work hard float trip

Our gift to Stream Teamers: a weekend on the Current River

Party time! Unless you’re a water penny beetle, you’ve probably heard about our Silver Celebration Float on the Current River. But hey, maybe you are a water penny beetle. So let’s be inclusive. We’ll start from the beginning, and end with the details.

The Basics

To celebrate 25 years of supreme Stream Team success, we’re gathering all our friends together on the Current River the weekend of October 10-12 [jump to the full schedule].

Current River Canoes

We’re putting ya’ll in sturdy canoes and at pretty campsites, and we’re making sure you’re well fed, to boot. You’ll see a couple different stretches of the river, and we’ll take care of the shuttle.

 

Current River Float Reg Fee

The cost to you? $75, and just $50 for the kids. That ain’t bad, folks. That. Ain’t. Bad.

Current River Be PreparedRivers sure are pretty in the rain, don’t ya think?

Current River CampAnd all you gotta do is bring the essentials!

(But feel free to bring a little more, since we’re camping at the same place both nights.)

 Formsz

Oh, and register! Don’t forget to register. The deadline is September 16. Fill out the form online here.

Extra Info:

  • All meals Friday dinner through Sunday lunch are provided.
  • We’ll also give you your own straw hat and dry bag.
  • If you’re a little uneasy in a canoe, we’re giving paddling lessons on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
  • Pets and alcohol are not allowed.
  • No personal canoes! Relax and let us take care of everything for you.

The Schedule

Friday evening: Check in at Pulltite campground, set up camp, and see a program on Stream Team history at the ampitheatre. After your bout of inspiration, network and relax by the campfire.

Saturday: Check-in continues and breakfast is served. Starting at 9, we’ll load up and launch groups of floaters 20 minutes apart. Stop at a gravel bar with your box lunch, and be sure to pull off near Cave Spring for a Fish Shocking Demonstration! See fish that get pulled up, maybe even net some!

That night, it’s dinner, campfire networking, and if you’re feeling confident, you can bring out your musical instruments!

Sunday: After launching at 8 a.m., stop for another gravel bar lunch, and then see a water quality demonstration near Round Spring. We’ll get you off the river by 2-3 in the afternoon, when you can get shuttled back to Pulltite and pack up.

Details will be in the packet we send to registered Stream Teamers. Register online here by September 16 to reserve your canoe!

For more information,

Contact the good folks at Missouri Stream Team: 1 (800) 781-1989, streamteam@mdc.mo.gov, or contact your coordinator.

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How one man decided to “be the change” on the Niangua River

Yesterday on the Niangua River, hundreds of volunteers dispersed across the water, in canoes donated by local outfitters. Armed with gloves and litter bags, they picked litter out of tree roots, off of riverbanks, and from wherever else they could see it.

This was the sixth cleanup of Stream Team’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. This was also the ninth year of one man’s vision for a cleaner stream and more connected community.


Check out this video by Ozark Traditions TV

About ten years ago, Carl Romesburg was fed up with seeing trash on the popular floating and fishing stream he called home–So he took action, founding a cleanup to get his whole community to reclaim the Niangua’s natural beauty.

Declaring, “It’s100% or not at all,” Carl used his vacation time to call a hundred Camden, Dallas and Laclede County groups and businesses for donations and volunteers. Some voiced their support, while others told him he was wasting his time. Some people even said he had lost his mind. “Honestly, that pushed me a little harder,” he says. 

That first cleanup started out with 80 volunteers and seven outfitters that donated canoes and shuttle services. It’s a unique arrangement; most other litter pickups require volunteers to bring their own canoe. “It would fail if I didn’t have those outfitters,” Carl says.

