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.  


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.


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. 



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…


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

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.


The Meramec Watershed Celebration will be the best time of your summer.

Logo-NORPActivities: Potluck lunch, annual Stream Team awards, tube float, kids’ program, attendance prizes, raffle, networking and fellowship with teams from the Meramec watershed and beyond, free group camping and canoe races. See details below!
Date: Saturday, July 26, 2014
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Place: Meramec State Park, Shelter #2, Sullivan, MO

SONY DSCWhat to Bring: Guests are invited to bring a side dish to share at the pot luck lunch and also an item to be included in the raffle, if you feel so inclined. For those who are camping, bring your camping gear (obviously)! And whatever else will make you happy.

But wait, there’s more! This is a veritable CARNIVAL of fun stream activity.

Floating (floating!), floating (floating!), floating on the river!

Get yer tubes out! Folks can be picked up at the picnic site and shuttled to the park’s boat ramp from where they can float a little over a 1/3 mile back to the picnic site.

And for the less lazy of the river-goers, there’s the canoe races…

“Women (and gentlemen), start your…paddles!”

SONY DSCThe MDC provides 10 canoes for canoe races. Each of four heats is limited to 10 canoes. The canoe races start at 10:30 a.m., so you need to be there at 10:00 a.m. to sign up for the canoe races.  

The races are held between the bridge (near shelter 2) and shelter 3, a distance of about 400 yards.

Think you can handle it?

  • The first heat is a youth doubles (2 in a canoe) race starting at 10:30 a.m. It is a downstream race starting at the bridge. The youth race is for kids 12 and younger.
  • The second heat at 10:50am is a men’s singles race. It is an upstream race starting near shelter 3.
  • The third heat at 11:10am is a women’s singles race. It is a downstream race starting at the bridge.
  • The fourth heat at 11:30am is a mixed doubles race. It is an upstream race starting near shelter 3.

NORP awards trophies for 1st and 2nd place, and medals for 3rd place. These are awarded during the award program shortly after lunch.

Skip the lines when you camp with Club Stream Team.

Stream Team has group campsite “C” reserved for  Friday and Saturday night, 7/25 and 7/26. Feel really famous when you pull up to the entrance and tell the attendant, “It’s cool, I’m with Stream Team.” They know you’re coming. They won’t charge you.Group Tent Area

Kids get the coolest stuff

The kids program include games such as watershed bingo, tic-tac-toe, plinko, and frog jumper. We have hundreds of kids prizes to give away thanks to one of our sponsors. Kids can also build something at the kids wordshop sponsored by Home Depot of Chesterfield, MO.

The Oscars of Stream Team

SONY DSCYou may not win a gold statue, but you will witness several peers being oficially honored by Stream Team and other river associations for their good work on streams state-wide. Gala wear not required. Actually, gala wear discouraged.

And then there were prizes

As if you need another incentive to come, we also have a huge raffle, which our guest look forward to every year.

Directions to Shelter #2:

To the campground: Follow the main road to the campgrounds. You can follow signs along the main campground road to the group sites. Group site “C” is the last group site at the end of the road.

For more information: call (314) 638-9646.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a little history on NORP and the Meramec Watershed Celebration, which has been rocking since 1998.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-Final(white-center)Not only are there raffle prizes at the Meramec Watershed Celebration, but you can also get a sweet kayak, free fly casting lessons, and other things through the 25th Anniversary Passport Program. Each official event you attend earns you an entry to the raffle, and your first five stamps will get you a sweet lunch cooler with everyone’s favorite logo, the “man-fishing-in-a-Missouri-stream-or-what-we-assume-is-a-Missouri-stream-because-the-image-is-contained-within-the-shape-of-Missouri-itself.” Enjoy!

IDX 150_Finley Creek_Herb Overstreet site 5

Mapping out your feelings

We have to hand it to VWQM volunteer Herb Overstreet, whose hand-drawn map of Finley Creek really doesn’t hold back. He labels one bank as, “Mined! Oh! No!” He feels similarly when a roadway enters the stream bed. And look at those carefully labeled log jams! So wonderful.

IDX 150_Finley Creek_Herb Overstreet site 5
Click for the full-size image. If you can handle that much honesty.

Rarely do maps show this much emotion. (Though they have been known to show some fine detail and typewriter ingenuity.)

We sure do appreciate Herb’s help with Stream Team throughout the years. Although he’s passed on, some of us are lucky to have our memories of his Finley fishing trips and animated maps to keep the Stream Team spirit rippling onward.

