Corporate Supporters

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Please also support our in-kind sponsors

Bruce Carlson DDS, Grand View Motel & Resorts, Flyway Fowling Services, Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank, Bartels Hardware & Service, Big River Companies Inc. Clements Fishing Barge, Captain Hooks Bait & Tackle, Eagles Nest Gallery & Frame Shop, Ion Exchange Inc.Mississippi Explorer Cruises

New Albin Savings Bank. Storm Clouds Photography, Village Farm & Home, Wooden Nickle Saloon, River Cabins, City Meat Market, Milty’s Restaurant & Lodging, Red Barn Resort & Campground, Red Geranium Floral & Gifts, Safe House Saloon, Stirn’s Marine / S&S Houseboat Rental, Studio K, Swing Inn Restaurant & Bar, Upper Iowa Resort, Alley Kat Food and Booze, Empty Nest Winery, Expresso Convenience Store & Deli, Ferryville Cheese & More, Grand Central Station, Great River Road House, Horsfalls Lansing Variety Store, Lansing Auto Parts, Lansing General Store, Lansing Liquor & More, Other Place

Simply Salon. Steve’s Hair Salon, Deb Welsh

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Aug 29, 2018

Otters Tail August 2017


Newsletter Friends of Pool 9

Summer is drawing to an end and I’m amazed at how fast it seemed to fly past. High water and low water kept some away, but if you’re a River Rat nothing stopped you from getting out on the river. Now it’s time to look forward to the beautiful fall season. There will be nothing grander than the changing colors on the Mississippi River Valley. The Pool 9 area witnessed a lot of activity this summer. Perhaps the pinnacle event was the completion and Grand Opening of the Driftless Area Education and Visitor’s Center located just outside of Lansing. Be sure to plan a visit as I’m sure you’ll find something you didn’t know about the area. Pool 9 played host to several area events and welcomed participants from around the world. RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world and Lansing was selected as the final destination to over 10,000 bike riders. The following week Pool 9 hosted The Great River Rumble, a 150+ group of kayakers and canoeists. Of course I don’t want to overlook the annual (Fish Days) celebrations held in our area towns, a Midwest tradition. In all cases FOP9 played a role in welcoming guests, providing support and contributing to the general success of each event. These were great opportunities to showcase our beautiful area. At long last we have gotten permission from the USFWS to continue with some beach work. On August 23rd we worked on the beaches of the Iowa and Wisconsin sides of the river spraying for poison ivy, trimming brush and general cleanup. We hope to continue with these efforts more aggressively in the Spring. Did you know that Friends of Pool 9 has a Facebook page? I was surprised to see that we have only 161 ‘likes’ with over 800 members. So I am challenging you to see how many ‘likes’ we can have by the Annual Meeting. In return, I promise you that we will do a better job of adding info and photos. Our website is at and you can contact any Board member with your comments or concerns at any time. The Board of Directors are also working with professionals to improve our website, so keep watching for an updated version that will be easier to navigate. Don’t forget our primary project - river clean up - each Spring. The Friends of Pool 9 want to thank all the volunteers who help each and every year. If you have never gotten involved please plan to join us. It’s work but always rewarding and usually a lot of fun. This newsletter will cover articles on completed projects and upcoming events as well as celebrations like the recent grant received from Norwex through the efforts of Deb Sullivan. Please pay close attention to the article by Nancy Wortman on the upcoming Annual Meeting to be held on September 23rd. This year we will be at the New Albin Iowa Community Center. I hope to see you all there! Natalie FOP9 Canoe Trail Maps Available FOP9 has restocked the area with canoe trail maps. The first map is called the “Reno Bottoms Trail” and starts at the Reno walk-in area on the spillway. Canoeists can paddle to Visgers or the New Albin boat landing on the Army road. The second map is called “Blue Heron Canoe Trail” and runs from New Albin boat landing to Big Slough boat landing on the Wisconsin side of the Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing. Maps can be picked up at various businesses in De Soto, Ferryville and Black Hawk Park. In Lansing maps are located at the new Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center, River–n–Ridge Outdoors, and Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank. New Albin has maps at City Meat Market and New Albin Savings Bank. Waukon has maps at the Allamakee County Economic Development Office and Sportsman's Unlimited. Enjoy the best of the backwater areas with maps provided by Friends of Pool 9. • email: • Telephone: 920-948-2245 2 I am so excited about all facets of this year’s Annual Meeting which is scheduled to start at 5PM Saturday, September 23 at the NEW ALBIN IOWA COMMUNITY CENTER. Most components are similar to years’ past to include a cash bar, appreciation dinner, review of organization activities and the presentation of proposed projects. A cash bar will be featured and the dinner catered by Milty’s of Lansing. Fundraising activities include a Silent Auction, Live Auction and Raffle drawing. I’m confident the variety of donated merchandise and services are sure to interest and inspire you - thanks to the generous spirit of our individual and business donors. The raffle drawing offers a chance to win a 3 piece STIHL tool package to include a trimmer, chain saw and blower ($580 value) offered by Lansing Auto Parts / Turf ‘n Timber. Also featured is a 7-piece Harbor patio set ($360 value) including a table, 4 chairs, plus umbrella and stand offered by Lansing Hardware. Tickets are available for purchase ($10 each, 3 for $20, 8 for $50) now through 9/23. Winners need not be present to win. The Silent and Live Auction features a wide variety of items at all price levels, including dining, lodging, art, entertainment and items with outdoor appeal, and an emphasis on pampering – something for everyone! One of the most unique items presented for live auction is a wall quilt which beautifully and accurately depicts the Black Hawk Bridge, created and donated by Karlene Wonderlich of Lansing. It represents over 300 hours of painstaking work and must be