The past few years have drawn more than 200 volunteers to the annual cleanup. “We get little kids, 5- and 6-year-olds, up to 85-year-old kids, too,” Carl says. “They show up, we get them on the bus, send them off and then they come back.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery piece of the Niangua cleanup puzzle is built out of community support. “A woman, a local river rat who does trash pickup for area campgrounds, gathers all the bags,” Carl says. “She goes and picks up all the trash at each section, brings it to the picnic and puts it in a pile, so everybody can stand out and get your picture taken before we get to eat.”  Even the picnic is provided by community donors.

The result is a cleaner river and more connected community. It’s a touching thing to experience, Carl says. “You get a little choked up because you see what happens out there.”

Roubidoux

Roubidoux Fly Fishers Cleanup

Activities: Join Stream Team 1 on the creek where it all started! The Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association (RFFA) invites any and all Stream Teamers to assist with their annual cleanup.
Date: Saturday, August 30, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Place: Pavilion #3 in Waynesville City Park

Roubidoux 2

What to expect: Once in the park, look for the banner. After the cleanup, the RFFA will provide fried chicken for a potluck lunch. Everyone is asked to bring their favorite side dish. An RSVP is required for an accurate head count for the chicken.

The RFFA also asks they you bring your own canoe or small watercraft. Shuttling will be available. The Roubidoux is mostly wadeable with some deep pools.

Directions:

To RSVP, call Lou Runnalls and leave a message: 573.336.5312 or email Todd Sparks at: toddesparks@gma​il.com.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-Final(white-center)Passport stamps will be available at this event. What’s a passport stamp? Why, it’s your gateway to fun, prizes, and Stream Team glory! Click here for more information and here for details on all upcoming 25th Anniversary events.

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47th Annual Operation Clean Stream + Passport to clean water

cleanstream_drop_middle_withOSCActivities: Join thousands of other volunteers to clean the shores and waters of the Meramec River in this project run by the Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region.
Date: August 23-24, 2014
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Place: State Parks and other sites along the Meramec (full list below).

What to expect: Since 1967, The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region has organized Operation Clean Stream. Volunteers take to the Meramec River and its tributaries, working to undo damage caused throughout the year by flooding, careless littering and the unlawful dumping of trash. Volunteers participate both in canoes and boats, as well as on the shore, in nearby parks, and along nearby trails. In 2013, more than 3000 volunteers pulled 2,607 tires and 351 cubic yards of trash from the river.

girlsWhat to expect if you’re a youth: You are extra special. The Passport to Clean Water Program began in 2012 as an educational tool for young, Operation Clean Stream volunteers. Each year, organizations throughout the St. Louis Region, whose mission includes water quality, facilitate educational, interactive activities, discussions, and explorations that explain different aspects of water with youth and their families. Our goal with this program is to provide all participants with crucial, take-home knowledge on how they can improve water quality in their own daily lives

The Passport to Clean Water program will take place on August 23, 2014 in Greentree Park in Kirkwood, MO and is free and open to all youth ages 5-18.  The program will run from 11 am – 1:00 pm.  

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OCS Locations:

Arnold City Park — Volunteers should meet at 8:00 am. The park is located at: 1 Bradley Beach Rd, Arnold, MO 63010

Greentree Park — Volunteers should meet at 9:00 am at the shelter. The park is located at: 2202 Marshall Rd, Kirkwood, MO 63122

George Winter Park, Volunteers should meet between 8:00 am and 9:00 am at the main picnic  shelter. The park is located at: 401 Allen Road, Saint Louis, MO 63026

Route 66 State Park — Volunteers should meet between 7:00 am to 8:00 am at the Route 66 State Park Visitor Center (Exit 266) located at: 97 N Outer Rd E #1, Eureka, MO 63025

 Meramec State Park — Volunteers should meet at 8:00 am at Shelter #2. The park is located at: 115 Meramec Park Drive, Sullivan, MO 63080-4271. Lunch for volunteers will be at 12:30 pm

Castlewood State Park — Volunteers should meet at 9:00 am at the east side of the River Access Day use Area located at: 1401 Kiefer Creek Rd, Ballwin, MO 63021

For more information: Visit the official Operation Clean Stream site.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalSubmit an activity report to claim your stake in the mega-cool drawing for Stream Team 25th Anniversary greatness. Time is running out to fill up your passport, but you can still check out the fall events, including a float on the Current River!

photo by Shelly Cox, of the MObugs blog

What’s the Water Scorpion’s favorite drink? Insect Slurpee.

