefest, May 17 -21; Catfish Festival, June 23-25 '

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• Galena, Tour of Historic Homes, June 10-11; Galena Arts Festival, July 15-16 Bellevue, J. H. Weber Buckskinner's Rendevous, July 21-22; Illinois Art Along the River, Sept. 30 • Tourism Info 1-800-223-0121

Free Fishing Days, June 9-11

Sabula , • Savanna, Shad Fly Days Riverfest, Aug. 19-20 Clinton, Art in the Park, May 20-21 Fulton Le Claire, The Tug, Aug. 4·5 Bettendorf, Discover the River, May 27 • Davenport, Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, July 27-30; • Moline, Riverfest/Miss. Valley Great Miss. Valley Fair, August 1·6 ' 'Blues Festival, June 30-July 2 · • Rock Island, Miss. River Visitor Center Open House, May 20; Watch the River Calendar every month in Louie Bellson Jazz Fest, May 26·27; Big River for more detailed information. Family Day in Sunset Park, July 1

Information collected and compiled by Molly McGuire.


May 1995

BIG RlvER

CURRENT EVENTS handicapped accessible. The funds will go instead to nearby Perrot State Park, site of an historic trading post and a group of mounds closer to the river.

tive fish such as paddlefish, bigmouth buffalo and gizzard shad. The bighead was imported to Arkansas by a private fish farmer in the 1970s and escaped. In 1994 a commercial fisherman near Alton, Ill., came up with 500 pounds of the fish in a single net.

Speedier Permits

Fewer Barges, Rising Rates

By Pamela Eyden

(Not So) Clean Water Act

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onservative Republicans will send a revised Clean Water Act to the House floor for a vote in May or June. Representatives of both parties agree that the 23-year-old Clean Water Act has been one of the country's most successful environmental laws, restoring half of the nation's waterways to fishable, swimmable and drinkable quality. They also agreed that the law needs reforms, although they disagree about how to do it. The proposal would cut in half the 105 million acres of wetlands that now get federal protection and set more lenient standards for many kinds of water pollution. The bill would also allow cities to dump lightly treated sewage at

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The proposal would cut in half the 105 million acres of wetlands that now get federal protection and set more lenient standards for many kinds of water pollution.

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he Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service announced changes in permit procedures for small projects with a minor impact on public waters and wetlands. The initiatives are meant to speed and streamline the process. One would establish a nationwide general permit for activities related to the construction or expansion of a single family home that affect less than one-half acre of wetland.

Bighead in the Big River

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he Long Term Resource Monitoring Program has found evidence of an increasing number of bighead carp in the Mississippi River. The bighead carp is an exotic species of minnow that feeds on plankton and thus competes with na-

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ative American platform mounds at the top of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Trempealeau, Wis., will not be restored after all, because the village board voted against accepting a $124,590 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (see "Earthen Pyramids Mark Ancient Outpost" in the May 1994 Big River). The project sparked controversy when village residents couldn't determine how much the project would cost to build and maintain, and whether the pathways to the top of the bluff would have to be

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ore importers of slab steel to the Midwest will choose to move their cargo via the St. Lawrence Seaway instead of the Mississippi River this year, even though it's a more expensive way to go. The shift is partly due to scheduled lock repair on the Illinois River that will shut down barge traffic from July 11 through September 9. It's also because of increased competition with grain haulers for limited barge space. The number of barges available has decreased slightly, from 21,232 in 1993 to 21,156 in 1994, while the amount of corn and soybeans they haul reached record levels last year. Labor and environmental costs make it cheaper to import than to manufacture the steel slabs, which are cut into pieces to produce consumer products. Steel imports increased from 7.1 million tons in (Current Events continued on page 6)

sea, allow certain businesses to dump contaminants in water without a permit, and allow business to trade pollution credits between water and air, or between one factory and another.

Mounds Grant Rejected

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We'd Like .to Buy You a Cup of Coffee We'd like to meet more of our readers face-to-face, so how .aboutjoinlng us for a cup of coffee?

