Why does it flood more just north of Leclaire?

I have a theory.  If one looks at the maps of the river in the 1930’s, which is before lock and dam 14 was constructed in 1940, you can see there are islands north of Leclaire on the Iowa side.  These were all flooded when the pool was raised.  But now they lie just below the surface of the river, and certainly take up displacement that would otherwise be taken by the river water; it has to go somewhere so it goes even higher and floods.

You can try this link to the Iowa State server which has historical aerial pictures, pretty neat.


Piloting a Barge and Tow Boat

Here is Kim piloting a barge down the Mississippi River at the simulator at the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque.  She collided with another barge, but I ran a barge into a bridge!

Fish Tank at Mississippi River Museum

A big tank full of fish pulled from the Mississippi River is a neat, but somewhat neanderthal touch.  The fish are all big and ugly and they have teeth.  I caught Kim under this big catfish and yes, it is alive!

Mississippi River Museum Dubuque

We took a day off on Monday and went up to the National Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque.  I will share some photos with you for the next few posts.  Highly recommended for river buffs.   Did you know Mississippi means Big River in Ojibwa?

More bird cams

This is not strictly pool14, but it is interesting.  Excel, a Minnesota energy company, has positioned bird cams at several locations near their generating sites.  They have several and you can view the laying and hatching of the eggs.

Go here:


Alcoa Works adds Bald Eagle cam

Just down river from us in Pool 15, between LeClaire and Bettendorf, sits a huge Alcoa plant.  Formally, it is in Riverdale Iowa, but it is called the Davenport plant.  It is adjacent to the River.

The good folks there spotted a bald eage pair nesting on a remote part of their property, and they just installed an eagle cam.  It is not quite up to doing live feeds, but it will be soon.  Right now they are posting stored videos and still shots.  Definitely worth a look.


PBS show on the Bald Eagle

PBS’s Nature program ran a series on the Bald Eagles and you can watch it entirely or in segments on this web site:


I enjoyed it and there are parts on the Eagles in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Mississippi River is freezing early

The temperature has drooped and ice blocks are forming on river, perhaps stranding some tugs and barges.


LeClaire Lofts

There is a new place to stay in downtown Leclaire.  A renovated place right downtown.   Check out this link:


Nuke plant has fish hatchery

Just up the river from us in Cordova IL is the Quad Cities nuclear plant, owned 75% by Exelon and 25% by Midamerican Energy.  We boat past it all the time.  And there are always fisherman out there.  Part of it is that the cooling water is directly discharged to the river and the water temp is just a bit higher there.   As built, the cooling water was to be placed in a moat around the plant, but that did not work.  So they were allowed to discharge to the river and as compensation the old moat was turned into a fish hatchery.  And a very successful one at that.  Here is the story.