viewed for full appreciation of this act of love. It’s on display at Empty Nest Winery located at 1352 Apple Road, in rural Waukon. Due to its special nature, advance bids will be encouraged and an opening bid of $500 has been accepted. Consider joining in the bidding process! All items are displayed on our website and will be updated as additional items arrive, so check often to plan your strategy. Each contribution helps to support this volunteer organization in its ongoing efforts. The benefit of these efforts are realized by individuals who enjoy a river experience due to cleaner beaches with safe and expanded facilities such as beach fire pits, and portable toilets furnished by FOP9 at landings, the river pool which thrives in a healthier state with increased wildlife and natural habitat due to clean-up and enhancement projects, and the children who develop an informed interest in nature enabling them to become future stewards of our great resources through educational, adventure programs. Please contact me or any board member with questions. Please mark your calendar, RSVP prior September 15, and plan to attend! Submitted by: Nancy Wortman, Annual Meeting and Auction Chair FOP9 member Karlene Wonderlich has created a quilt of the Lansing Black Hawk Bridge to be auctioned at the annual meeting September 23. L. to R. Arlen & Karlene Wonderlich, Pam & Dave Kruger (Empty Nest6 Winery), and Natalie Baugher, President FOP9. FOP9 Annual Meeting September 23, 2017 The day was a huge success due to the enthusiasm of the loyal cadre of Friends of Pool 9 volunteers. Not only did we net over $500 in sales, but almost more importantly, the number of pamphlets distributed and the multiple questions answered by the knowledgeable staff did more than earn revenue. RAGBRAI participants left with a new sense of the valuable resources that exist in our area and an appreciation of the dedication FOP9 has to preserve these treasures. Our volunteers shouted “Welcome to Lansing”, “ C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s ” “Well done” as bikers streamed by. The standing ovation given to the Air Force team was tremendously moving. It is doubtful that very many RAGBRAI riders and staff left Lansing without the warmth of welcome that our volunteers greeted them with. A day to feel proud of our organization. Well done FOP9! 3 The riders started rolling into Lansing on Saturday, July 29 at 8:30 a.m. Their support staff had already begun arriving and the Friends of Pool 9 volunteers were there to greet them. Given a prime location, FOP9 opted to offer sale of our merchandise, pamphlets about the organization, kayak/canoe maps and colorful Fish and Wildlife brochures detailing the wonders that are Northeast Iowa and the Mississippi River. It all started with a phone call from a family member in May, inquiring if we planned to sell t-shirts when RAGBRAI ended their ride in Lansing and volunteering to help, if we did. Having never thought of it, the wheels began turning. Information about vendor applications, approval from the board (including the fees involved) were quickly obtained and plans were in motion. A volunteer appeal went out via email and an overwhelming response was received. Over 20 people, members and soon to be members, pitched in with set up, sales , tear down and boundless energy. LANSING WELCOMES RAGBRAI Lansing had it’s annual Fish Days celebration Aug. 11- 13. They had warm sunny days for the event. Friends of Pool 9 sponsored an informational booth and two displays, which went over very well. On Saturday (from 12-4:00 PM) the Iowa DNR out of Guttenberg, Iowa, had it’s trailer of fish tanks. The trailer had six tanks on it, with two or more varieties of fish in each tank. New this year, we also had the Genoa National Fish Hatchery bring down a large tank, with 11 different kinds of mussels, and three 14 inch Lake Sturgeon. It’s was a touch and feel tank, the kids, and parents enjoyed touching and holding both the sturgeon and mussels, and thanked FOP9 a lot for having the booth. US FWS (McGregor District Intern) Nathan Vogt, helped with the fish and mussels and was most appreciate. Friends of Pool 9 offers thanks to the Iowa DNR, Genoa National Fish Hatchery, and FWS for making this Lansing Fish Days another success with their presence. Friends members manned the booth and handed out free maps and sold FOP9 merchandise. Members totaled over 40 hours of volunteer time on the project, and affirmed their commitment to the Mississippi River and Pool 9. Friends of Pool 9 Fish Days Activity 4 A beautiful, informative and entertaining publication is in the works! The FOP 9 board of directors have voted to provide leadership for the development and printing of a special commemorate book celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, one of the nation’s most highly revered, bestknown, and heavily used public areas. The goal is to highlight in words and photos the wonders of this refuge’s biologically rich habitats, and extraordinary fish and wildlife resources from early days to the present. Will Dilg and members of the Isaac Walton League were instrumental in establishing this highly prized nearby refuge, and making it available to everyone. Since the refuge was established in 1924, many interesting and significant changes have taken place, such as construction of the lock and dam system and improved management of fish and wildlife populations. The inviting story will portray how the unique 261- mile refuge came to be, for the enjoyment of new and uninformed residents, as well as for visitors and all future generations. Personal anecdotes related to the history of the refuge, historical, as well as modern photos, and published documents related to the refuge Friends of Pool 9 was present at the De Soto City Park on Saturday, June 17 for the 2nd Annual Winneshiek Landing Day. The event sponsored by the De Soto Lions Club had a number of booths selling items and handing out educational material about the Mississippi River and the area, as well as speakers, music, food stands, and a commercial fishing display by Jerry and Guy Boardman. Gracie Mitchell is prepared for customers at the Friends of Pool 9 booth during Winneshiek Landing Day, June 17 with shirts, hats, canoe trail maps, and membership cards. While FOP9 sales were not very brisk at the event, materials and information were given passer-bys and new FOP9 members were recruited. The day helped get Friends of Pool 9 activities before the public. Worker Ric Zarwell