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We need get outofthe office more, so we're going to drop in .on river town coffee shops from time to time. This month we're ~heading for La Crosse. We'll grab a~.ood table at The Brew Note (327 Jay St., downtown) on tv1<41Y 17, at abo.ut 5:30 p.m. We'll stick around to 6:30 or so. Stop by us wnafyou're up to, howwe're.doing, .what you'd like to see in Big River or just to talk about fish or birds. The . coffee's on us. lf youcan't>makeittota Crosse, don't desp(;llr, weplanto eventually visit all the river towns in the Big River circulation area ..

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(Current Events

May 1995

continued from page 5) 'VJ

1983 to 27.6 million tons in the first 11 months of 1994, according to a story in The Journal of Commerce (4-14-95). The St. Lawrence Seaway route is faster, but still more expensive, even though barge shipping rates are nearly twice as high as they were during most of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

didn't used to reach. The lake became weedier. When winds tore them loose, enormous rafts of rotting weeds were pushed against shore. The weeds may have held dirty water (from antique city sewage systems and leaky septic systems) close to shore, preventing it from being diluted. Boaters, anglers, realtors, beach goers, swimmers and property owners

Dinner on the Belcher A n entrepreneur in Keokuk, Iowa, who wants to turn a 160-foot-long towboat, the good ship James T. Belcher, into a restaurant, has asked the Army Corps of Engineers for permission to permanently moor it next to a concrete wall, sparred out 25 feet from shore. No dredging would be required to moor the boat, according to a report in the Waterways Journal (4-10-95).

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Two Ill Eagles Cured Two bald eagles were released at Trempealeau Refuge on Friday, April 21, after two months recuperating from a mysterious, undiagnosed prob!em that killed 14 eagles near the Wisconsin River this winter (see Current Events in the March and April 1995 Big

Runoff Woes Lots of folks are trying to figure out how to keep rain water from washing pollutants into our lakes and rivers. The new, revised draft of the Clean Water Act, which the House will vote on in May or June, includes a provision giving a 15-year break to cities with outdated storm and waste water sewers that flush waste into streets and streams during heavy rains. The EPA has gone to court to stop such spills in Boston, New York City and Houston, where raw sewage escaped into city streets 100 times last year. Such antique sewer systems, along with leaky septic systems and zebra mussels, have created a triangle of trouble for Lake St. Clair in Michigan. If lake waters turn as foul with rotting weeds and sewage this summer as they did last year, the boat, fishing and recreation industries will lose millions of dollars. Lake St. Clair offers "a textbook example of how a big, complicated ecosystern can get screwed up," according to a story in the Detroit Free Press (4/15 /95). The problem started to heat up nine years ago, when zebra mussels, which "eat" debris, entered the lake, causing the lake to become clearer. Water plants began taking root at depths that sunlight

complained, but fixing the problems will be expensive. Calling contaminated storm water one of the largest water pollution problems remaining in the state, the Wisconsin DNR now requires power plants and industries that store exposed piles of salt, fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals and other materials to develop plans to prevent toxic runoff. About 5,000 businesses will be affected by the new program in the next four years.

River).

Julie Johnson, wildlife rehabilitator, readies the one-year-old female eagle for her freedomflight. Photo by Pamela Eyden

All of the birds that were found alive had the same symptoms: convulsions, vomiting and decreased motor skills. They tested negative for bacteria, fungus, botulism, viruses, heavy metals and poisons. It was a mild, overcast afternoon when 35 well-wishers, biologists and reporters formed a parade behind the van carrying the birds from refuge headquarters to a broad field nearby. An astonishing array of camera equipment focused on the birds, one female and one male, as their handlers took them out of their cages, folded their great wings, covered their heads with towels and carried them like large babies to the field. Tossed ceremoniously into the prevailing breeze, one bird flew just a few yards before landing and turning to stare in amazement at the crowd. The other lunged into the air and flew with strong wing beats, low over the ground, toward a stand of bare trees. Refuge personnel left a baggie of dead mice for the birds as a snack, in case they needed food sooner than they could find their own. A half hour later, the birds perched in some tall trees near the Trempealeau River, while a handful of humans still watched from the roadside.

