The Lamprey Hunt

During the Summer of 2015, a rare species was found in a tributary of Walnut Creek that has not been found in the Des Moines River basin since the 1980’s. While conducting stream assessment in the creek, Polk SWCD and Dallas SWCD interns found what looked to be a deceased species of lamprey. After further investigation, using images taken, the DNR identified the species as a Chestnut Lamprey.

Original (blurry) photo of the Chestnut Lamprey

Chestnut Lampreys move into small tributaries during spawning. They search for rock habitat to lay their eggs in and then die. It is possible that the found lamprey had recently spawned and that is why it was found deceased. The eggs hatch into larvae that filter feed for several years in the small streams. The larvae then transform into parasitic adults and move downstream to feed on larger fish.

In partnership with the DNR, Polk SWCD staff Amanda and John have begun searching the tributaries of Walnut Creek for evidence of a population of Chestnut Lampreys. See photos of the first adventure below. Unfortunately, no lampreys were found this time! Stay tuned to see what they find!

Walnut Creek Watershed Festival

The 7th Annual Walnut Creek Clean-up and Watershed Festival

at Colby Park in Windsor Heights

October 1, 2016

9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Cost: Free

 Everyone in a watershed has a stake in the health of OUR water, and this outdoor celebration will show how we all impact our water quality and what we can do to protect it. The Walnut Creek Watershed Coalition, along with our community and business partners¾ is sponsoring a celebration of the Walnut Creek Watershed, featuring a creek clean-up, an array of demonstrations and exhibits about the environment, storm water, water quality, and conservation. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

9:00 am to 10:00 am – Registration and Yoga with Good Vibes

10:00 am to noon – Creek Clean-up

Noon to 3:00 pm – EcoVillage

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – Music by Deadline String Band, craft beer and great food.

Come celebrate and enjoy the events including: Introduction of the first water monitoring station in Iowa, the annual creek clean-up, rain barrel demonstration, water monitoring, catching and identifying bugs, urban chickens, sustainability and conservation groups, live scrap art build, electric car display including Tesla, various children’s activities, and much more.

Also, Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) will be present with owls, owl pellets, and Iowa Avian information.

By attending this watershed festival, you will gain a better understanding about storm water runoff impacts and learn how to make a difference in your own yard, neighborhood, and community; and have a great time with family, friends and neighbors! The clean-up is great for families, scout, school groups and anyone who loves the environment and clean water. All ages are welcome to join in the clean-up.

Gloves, trash bags, water, and snacks will be provided. We’ll gather for a photo and then head out to a number of locations along Walnut Creek and North Walnut Creek. Come out for a great day in the creek, and help clean-up this great resource.

After the clean-up, please join us for a trash tally, music by Deadline String Band, refreshments, and a BBQ. Hy-Vee is providing lunch for all clean-up participants.

Register :