commented, "It's not always necessary to ask the public for money, just keep preaching how important it is to be a member of Friends of Pool 9 and get your kids involved in enjoying and taking care of the Mississippi, that's our mission. And this day helped us do that." The commercial fishing display set up by Jerry and Guy Boardman included a catfish box-trap, smaller bait nets and a larger hoop net, a fyke net, gill net, and a demonstration of how to pull an 800 foot-long seine under the ice using the pulling machine. The day was a great success for the community of De Soto to celebrate their heritage and remind all of us how beautiful this part of the Mississippi Valley really is. FOP9 members compiled 40 volunteer hours for the event. are now being sought. If readers have any information in these categories that they could loan to this project, please email Ric Zarwell at refuge100anniversaryricz@ or call 563-538-4991. Tax-deductible contributions for this historic publication are needed and appreciated. Please make checks payable to Friends of Pool 9, use notation for “Refuge Centennial Project” account, and mail to FOP9, PO Box 455, Lansing, IA 52151. This is certainly a once-in-alifetime opportunity to honor the refuge so many of us cherish. Will Dilg was the major driving force in the formation of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge in 1924. FOP9 has erected a memorial to Dilg at Winneshiek Landing on WI Highway 82. Upper Miss Refuge Centennial Project Launched FOP9 at Winneshiek Landing Day 5 VOLUNTEERS MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND (or at least, FOP9) In the last month, memberS (and non-members) pitched in to help Friends of Pool 9 net over $1000 in merchandise sales. RAGBRI netted over $500 and our Fish Day display over $400. In addition, a request from the Allamakee Conservation Commission to have articles to sell when they opened to the public on Saturday, Aug. 12 saw another $400 plus in sales. Again, not just the money, but the awareness of our organization and the work we do is now visible throughout the United States. What an accomplishment. We couldn’t have done it without the following people: Bob Seeley Bruce ReVoir Ginny Manning Marty Seeley Randy and Patty Troendle Pat Wagner Philomena Sucharda Sue English Doug David Lisa and David Lien Dan Hanson Chris Hall Bob Hosch Betty and Rick Zarwell Annie and Michael Gallagher Sebastion Sucharda and last but not least, Lesley Cameron (made the original phone call re: RAGBRAI and worked as cashier for 4.5 hours that day.) Volunteers are a treasure! Nothing FOP9 does would happen without you! THANK YOU! At the August 7, 2017 Board meeting Deb Sullivan presented FOP9 with a check for $2,500 from the Norwex Company. At a recent company convention she was informed of grants available to non-profits for being involved in projects to clean the environment. She was aware of the thousands of pounds of debris Friends of Pool 9 volunteers have removed from the Mississippi River annually and decided to apply for the grant. Thanks to the efforts of Deb and the Norwex Company the expenses for the 2018 river clean up on the Mississippi River are already paid for. FOP9 appreciates the hundreds of volunteers that give their time and efforts to keep the Mississippi River ecosystem a clean and safe place to be, making Pool 9 one of the best pools on the Upper Mississippi River

New Posts
  • Presidents View Happy Holidays from all of us on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Pool 9, Upper Miss Refuge. As our year winds down we take some time for a look back on 2017, to see what we can improve on and what we have done well. This year, the Directors of Pool 9 have attended several meetings with public service groups as well as state and federal organizations from all around the U.S. The reason I bring this up is to share how amazed I am at how many know about our Friend’s organization and the things we have accomplished. When asked how we do it, my answer is, it’s due to our members. Without your support we could never reach our goals. Thanks to each of you. As you read this newsletter some of our projects have been hi-lighted. If you see a project you might like to volunteer for, please let us know. We are always looking for our members to help us out in the many activities. The 2017 Volunteer Member of the Year was awarded to Tom Limbach, who has donated endless hours of his time on several projects this year. Thank you to Tom and all our members who have given their time in all kinds of weather and to many others for financial support to FOP9. During this coming year we are again having our Photo Contest. The entry form is in the newsletter or online. Remember our area is as beautiful in the winter as summer time so we are looking forward to your great photos I had a hard time writing this part of my letter as many of you know, this was the last year for Nancy Wortman, who has chaired the annual meeting for many years. Nancy is my friend and a person I have enjoyed working with. She had some health issues this year but still kept going. Darrel and Nancy have delayed their trip to Arizona each year to work on the annual meeting so as she said, it’s time for new blood and Arizona is calling. Their love of the river will keep them around in the warm weather. Because of Nancy and Darrel’s dedication to the Friends of Pool 9, the annual meeting has been fun and very profitable. A thank you to both of them is extended from all of us. If anyone would be interested in chairing or helping with the annual meeting please let a board member know. In closing, let me assure you, that your donations at year-end means a lot and goes a long way in helping FOP9 succeed in our mission and goals. Thanks for being wonderful members in 2017, join me in looking forward to new efforts in 2018. Natalie. Remember to Include FOP9 In End-Of-The-Year Giving As the end of calendar year 2017 nears we think of our commitments (and taxes) and want to make sure we’ve contributed our share to the organizations we support, such as Friends of Pool 9. The Board of Directors has never established a set level of membership dues for FOP9. The feeling (among Directors) is that donations will come in as need occurs, and this has been the case over the years. Many members do send in an annual donation at this time of the year. We have just completed a very successful year. We want to thank all of the volunteers and many others who have donated during the year and helped us make 2017 a success. For twelve years the Friends of Pool 9 has worked hard to complete our mission to conserve the cultural and natural resources within the Pool 9 wildlife refuge and foster wise public use and enjoyment of the Mississippi River. We cannot survive without your continued financial support, as well as your volunteer efforts on the river. We thank you in advance for your generosity and we have included a donation envelope in this newsletter for your convenience. FOP9 is a 501 (c) 3 organization and your donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. 