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The refuge's current single breeding pair of eagles has apparently already finished with its parenting attempt for the year. The pair nested in February, but abandoned the nest in March, as they did last year.

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Fishing Tips

here are tremendous numbers of channel catfish in Pools 9 through 15 of the Mississippi River, according to an article in the Iowa Conservationist (March/ April 1995), the Iowa DNR's magazine. Fishing for them is often best on a "rising" river and worst on a "falling" river. Try using plastic worms and stink bait with a sliding sinker. May and October are the best months to fish for crappies in the river. Try using shiner minnows or small jigs in slowmoving or still water, especially near snags. Pools 9 through 14 boast the biggest largemouth bass populations in the state of Iowa. The best luck will be had during the pre-spawn period of May. Smallmouth bass are expanding their range in Pools 9 through 11, but late summer and fall are the best times to fish for them using live minnows or crayfish. The best walleye fishing this spring will be on wingdams and rip rap. This prized fish should be plentiful, due to strong survival of fish stocked in 1992. Freshwater drum may be the most abundant of all, although this schooling and bottom-feeding species is easiest to catch during late summer and fall. It makes a fine meal if it's filleted properly.

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to walleye and muskie ponds. For more information, call Ron Poff, (608) 266-2176. • The Mississippi River ranked in the top ten on a list of most endangered rivers in the U.S. The nonprofit group American Rivers listed it seventh, due to levees and containment of the river. • Voters in La Crosse said no to a proposal to develop a gambling casino at a Holiday Inn on the Mississippi River just across the Main Channel from downtown. Casino backers wanted to build a resort and gaming complex with 390 hotel rooms, 70,000 square feet of gaming area, 40,000 square feet of restaurants and bars, and even a glass enclosed water shuttle service between parts of the complex.

You Dirty Duck Ducks may have been responsible for the deaths of the 25 million victims of the Spanish flu epidemic after World War I and millions more since, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal ("Virus Spreading By Ducks Spurs Immunologists," 4-25-95). The weak immune systems of ducks make them easy targets of virus infec-

hons. They transport viruses across national boundaries and from one body of water to another, spreading infections between groups of wild and domestic ducks. Researchers speculate that ducks can spread flu viruses directly to humans or to pigs, where they form hybrid viruses

Ducks may have been responsible for the deaths of the 25 million victims of the Spanish flu epidemic after World War I and millions more since. more contagious to humans. This spreading of viruses from ducks to pigs to humans is more likely to happen in China, where the three species often live in close proximity. The strain of flu sweeping the U.S. this year is a mutation of a hybrid duck-human virus that emerged from southern China in the mid-1960s, according to the article. In the Middle Ages, when ducks, pigs and humans often shared space, influenza epidemics often wiped out entire villages.

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Bargain Time The increasing costs of postage and paper contributed to our decision to raise the price of Big River. Beginning with the July issue, Big River Wiii cost $2.50. The cost of a one-year subscription will increase from $20 to $24 and a two,..yeqrsuosc:;:ription will $36 to $44.

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• The Minnesota DNR reports that zebra mussel populations are continuing to increase in the Mississippi, while the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil declined for the fourth year, and no spread of the European ruffe was noticed. • Wisconsin owners of fish rearing ponds that need renovation may be eligible for grants of up to $30,000 from the Wisconsin DNR. The program is limited

time buy a subscription for your local library and your river-loving friends. You can also extend your current subscription at the lower prices, if you do it before July 1. Check the upper right corner of your mailing label for. the date o.f the last Issue of your current subscription. At $24.00a year, Big River is still a great deal. It's easy to spend more than that for dinner for two at a good riversi.(i:fe restaurant, and you won't find any boat accessory that costs less. Vet we guarantee that Big River will en.h ence Y()UT ernjoyrpeqt of t.h.€1 Mississippi 12 months a year.=

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RIVER CALENDAR

May 1995

Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center West, Brooklyn Park, Minn. Call (612) 424-8172. 7 Turtles of Minnesota, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. 14 Mothers Day Warbler Walk, 1 p.m.

