Freshwater mussel paddle trip set
IOWA CITY — A float trip focusing on freshwater mussels is planned from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 3 on the Iowa River Water Trail beginning at Sturgis Ferry Park in Iowa City and ending at the Hills Access near Hills.
Mussel expert Jennifer Kurth will be along to explain the natural history of what are sometimes called freshwater “clams.”
Freshwater mussels might look like rocks, but they are living creatures that help keep rivers clean.
Kurth is a natural resource biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is currently in the midst of a six-year statewide survey of freshwater mussels.
Participants should come prepared to get wet and muddy during a hands-on demonstration of mussel surveys.
The float trip is free, but registration is required, and participation is limited to 20 boats.
A limited number of canoes and kayaks are available at no charge for participants who don’t have their own.
The paddle is open to everyone, but children under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration and additional information is available at www.iowariverwatertrail.com or by calling 319-645-1011. After registration, participants will receive a packet with detailed information about the trip, including a map and shuttling instructions.
The Iowa Water Trail is one of 19 official water trails in Iowa.
The paddling trip is co-sponsored by Pathfinders Resouce Conservation and Development, Johnson County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.