2017 Year in Review The year was filled with many of the same activities of past years, as members tried to take care of the river resource in Pool 9. Some were to restore the river corridor, like the annual river clean up involving 110 volunteers compiling 925 volunteer hours; or the beach restoration project in August that saw 20 volunteers remove over hanging branches and poison ivy from the Pool 9 beach areas. Special thanks to Sabrina Chandler and Corey Snitker for taking care of the unbelievable mess in Iowa Big Slough across from Black Hawk Park. Members worked on an MRAD event that was later cancelled because of lack of interest, but they added a very successful De Soto Winneshiek Landing Day. They also worked the Ferryville Eagle Day, Lansing Fish Days, and the RAGBRAI event that brought thousands to the Mississippi River at Lansing. The FOP9 organization is credited with over $46,000 of donations to the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center at Lansing. The annual meeting and silent auction fund raiser in September was one of the most successful ever, adding thousands of dollars to our treasury, thanks to Nancy Wortman and her great team of workers. Volunteers continued to support the Genoa National Fish Hatchery through their involvement in the clam cage work days and the sturgeon tagging days, with over 200 hours of volunteerism. The Will Dilg Monument on Wisconsin Hwy. 82 was completed with landscaping rock, and a team of volunteers cleaned the beach fire rings all summer long, thanks to Kevin Quillin and his group. Another team set buoys (in the spring) and removed them (in the fall), from Ferryville to the navigation channel. A new effort this year took place in Pool 10 as the interns (Melissa and Nathan) supported by FOP9 and ITC (Interstate Transmission Company via Dan Hagen) were able to study the floodplain forest and compile new data on the area. And another new effort took place in lower Pool 9 as Jerry Boardman and his work force of sixteen volunteers planted thousands of white oak acorns on the newly formed Harpers Slough Islands. Only time will tell how successful the effort was All things considered it was a very good year for Friends of Pool 9. The group was recognized by the Mississippi River Parkway Commission with their Stewardship Award for their commitment to the Mississippi River corridor. Friends of Pool 9 accomplished a lot for the good of the river and all the recreational users of the resource. FOP9 membership has grown to over 800 members and they are one of the largest Friends groups on the Mississippi and in the Midwest. The group compiled 2,712 volunteer hours in 2017, bringing their twelve year total to 27,297 hours, congratulations to all. We’re all proud to say, “I’m a member of Friends of Pool 9.” Friends of Pool 9 F&WS Interns for the McGregor District The Board of Directors and Friends of Pool 9 sponsored two interns (at a cost of $6,000) to assist the staff of the McGregor District for summer, 2017. The cost was directly tied to donations received from Interstate Transmission Company (ITC) for forest analysis and reforestation projects in the Mississippi River corridor. The two interns (Nathan & Melissa) were able to complete a large block of forest inventory. They established 430 survey plots in the Sny Magill and Bagley Bottoms area of Pool 10. They were able to complete 355 plots this summer. Data gathered will be used to analyze tree growth, forest health, natural regeneration and forest structure. This forest information will also be used to determine forest stability and diversity, as well as habitat needs for Cerulean Warblers. In addition to forest inventory plots the interns were able to assist with other projects that were of benefit to the Refuge and Pool 9. This included goose banding, night frog surveys, invasive species control, and landing and kiosk maintenance. Baseline data gathered from Sny Magill and Bagley Bottoms will help guide management activities throughout the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge well into the future. Thanks to FOP9 and ITC for making the internships possible. Acorn Planting on Harpers Slough Islands A government (USACOE) project to restore eroded islands in the lower end of Pool 9 received a bonus this year when Jerry Boardman and his band of volunteers descended on the islands. In October and again in November, 2017 they embedded thousands of white oak acorns in bands across the islands. The project known as the Harpers Slough Island Restoration involved the construction of several islands that had eroded away over the years since Lock & Dam 9 impoundment in 1939. Acorn shoulder bags used by the group were donated by J&R Military Surplus (De Soto) and planting tools were donated by Welsh’s Farm & Home (Lansing). Jerry and helpers Don Lathrop and Dennis Bradley had welded some planting tools together as well. The group progressed in six lines down the length of the island, using a metal rod pushed into the soil every four feet to deposit the acorns. The nineteen volunteers compiled over 180 hours in the two day planting activity. If all goes well, hundreds (or even thousands) of these seeds will become a white oak forest on the islands in the coming years. Even a small percentage of the acorns becoming mature trees will benefit the stability and diversity of the islands. On November 6th another group of planters (with temps in the upper twenties and a gentle north wind) returned to complete yet another island area. We thank all the volunteers that were willing to give their time and energy to establish a good tree diversity on the islands of Pool 9. Friends of Pool 9 Youth and Adult Photo Contests Friends of Pool 9 is again sponsoring a Youth Photo Contest and an Adult Photo Contest for 2018. Winners will be awarded prizes at the Friends of Pool 9 Annual meeting on September 22, 2018. See the Photo Entry Forms for both divisions in