We are as happy as a heron in a fish pond to welcome the MObugs blog’s own Shelly Cox to our anniversary site. She is kind enough to share some of her writing on aquatic insects with YOU, dear readers. Go check out her blog, which is chock full of all kinds of nutty bugs, all native to Missouri!

This crazy looking stick-like insect is NOT a Stick Insect. It is in fact a Water Scorpion in the family Nepidae. They are in the same order as other true bugs, Hemiptera. In spite of their common name of “scorpion” they look nothing like a typical terrestrail scorpion that we’ve all seen in pictures or on nature programming.

Water Scorpion
photo by Shelly Cox, of the MObugs blog.

They do not have a stinging tail or venom that they inject with a painful sting. They are very long and thin just as this picture shows. Their front two front legs are used to grab insect prey and pull it back into their mouth to feed. They will eat tadpoles, tiny fish like minnows or offspring of other fish (in captivity they do well on young guppies), they will also feed on other aquatic insects. Their mouth is much like another group of insects within this order called the assassin bugs. It is a beak-like structure that pierces the outer skeleton of their prey, then they inject them with an enzyme which sedates their prey as well as liquefying the insides of the unfortunate victim. The water scorpion can then slurp up the insides like an insect slurpee.

The long “tails” that protrude from the backside of the scorpion are actually breathing tubes. They typically float on debris or plants near the waters surface where they will extend their breathing tubes out of the water. They can swim, but seldom do unless disturbed.  They will overwinter as adults and lay eggs the following spring. The female will lay her eggs in vegetation near the shore line or on the surface of the water. In about 2 to 4 weeks the eggs hatch and the young begin feeding on tiny insect prey. It takes them about 2 months to reach maturity. It is not uncommon to see one of these crazy looking insect reach lengths up to 5 or 6 inches. These crazy bugs possess wings and will fly.

photo by Shelly Cox, of the MObugs blog
photo by Shelly Cox, of the MObugs blog

The one pictured here was captured by a little girl during a field trip to my office. We were hosting a local preschool for a field trip to the pond. We divided the group into two separate groups. One half of the group fished, while the other half mucked around in the pond for aquatic insects. Then we switched the groups. One of the girls in the first group pulled her net into shore and screamed that she caught a water spider. I went to investigate and discovered that she had caught this water scorpion. It was only the second one I’ve ever seen and certainly the biggest at approximately 3 1/2 inches in length. I made a big deal out of her capture and told her what a special insect she caught. She was thrilled. After the group left I kept the scorpion and placed it in a tank. I’ve been feeding it freeze dried crickets. We will keep it for a few weeks and use if for programs before releasing it back to the pond it came out of.

Visiting the pond, lake, stream or other water source and exploring for a few hours with something as simple as a net and a shallow dish can yield all sorts of interesting insects to learn about. Get out and discover what is hiding below the surface.

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Race for the Rivers (and other stuff, too!) is August 23

Logo_R4R_no_dateActivities: Paddle races, bike rides and races and a big environmental and outdoors festival.
Date: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Time: Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., Festival starts at 11:00 a.m.
Place: Frontier Park, (850 Riverside Drive) in historic St. Charles

What to expect: Whether you’re an avid paddler looking to get in on a competitive river race, or simply in search of laid-back family fun, Race for the Rivers 2014 is the event you’ve been searching for! With water education, restoration and recreation as the focus, The Greenway Network is set to stage their eighth annual Missouri River paddling event on the weekend of August 23, 2014. A drawing will also be held for a new Chevy Sonic donated by Poage Chevrolet.

greenwaynetworkIt’s for a good cause: The Race for the Rivers is the primary fundraising event for Greenway Network, an all-volunteer organization promoting clean water through research, restoration, education and recreation programs. Each year, Greenway Network helps remove tons of trash, plants thousands of native plants and puts hundreds of people on the water to experience our great rivers first hand. 