For more on Finley Creek:

Early Christian County Mining – a historical account by Wayne Glenn, 2009

Christian County bridges over Finley Creek

Finley Creek watershed overview – Watersheds.org

Floating Finley Creek, mile-by-mile


Jacks Fork Cleanup Results

Members of the  Scenic Rivers Stream Team Association crew sure know how to draw a crowd!

Many dozens of participants at the 16th Annual Jacks Fork Cleanup.

By all measures, the 16th Annual Jacks Fork Cleanup was a major success. It was a great turnout, and look at all this trash they saved from the streams and banks:

  • 7 tires
  • 1 tractor tire
  • 11 large green mesh bags
  • 80 red mesh bags
  • 4 large trash bags
  • 2 grills
  • 1 Sleeping bag
  • Chimney Tiles
  • 8×8 post with eye bolt
  • Spray cans
  • Hitching post

And that’s only naming the highlights! 

Photos courtesy of Angel Kruzen and Ted Haviland.

Bay Creek’s looking a whole lot cleaner thanks to these good Stream Team citizens!
This lucky Stream Teamer won a canoe for coming out and cleaning Jacks Fork. Lucky duck!
This smiling Stream Teamer won a canoe for coming out and cleaning Jacks Fork. Lucky duck!

Plan out next year’s cleanup excursion early! Why not? You can read our event preview from June here.

Did you know that the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition helps Stream Teams dispose of tires for free? Click here for more information. It could save your team lots of dollars!
“Stash your trash.” But you already knew that.

Did you attend the Jacks Fork Cleanup, or one of its sister events, like the one on the Current? Let us know how it went in the comments below!


6th Annual Water Quality Monitoring Outing at Montauk State Park

Let it be known, by formal declaration of Stream Team 31, the Ozark Fly Fishers, 2014 is … (bum bada bum!) The Year of the Stonefly! An auspicious year. A year of promise. An indicator of most excellent water quality.

That’s the hope, the spirit, of this weekend’s 25th Anniversary outing.

ozark_pinActivities: Enjoy camaraderie, take a fly tying class, eat barbecue, work on your fly casting with a certifie​d casting instructor, learn about Tenkara (Japanese style fly fishing) on stream, win a raffle prize, and have some ice cream at the end of the day. Whew!
Date: July 11 & 12, 2014
Place: Montauk State Park, Salem
Friday: 6:00 p.m. at the Searcy Building
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. at the new pavilion
8:30 p.m. at the Searcy Building

What to expect: We kick off Friday evening the 11th at 6:00 pm at the Searcy Building. Dr. Barry Poulton of the USGS will present a program on the natural history of the Stonefly.

Following Dr. Poulton’s presentation at 7:00 pm, Mark Van Patten, MDC Stream Biologist and host of the PBS TV seriesThe Tying Bench, will present a fly tying class. This class will be dedicated to the imitative forms of the Stonefly. If you do not know how to tie and would like to learn, Mark will provide expert instruction, along with the equipment and materials needed for tying these flies.

Everyone is welcome to attend. If you are unfamiliar with Stream Team, Stream Team staff will be on hand to mentor and answer any questions that you may have.


For more information: contact Scott Darrough at 314-560-1335 or swdarrough@yaho​o.com Registration is required so that adequate food preparations can be made.

25th-ST_Logo-Color-Final(white-center)Summer is the perfect time to get your family out in the streams. We put a little icing on the cake (and serve up the cake!) with “25 Days of Stream Team,” more than 25 special events that celebrate the good work of our volunteers. Did we mention there are prizes for attending? There are. They’re great prizes. You’re welcome.


Declare Independence from trashy boat accesses!

It’s about to be a big week for the Missouri River. Not only will its banks and its barges see a ton of Fourth of July action, but the MR340 is coming round the bend July 8th through 11th [edit: the race has been postponed to mid-August; another month to clean your access!]

Missouri River Relief Stream Team 1875 is facilitating a “Do-It-Yourself” cleanup of Missouri River boat accesses. Volunteers are invited to adopt a Missouri River access near them for the week, help clean up trash from Independence Day weekend, and show the MR340 race participants how clean we keep our Missouri River boat ramps!

Access adopters will be responsible for disposing of the trash they pick up, and River Relief will assist in this process. Stream Team and River Relief will supply trash bags, gloves, and a Stream Team 25th anniversary t-shirt. Click here to sign up, or for more information, email riverrelief@riv​errelief.org. Deadline to register to receive supplies will be Monday, June 23rd.


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