this issue of the Otter’s Tale. Adults will have three categories (nature/wildlife, landscape/river, and recreation/fun) and are limited to one entry photo in each. Youth (17 years and younger) will have two categories (nature or recreation) and are limited to one entry in each. All photos must be printed 4 x 6 size and be taken in Pool 9 of the Mississippi River. Natalie Baugher is the coordinator for this activity and questions should be forwarded to her at phone 563-538-4287 or email her at . Friends of Pool 9 Holds Annual Meeting Members of Friends of Pool 9 gathered at the New Albin Community Center on Saturday, September 23 to celebrate their accomplishments, enjoy one another, and raise funds for another year of activities. Nancy Wortman and her committee had bidding items for sale around the perimeter and in every available space of the building. Mike Conway and his Milty’s staff served a delicious meal and donated part of the profits back to FOP9. Larry Quamme again did a super job as master of ceremonies as he kept the evening moving along with his humor and auctioneering skills. He complimented the group on receiving the National Mississippi River Parkway Commission Stewardship Award as their 2017 Volunteer Group of The Year. FOP9 had been nominated by the Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission for their programs and activities that promote stewardship of the Mississippi River. The MRPC represents the ten states bordering the Mississippi River and will have their annual meeting in Marquette, Iowa on September 27, 2017 and will make the presentation at that time. He also mentioned the 27,182 volunteer hours for the river FOP9 has amassed since their beginning in 2006; and the $46,000 the group donated to the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center south of Lansing to help make that facility a reality. Larry introduced guests and agency partners to the group. Those recognized and thanked included Brandon Jones (McGregor District Manager) and Sabrina Chandler (Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Manager), Eric Hammer (US Army Corps of Engineers), Corey Snitker (Allamakee County Emergency Manager), the Iowa and Wisconsin DNR and Terry Hainfield and George Olson, and the Allamakee County Conservation Board and Jim Janette. He thanked Tom Limbach for work on the raffle, Dairyland Power Cooperative, the Norwex Company, and Interstate Transmission Company (ITC) and Dan Hagen for their generous donations that made the interns a possibility; Waste Management of Prairie du Chien and Allamakee and Vernon County for dumpster donations, the Lansing VFW for use of their building, and Nancy’s staff for working registration and auction collections for the Annual meeting. He also thanked Rick McDonald (Jackson Street Press) for large discounts on the Otter’s Tale newsletter printing costs and Cheryl Walsh for organizing the lunches for MRAD and the clean ups. Natalie Baugher (FOP9 President) announced and presented Tom Limbach as the Friends of Pool 9 Volunteer of the Year. She complimented him for his efforts on the Will Dilg monument, organizing the beach work, and the fund raisers sponsored by FOP9. She presented him an engraved plaque and his name will be added to the “Volunteer of the Year” history plaque. Natalie Baugher presents the Friends of Pool 9 Volunteer of the Year Award for 2017 to Tom Limbach, at the FOP9 Appreciation Dinner in New Albin. Brandon Jones, Manager at the McGregor District of the USFWS and Sabrina Chandler (Manager , Upper Mississippi National Wildlife & Fish Refuge) applauded the FOP9 members as being true leaders of supporting the refuge. Sabrina also expressed appreciation for financially sponsoring two summer interns and for volunteers compiling 2,143 hours on refuge activities in 2017. Brandon then awarded volunteer hour pins at designated hour levels; 100+ hours pins to Karen Galema, Sue Bartels, Dan Hanson, Kelly Hutchison, Tom Kerndt, Ginny Manning, Joe Mazanec, Steve Thode and Lisa Welsh. A 250 + hour pin was given to Karlene Wonderlich and a 500 hour+ pin was awarded to Bob Seeley. Larry led the business meeting where Minutes from 2016 were approved, the financial statement was review and approved. The financial statement showed income of $34,079.81 from 9/1/16 to 9/1/17 and expenses of $28,643.96. Total cash funds held by the FOP9 as of 9/1/17 were $31,897.41. Directors (Jerry Boardman, Bruce ReVoir, Bob Seeley, John Verdon) were elected to another 3-year term. Tom Limbach called on Jean Bronecki to draw the winning raffle tickets. Welsh’s Village Farm and Home won the deck table and chairs, and John Doe of Harpers Ferry won the Stihl chain saw and other items. It was a great evening for Friends of Pool 9 members to be together and share their commitment to the Mississippi River and generate funds for the organization and future programs. A Really Big Friends of Pool 9 Work Day FOP9 volunteers spent Wednesday, August 23rd working to improve area beaches, completing the landscaping at the Dilg Memorial, and tagging sturgeon at Genoa National Fish Hatchery. Armed with loppers, small chain saws, and poison ivy spray the group cleaned and sprayed the beaches immediately north of Lansing. The twenty men were able to reclaim the sand beach shoreline by eliminating small brush and beds of poison ivy. With leadership and guidance from US Fish and Wildlife Manager Brandon Jones, four miles of channel islands were improved. Mark Schneden, certified chemical applicator followed the pruning group and sprayed beds of poison ivy on two-thirds of the beach islands. He’ll return at a later date to complete treating the Iowa sand beaches near mile marker 666. Thanks to USFWS for spending the day with us, and working with FOP9 to maintain our area recreational beaches in a way that seems to satisfy everyone, we appreciate your cooperation. Earlier in the morning on Wednesday, August 23rd Larry Quamme, Al Kirchner, and Mark Schneden transported landscape stone from Prairie du Chien and completed the landscaping around the Will Dilg Memorial at Winneshiek Landing on Wisconsin Highway 82. Another good job completed. And finally, a third Friends of Pool 9 group of volunteers were busy at Genoa National Fish Hatchery on Wednesday assisting with the tagging of the fingerling lake sturgeon. Volunteers at Genoa included Lynn and Doug David, Emil and Rick Bronecki, Bob Hoksch, and David Lien. The group worked under the direction of Orey Eckes. Four tagging machines were