May

21 River Critters Tell A Story, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. 25 Natural History Series: Rivers, 7 p.m., reservations.

Special Events & Festivals thru Sept.17 Magnificient River: The Mississippi from Minnesota to Missouri, photographs, artifacts, interactive exhibits, Miss. River Museum, Dubuque. Call (319) 557-9545. 1-8 Miss. River travel author Pat Middleton, on PRODIGY. 1-31 Volksmarch, Interstate Park, St. Croix Falls. Call (715) 483-3747. 1-31 Headwaters Canoe Club river clean up. Call Frannie Tjader, (218) 751-5477 by May 15. 6 Open House, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service resource center, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Onalaska, Wis. Call (608) 783-8444. 6 The Mississippi River Belongs to All of Us, Arbor Day Celebration, 10 a.m. on, Gluek Riverside Park, Mpls. Call (612) 781-8375.

Fort Snelling State Park, St. Paul. Call (612) 424-8172. 13 Birding for Beginners, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., reservations. 14 Signs of the Season Spring Hike, 1 p.m. 27 Canoeing is for Everyone, noon-5 p.m., reservations. 27 Rainbow of Wildflowers, 1:30 p.m., reservations. June 3 Exploring Miss. River Resources, Potosi, Wis. DNR field trip, reservations limited. Call early, (608) 266-1430. June 3-4 The Mississippi Challenge, Headwaters Canoe Club celebration, Itasca State Park, pre-register by May 5. Call (218) 751-0522.

6-7 Native American Pow Wow, Winona. Call (507) 457-5000.

Workshops & Conferences

6-7 85-mile Garage Sale, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., rain or shine, Lake Pepin area. Call (715) 673-4491.

4-7 Mississippi River Basin Alliance Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Memphis, $70. Call Suzi Wilkins, (314) 822-4114.

7 Mississippi Music Fest, St. Cloud. Call (612) 255-2205.

5-6 Minnesota's Amphibians & Reptiles: A Symposium on Their Conservation & Status, Bell Museum of Natural History & St. Paul Student Center, U. of Minn., $10. Call (612) 624-9050.

13 War Eagle Day, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Riverside Park, La Crosse. 13 International Migratory Bird Day 13-14 Rivertown Art Fair, Stillwater. 13-14 Take a Mom Fishing Weekend, Minn. Call (612) 2966157. 13-14 Apple Blossom Volksmarch, O.L. Kipp State Park. Call 800-766-6000. 17 River curriculum presentation, noon, Longfellow School, La Crosse, League of Women Voters. 17-21 Dubuquefest, Dubuque. Call 800-798-8844. 20 River clean up, Mississippi Corridor Neighborhood Coalition, 9 a.m., Mpls. Call (612) 379-3814. 20 National Rivers Hall of Fame, Induction Ceremony, Dubuque, $25. Call (319) 583-1241. 20 Front Porch Festival, Hastings. Call (612) 437-9855. 20-21 Stubbs Eddy River Rendezvous, Davenport. Call (319) 322-1860. 20-21 Art in the Park, Clinton, Iowa. Call (319) 259-8308. 25-28 Sunfish Days, Onalaska, Wis. Call (608) 781-4000. 26-29 Louie Bellson Jazz Fest, Rock Island. Call (309) 762-0736. 26-29 Eagle Creek Rendezvous, Shakopee. Call (612) 445-6900. 27 Discover the River, Bettendorf, Iowa. Call (319) 359-1651. 27-29 Art Fair, McGregor, Iowa. Call (319) 873-2186. 27-29 Arts & Crafts, Marquette, Iowa. Call (319) 873-3521. 28-29 Rieck's Park Festival, Alma, Wis. Call (608) 685-3330.

24 Environmental Mgmt. Program Coordinating Committee meeting, Midway Hotel, La Crosse. Call (612) 224-2880.

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25 Upper Miss. River Basin Assoc., quarterly meeting, Midway Hotel, La Crosse. Call (612) 224-2880.

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Big River - May 1995  

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