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January-February 2012 Highlights

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January-February 2012
Highlights and Links

Follow the links for more information about Upper Mississippi stories and news in this issue of Big River.


Lake Pepin TMDL

Carp Challenge Winners

Ski the Bluffs

Capturing Unseen Forces: River Artist Nancy Purington

Juggernaut or Long Shot? Another Step for a Long-Term,
Large-Scale River Cleanup

Lake Pepin TMDL

Work to clean up the Minnesota River, which drains about half of the state of Minnesota, is the largest project of this sort ever attempted on the Mississippi River Watershed, and its success or failure may foreshadow the future of the entire Mississippi and the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. By Reggie McLeod

Carp Contest Winners — At Last!

After two years with no entries in the Big River Carp Connoisseur contest, the 2011 contest brought in two toothsome entries: Mrs. Sippy’s River Town Bistro in Trempealeau, Wis., started serving Smoked Carp Omelet, and the Bluegill Cafe & Coffee Haus in McGregor, Iowa, cooked up Carp Chowder. See our Carp Page

First Place, Smoked Carp Omelet

Second Place, Carp Chowder

Urban Shantyboats and a Flying Towboat
The Beginnings of Harris Boatworks

During the Great Depression a shantyboat community lined the bank along the Upper Mississippi River Flats, below the bluff where the University of Minnesota perched on the East Bank about a quarter mile below the Washington Avenue Bridge. By Bob Deck

Left: Bob Harris as a deckhand

River Book Reviews

Curl up and read reviews of new books about Mississippi River ghost stories, the I-35W bridge collapse, a nature book for children, and a river journey.

Reviewed: The City, the River, the Bridge — Before and after the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse; Paranormal Mississippi River — An Illustrated Encyclopedia; Ghosts Along the Mississippi River; Feed the Mice; and My Kind of River Journey: Seeking Passage on the Mississippi.

River Artist Nancy Purington

The Mississippi River has inspired much of Iowa artist Nancy Purington’s work over the past three decades.

Left: Magic Wand

Favorite Place — Mertes Slough

Jeremy Smith and his two young sons love to visit this quiet fishing spot near Winona, Minn.

8 Tips for Taking Better Winter Photos

By Jim Solberg

— Moments of grace like this happen a lot more often if you are a patient and frequent visitor to the outside.

Photo by Jim Solberg

— Get there as the sun begins to rise or set to capture the soft lighting and shadows that bring out subtle details in the snow.

Photo by Jim Solberg