available, and the group tagged thousands of 6 - 8 inch sturgeon. More dates for tagging followed during the month of September. These are all good service projects for Friends of Pool 9 members and in their own way each activity helps make the environment a little better. Thanks for serving FOP9. Friends of Pool 9 Receives Award for Commitment to Mississippi River Corridor Respected Respected environmental group spent 27,000+ hours working on the river since 2006. The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) is excited to announce the Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) as the recipient of its annual Stewardship Award! The award recognizes a partnering organization that works to enhance the environment, agriculture, recreation and transportation along the Mississippi River corridor and is bestowed through recommendations from the MRPC’s ERA (Environment, Recreation & Agriculture) Committee. The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) is excited to announce the Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) as the recipient of its annual Stewardship Award! The award recognizes a partnering organization that works to enhance the environment, agriculture, recreation and transportation along the Mississippi River corridor and is bestowed through recommendations from the MRPC’s ERA (Environment, Recreation & Agriculture) Committee. The over 800 volunteer members of the Friends of Pool 9 have worked tirelessly since 2006 to help conserve the natural habitats and resources of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, which has its boundaries in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. For more than a decade, FOP9 have educated millions of visitors on good environmental stewardship, worked to remove tons of debris and metal from the area during its annual clean-up efforts, restored boat landings and beaches, even harvested acorns to grow and replant native trees. In the last 11 years, FOP9 has donated more than 27,000 hours to help preserve and restore the Mississippi River corridor, and is one of the most respected environmental groups in the region. The Friends of Pool 9 organization received its award during the MRPC’s annual meeting held last month in Marquette, Iowa The Mississippi River Parkway Commission was formed in 1938, made up of the 10 states that parallel the Mississippi River on both sides, for the purpose of developing the Great River Road National Scenic Byway. The MRPC continues to support, preserve and enhance the resources and economic opportunities of the Mississippi River Valley and to develop highways and amenities of the Great River Road. As one of the oldest, longest and most unique scenic byways in North America, the Great River Road offers respite to millions of travelers seeking a getaway – from a leisurely day’s drive to an extended vacation. Nearly 3,000 miles long and running through 10 states along the Mississippi River, the Great River Road has offered a gateway to the river valley’s great history, the blending of cultures and a host of recreational options to all who journey it for three-quarters of a century and counting. Friends of Pool 9 P.O. Box 455 Lansing, IA 52151 � �
  • President’s View I am hopeful by the time you received this newsletter that the Mississippi will have returned to a normal level. We were very lucky to have the river clean up on April 22 when the river was at a lower level. It was a cool and cloudy day but that didn’t stop 136 volunteers (mostly our members) pick up 11,000 pounds of tires, barrels, appliances and just other garbage. We offer a special thank you to all those that helped make the annual FOP9 clean up a great success. I hope that you have been snapping photos for our “Friends Photo Contest”. The high water makes for great opportunities to get great views. You can find the forms on the FOP9 website. Many of our members and others have inquired about the closure of the Village Creek State Landing on Lansing Harpers Road. On May 14 I was told the landing will be closed on July 5, 2018 for grading, paving, and the addition of restrooms. Some parking areas will be widened to accommodate large bus parking for the Driftless Center. Sidewalks for wheelchair access to the water with some lighting will be added, and the ramps will be extended. The entire landing area will be closed until October, but when finished will be an asset to the area. We have placed a portable toilet at the site during the interim. On a personal note; when I became the FOP9 President, I set a few goals for myself and our organization. One of the goals involved beach sand restoration and enrichment. The Board has been working for years on these projects but it has become very daunting. I thought that we had reached a deal with the USACOE and we just needed an approval of the McGregor District of the Fish and Wildlife Service. However, our hopes fell apart when we were told by FWS that we would need to hire divers to check all the areas for clam beds. My thought was divers, why not ask the little kids who wade the break line as they can tell you immediately where they are. Next, we were told that we needed to have the dredged sand tested by a laboratory to be sure it is “healthy”. I can hear people chuckling about this. Oh yes, we also needed an engineered design, and the last piece of information is that we would need to pay all of the costs. Our Board is disheartened with our partnership, we have planted thousands of trees on the Refuge islands,worked to create canoe trails and pay for maps, cleaned up river debris, helped pay for repairs to boat landings and purchased other equipment, and seldom have had assistance from the FWS. The beach sand enrichment is still in the fore-front, but on hold at this time. I am hopeful the Fish and Wildlife Service will help us reach one of the goals I wanted to accomplish with our great Friends Group. I know we are all looking forward to the start of our spring and summer activities as the time seems to go by so fast. Be safe and I’ll see you on the river. FOP9 Beach Plans for 2018 Friends of Pool 9 members will be keeping area beaches in the best condition possible through a regular maintenance plan. Volunteers will visit the beaches bi-monthly and clean the fire rings. They will also collect trash that has accumulated on the beaches. Every person using one of the Pool 9 beaches should be a responsible person and clean up after themselves. FOP9 is again planning to clear the beaches of poison