Directions:

 

For more information: Visit www.racefortherivers.org

25th-ST_Logo-Color-Final(white-center)Race your favorite vessel or attend the festival to get your very own stamp on your very own Stream Team 25th Anniversary Passport. We’ll give you a cooler once you attend five events, and for every event you go to, we’ll enter your name to win a kayak or other prizes. Too bad you can’t race it this year, but there’s always next year…

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NORP Report #1: Meramec Float was a doozy.

photos from Larry Cain

These pictures are from the 5-mile Meramec River float from Sappington Bridge to Meramec State Park, on July 27.  The participants are all stream team folks who attended the Meramec Watershed Celebration on the previous day. Most camped the weekend at Meramec State Park. The weather was beautiful and a good time was had by all.

 

st francis hwy 72 crop

We found an exquisite poster of the St. Francis River

Stream Team #95, the Missouri Whitewater Association, has totally smoked all other hand-drawn maps. But who’s really surprised? The rivers they run boast the most dynamic drops in the state–definitely worth an action-packed illustration.

After finding this poster in VWQM archives (those red spots are water quality monitoring sites), we tracked down the artist to tell us his story.

St Francis River crop
A few copies of the poster are still available to order from the Missouri Whitewater Association website. Click on the image for an enlargement.

 
In 1983, when the poster was drawn, running the rapids on the St. Francis River was a mystery to many boaters. The Missouri Whitewater Association wanted to make safe and accurate information available to all who paddled it, and a poster was the perfect medium.

Jonathan melded his art skills with his love of whitewater canoeing to create the St. Francis River poster.
Jonathan melded his art skills with his love of whitewater canoeing to create the St. Francis River poster.

Jonathan Lehmann, now of Cambium Creative, was in his twenties when the poster’s art was commissioned.  “It was partly a labor of love,” he says. Thirty years later, a framed copy still hangs in his office. With lots of whitewater boating  experience and an art degree from Washington University, he was uniquely qualified for the assignment. “It helped to paddle the river a few zillion times to know it,” he says.

Jonathan wanted to photograph the river from a plane, but that year, the water was too low to yield useful images. A fluke thunderstorm in August made it possible. “I thought, ‘This is my chance. When is this river ever running in the middle of summer?'” he says. He enlisted his canoe partner and best friend who bankrolled the project, Stan Stoy, to help.  “I called Stan’s roommate to convince him to get out of bed early, pass on doing something with his girlfriend that day, and take me in the air,” Jonathan says. He hung over the wing of a two-seater airplane, snapping more than 200 pictures with a 35mm camera.

Zoom in to compare the satellite image with Jonathan’s drawing. You might be surprised at how accurate he gets.

“That was the way to do it–back then, Google Earth didn’t exist,” he says. “Maps from satellite images didn’t get anywhere close to detail we needed.”

Some of his photos are included with the poster to show, in detail, how to tackle certain rapids.

As helpful  as the photos and text are, it’s the drawing that really makes this special. Inspired by the whitewater art of cartoonist William Nealy, the illustration is both precise and full of life. After returning from the plane trip, Jonathan put 35mm slides in a projector, and from those images, drew the river in perspective. By then, the instructive text was already written. The project took about nine or ten months from inception to completion, he says. Thirty years later, the work still endures.

This detail from the "Rickety Rack" run shows how to work your boat to the center.
This detail from the “Rickety Rack” run shows how to work your boat to the center.