ivy and remove smaller trees that impact camping and normal beach use. We continue to work with local Agencies for the addition of fresh Dredge sand to area beaches. We will continue to dialog with our “wildlife partner” (US Fish and Wildlife Service) and the US Army Corps of Engineers for beach sand to stabilize sand erosion around tree root masses. This was initiated years ago (island nourishment) by US Fish and Wildlife to reduce island erosion and we would like to see it happen again on area beaches. On a slightly questionable weather day with cool temperatures, moderate stream flow, and rising water levels, a group of hardy volunteers gathered at all ends of Pool 9 to help clean the Mississippi River corridor, for the thirteenth year. While many would find something else to do on a day like this, these folks put on their life jackets, boated out, and waded into the Mississippi. They walked the Highway 82 dike, scoured area beaches, cleaned and sifted fire rings, walked the boat landings and the perimeter of Pool 9, and boated into the backwater depths to retrieve as much of the unwanted man made debris as possible. Such is the desire and persistence of this bunch of volunteers from northeast Iowa, western Wisconsin, and other places unknown. Collection sites located at Lansing (Brennan Landing), Black Hawk Park, and Ferryville City Landing were bustling with activity. The attendance count from all sites tallied slightly over 130 volunteers. Friends of Pool 9 provided gloves, water, garbage bags, a colorful T-shirt, and lunch for all. As a result more than 11,000 pounds of debris was removed from the river islands and backwater. Strange items always appear on these clean ups, and this year was no different. Volunteers found three computer laptops, two living room chairs, a television, lots of plastic floatation barrels, tires still on rims, the “head of a mannequin”, and of course hundreds of plastic water bottles. The Bob Henkel boat retrieved a 300 pound green navigation buoy that had been crushed and twisted by a tow-boat, and will be recycled. Clean up committee Chairman Bob Seeley complimented the energy created by volunteers for the success of the day. “Where else along the Mississippi could you find this kind of support to clean the river, no where else. These people are special, this Friends of Pool 9 bunch, they really care for the river and want to leave something good for future generations.” It was, after all scheduled for Earth Day weekend as it has been in past years, to find debris still uncovered of grass and weeds. Families large and small, individuals and friends, river-rats and city folk, some boaters and some walkers, most from the immediate area but others hundreds of miles away; all embraced the opportunity to do something good. There are few places along this great river valley where individuals come together and spent four hours collecting, lifting and dragging unwanted items from the basin, but this is one of those places. The work and commitment of one is multiplied a hundred times over, and the result is spectacular. Partial poundage data for this year shows 6420 pounds collected at the Lansing dumpster and another 3420 pounds at Black Hawk Park, with the Ferryville dumpster weight yet to be reported. In addition an Iowa DNR truck picked up 300 pounds of debris at Army Road Landing, and 500 pounds of metal was recycled. As of 2017, FOP9 volunteers had collected 140,000 pounds of debris and recorded 79253 hours over the years. This year’s totals will push the poundage well over 151,000 pounds (75 tons) of debris from Pool 9 for the 13 years; and recorded in excess of 8755 volunteer hours for the clean up project. The event was the result of cooperation from the Lansing VFW, Brennan Construction, Allamakee County Waste Management/Town and Country Sanitation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, US Army Corps of Engineers at Black Hawk Park, Prairie du Chien Waste Management, and Vernon County Waste Management. Friends of Pool 9, Upper Miss Refuge is an 800 member non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization with the specific goal of making the specific goal of making the 31-mile long pool one of the best on the Upper Mississippi River. The group also sponsors educational activities for youth, records eagle data, plants trees on the river islands, assists at Genoa Nation Fish Hatchery, and supports community projects associated with the river. Funds to support the groups activities come from corporate and individual donations, memorial gifts, and funds raised at the Annual meeting in September. Ferryville Tourism and Friends of Pool 9 Co-Sponsor Eagle Day The sun was out, eagles were soaring, ducks were everywhere and a record crowd of 454 people attended the March 3, 2018 Eagle Day in Ferryville, WI. FOP9 co-sponsors this event with the Ferryville Tourism Council and this was an exceptional year. There were more children and families than ever. People come from Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois to enjoy the experience of seeing the American Bald Eagle, Kestrel, Red Tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl up close and personal. The University of Minnesota Raptor Resource Center is the presenter for the live bird program which was very well attended at both the 10:30 a.m. program and 2 p.m. program. 2018 is the 8th year FOP9 has been a co-sponsor of this event with Ferryville Tourism Council. This year the group added a new feature with the addition of the “Spread Your Wings” banner, that has the real wingspan of the American Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, American Kestrel and Hummingbird on it along with logos of both sponsoring organizations. It was actively used by the children to get a photo and check out how big the wings really are of these birds. Seventy children made bird feeders and paper bird puppets throughout the day. The entire day is a free program including the great eagle and owl cookies, cake pops, Kickapoo Orchards Cherry Apple Cider and Sunset Orchard apple slices. FOP9 is in charge of the famous “Hooting Contest” which gives folks of all ages a chance to show off their skills at sounding like an owl. Many thanks to Judges Larry Quamme and Mark Schneden for heading up this part of the program. What a pleasure to have John Howe and Amy Ries of the Decorah, IA Raptor Center sharing the story of this world wide attraction and telling about what has happened with eagles of the past years. They honor the memory of Bob Anderson who worked diligently to bring the story of the eagles to a worldwide audience. Many thanks to Sue English and her team of FOP9 Volunteers who staffed the FOP9 booth, sold our items and helped the event in so many ways. We are looking forward to 2019 and another great Eagle Day. Each year members of FOP9 help restore clam cages at GNFH, in preparation for ice-out and the growing season (for endangered clams) on the Mississippi River. US Fish and Wildlife Service Mussel Specialist Nathan Eckert coordinates the work day and the entire staff at Genoa assist with the project. . On Thursday, February 15 seventeen volunteers, thirteen from Friends of Pool 9 and four from Friends of the Upper Mississippi, met at the Genoa Hatchery work garage and refurbished 58 “clam cages”. The cages are actually used to contain the host fish, which have been inoculated with young clams attached to their gills. As the growing season comes to an end in the fall of the year, the young clams fall from the gills of the host fish ad are collected from each cage floor to be placed in rivers and streams of the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The host fish are released unharmed into the river. The following comment comes from writer-photographer Bob Modersohn, view him at Nathan Eckert, a nationally honoredmussel biologist at the hatchery who has dedicated his professional career to the conservation of freshwatermussels lauds the efforts of the volunteer workers. ”FOP9 has proven very valuable to the Fish and Wildlife Service, specifically by helping Genoa NFH accomplish recovery projects for endangered species,” Eckert said. These cages are going to be used in the Ice Harbor at Dubuque, off the Mississippi in Pool 12, the best location for them. Over the last seven years they’ve been recovering an average of 325 mussels from each cage that we’ve used there, Eckert said . The yearly haul has been anywhere from 1,700 to 20,000 sub-adult mussels depending upon the number of cages that we place there. “ All in all the cages treat us very well,” Eckert said. See more stories and pictures at Modersohn’s facebook page .com/DriftlessMode/ as mentioned above. Volunteers logged over 100 hours on this day helping the GNFH staff complete a project that would have taken many days or weeks to finish without the volunteers. The group of volunteers and staff numbering more than twenty enjoyed a special lunch together at the main office of grilled burgers, beans, chips, desert, and beverage. And we thank them for their effort, it was a perfect day. This is one of those really valuable opportunities for Friends of Pool 9 and Friends of the Upper Miss, to help the folks at Genoa National Fish Hatchery. All working together for the betterment of the natural world, in this case to propagate an endangered species of mussels. They give of their time and energy so that together we can make a difference on the Mississippi River and in the world. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Mead. Board Receives Major Donation from Dairyland Power Cooperative Friends of Pool 9 Board Treasurer Larry Quamme met with Dairyland Power Cooperative representative Brad Foss to receive their annual donation to FOP9. This represents the fifth consecutive year Dairyland Power has made this $1,000 contribution to Friends of Pool 9. Brad Foss commented, “We feel a level of trust and confidence in the environmental efforts of FOP9, and appreciate all they do for Pool 9 and the Mississippi River.” In accepting the check Treasurer Quamme stated, “Thank you very much, we appreciate this donation, it shows an ongoing commitment by Dairyland Power, and it will be used to purchase liability insurance for the organization.” MRAD Event Planned For Area Middle School Students The Friends of Pool 9 Board of Directors have decided to try an MRAD activity with area Middle School students from Eastern Allamakee (Kee) and De Soto School District. It will be offered to students at the Middle School in both schools in September, 2018. The Chairman of the event is Lisa Welsh, teacher at EACS in Lansing. She will coordinate activities with teachers at De Soto Middle School and the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center. The new format will make use of the Driftless Center facilities and staff, as well as volunteers from Friends of Pool 9. It will be a super day for all involved, and will get kids on the river and involved in activities at the Driftless Center as well. More information will be forth coming. Eagle Survey of Pool 9 A two-man crew of Jerry Boardman and Don Lathrop spent several days searching all parts of the 31-mile long pool and compiled some interesting data on the eagle population in Pool 9. They checked 171 of the 179 nests and found chicks or adults in 121 of the nests. This (121/171) indicates 71% of the nests as active, with many new nests. Fifty-one nests were marked as Unknown (could not confirm an adult or chicks in the nest) and eight nests were blown down. This is the greatest number of nests (171) ever recorded in Pool 9. In 2016, 115 nests were checked and 91 (79%) were active. Volunteers Needed This is a “call to volunteers” to help at the Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center and/or the Genoa Interpretive Center. Members interesting in giving a few hours monthly should contact Jim Janett @ Driftless (563-538-0401) or Ron Walley @ Genoa (608-526-4517) for more information. ITC Continues Support of Friends of Pool 9 At a lunch meeting on Monday May 14, ITC representatives Dan Hagen, Mike Ivester, and Angela Jordan presented Larry Quamme and the Board of Directors a check in the amount of $4,000. This is the fifth such donation in the last five years. The Interstate Transmission Company (ITC Midwest) group stated the on-going efforts of FOP9 to re-establish trees on the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, and the educational activities sponsored by the group as their reasons for offering funding. Last year FOP9 used it to coordinate intern activities to develop baseline data on river forests on the Upper Miss. ITC has over 7,000 miles of transmission lines in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and plays a major role in the economy of the region. In September and October, 2017 Friends of Pool 9 members also spent hundreds of hours planting 25,000 white oak acorns on the Harpers Slough Islands in lower Pool 9.

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