Jonathan and MWA have talked about updating and reissuing the map. While the run descriptions are still accurate, some other information could use a refresher. Until then, you can order one of the last few maps from MWA’s website or track them down at REI and other St. Louis-area outfitters.

ChevySonic

YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! (Just mark some storm drains!)

Activities: Enter to win a car and Join Greenway Network and the St. Charles County greenwaynetworkDepartment of Health to mark more than 9,000 storm drains in St. Charles County!
stcharlesDate: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Sites in every corner of St. Charles County

Why mark storm drains? Some people still dump chemicals, trash and household waste down storm drains. Is it carelessness? Is it ignorance? We’re going to try and make sure it’s not the latter. Passive and permanent education doesn’t get much better than on-site, at-your-feet advice about exactly where those storm drains lead.

What you get out of the deal: Every storm drain volunteer gets entered to win a new Chevy Sonic for the Poage Chevrolet Volunteer with Greenway  drawing. You’ll also feel an huge sense of accomplishment for something incredibly easy.

Seriously, after just two hours out on the streets, you can literally look behind you and see the impact you have on stormwater education. And we say there’s nothing wrong with instant gratification.

What to expect: Be prepared to drive to sites throughout St. Charles County as well as do some walking or wheeling from drain to drain.

Storm drain marking will continue on the first Saturday of each month through October. You can register online at www.greenwaynet​work.org.

What to bring: Dress for the weather. Wear shoes made for walking.

For more information: Contact Larry Ruff at greenwaynetwork​@gmail.com or call (636) 498-0772 to register and arrange site locations.

Directions to the rendezvous site:


For more information, visit www.greenwaynet​work.org.

PS – The raffle winner will be announced at Greenway Network’s Race for the Rivers fundraiser, August 23. Come to the festival, paddle in a cool race, or join Ride for the Rivers if boats aren’t your thing.

 —
25th-ST_Logo-Color-FinalThis storm drain event  is part of “25 Days of Stream Team”.  If you submit an activitiy report, it counts as a stamp on your stream team passport, which means you can win even more prizes! Learn more about all 25+ Anniversary events and the passport program
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History of the Northern Ozark Rivers Partnership

As told by Larry Cain, who serves as MSTWC president, Northern Ozark Rivers Partnership vice president, and coordinator of  Stream Team 1008, the Twin River Rangers.  

Our Stream Team Association, Northern Ozark Rivers Partnership was first born at a meeting organized by (president) Burt Stewart at Meramec State Park on October 19, 1996.

Our first Stream Team picnic was held on September 27, 1997 at Meramec State Park,  for the main purpose of recognizing 1000 stream teams.

At this time, the association decided to try an annual picnic and regrouped at Meramec State Park on September 26, 1998. It was a cool fall day. Because of the cool temperature, except for a few kids, no one else went in the river. It was then decided that 1999’s picnic would be scheduled for the summer, the fourth Saturday in July, and has been ever since. 

The Meramec Watershed Celebration picnic has grown over the years. NORP grills, and Stream Team members contribute side dishes.
The Meramec Watershed Celebration picnic has grown over the years. NORP grills, and Stream Team members contribute side dishes.

As the picnic has grown over the years, our committee has grown also. Most of the picnic is coordinated by our association’s core families.

We have several partners including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation,  Missouri Stream Team, Open Space Council, and Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition. We also have sponsors and volunteers who help each year.

Canoeing on the Huzzah River. Photo from the Missouri Division of Tourism Archives, Missouri State Archives.
Canoeing on the Huzzah River. Photo from the Missouri Division of Tourism Archives, Missouri State Archives.

NORP Stream Teams hail from the following fantastic waterways:

  • Meramec River
  • Courtois River
  • Huzzah River
  • Big River
  • Bourbeuse River

To see NORP in action, head down to Sullivan this weekend for the 16th Annual Meramec Watershed Celebration, just one of our official 25 Days of Stream Team events.

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