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Virtual Race the Red Canoe and Kayak Races

While having the Race the Red start line and finish line at the same location and having all races (and therefore racers and supporters in the same space) starting at the same time usually creates a fun community event, we feel it is best to change the format of Race the Red this year for safety reasons due to Covid-19. Even though we can’t all be on the Red River and its banks together, we still want it to feel like Race the Red and to have people enjoying the Red River so we hope that you’ll participate in the Virtual Race the Red.

Paddle on your own anytime between August 7 – 24.

Virtual entry fee is $20/person. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-race-the-red-canoe-kayak-races-tickets-87703315979

Choose your Course (See map posted in the discussion section):
* 1.5-mile course: begin at the Midtown Dam South Boat Ramp at Dike East (100 2nd Street South in Fargo), paddle to the Fargo Water Treatment Plant and paddle back.

* 3.5-mile course: begin at the Midtown Dam South Boat Ramp at Dike East (100 2nd Street South in Fargo), paddle to the Lindenwood/Gooseberry Park Pedestrian Bridge and paddle back.

OR rent a kayak from the Lindenwood Rentals and do the opposite….start at the Lindenwood/Gooseberry Park Pedestrian Bridge, paddle to the Midtown Dam South Boat Ramp at Dike East and paddle back (just be aware that you will then be going upstream at the end!) For more information on Lindenwood Kayak Rental’s go to: https://www.fargoparks.com/facilities-recreation/lindenwood-rentals.html. Note, if doing this course: Depending on river levels, you might have to portage around the Lindenwood/Gooseberry Parks Pedestrian Bridge.

* 6-mile course: begin at the Midtown Dam South Boat Ramp at Dike East (100 2nd Street South in Fargo), paddle to the I-94 Bridge, turn around and paddle back.

Note: Depending on river levels, you might have to portage around the Lindenwood/Gooseberry Parks Pedestrian Bridge.

Results: Post a picture or video of you on Facebook or Instagram after your race (or email it to christine@riverkeepers.org). Tell us what course you completed, what type of vessel you were in, and your time. Use #EnjoytheRed and #RacetheRed

Participant Prizes: Each participant will receive Race the Red swag. We will post a picture of the apparel once available.

Remember:
* Safety first! Check the river and weather conditions before you set out.
* Life jackets must be worn and fastened at all times.
* Have fun!

Precautions: The Red River is on MN DNR’s list of infested waters for zebra mussels. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) or Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) are non-native species that can harm our natural resources. To prevent the spread of these unwanted species, boaters need to clean and drain their vessels. To remove or kill hard-to-see aquatic invasive species before moving to other water bodies, spray with high-pressure, very hot water and/or dry boats and water-related equipment for at least five days.

#EnjoytheRed

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Format Change for RiverArts Fishing Clinic

River Keepers and the FM Walleys Unlimited, Inc. have changed the format of the RiverArts Fishing Clinic this year for safety reasons due to Covid-19. Instead of the in-person one day event, we want to see pictures of kids fishing along the Red River. Post on social media or email christine@riverkeepers a photo of a youth fishing along the Red River in Fargo or Moorhead between July 28 and August 2 to be eligible to win a fun and educational fishing basket geared towards youth. Ten winners will be chosen at random on August 3. Tag the picture with #EnjoytheRed!

Photo Credit: Deb Pullen

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Red River at M.B. Johnson Park Geocaching Adventure Launched

Looking for a FREE & FUN way to get outside, practice physical-distancing, and learn something new? Check out our new 10-stage virtual Geocaching Adventure located at M.B. Johnson Park! https://labs.geocaching.com/goto/riverkeepers

This Adventure will take you on a tour through the beautiful M.B. Johnson Park. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history and ecosystem of the area. This Adventure includes 10 locations, all accessible via a paved trail. Additional amenities include a playground, picnic shelter, fish cleaning station, boat ramp, miles of wooded trails, including four miles of mountain biking trails.  All answers will be at the posted coordinates, but several descriptions contain optional historic information and video for those who wish to learn more.

This Adventure Lab was created in collaboration with River Keepers, Moorhead Parks and Recreation, and Gia “Giacaches” Rassier of the Moorhead Park Board.

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The American Kestrel

Written by Alyssa Cahoon

The American Kestrel, or Falco sparverius, is a famous falcon in the Red River Valley. They are often seen perched on telephone poles or high posts along roadsides and open country areas, making the prairie a favorite ecosystem by the species. You may spot one around the Red River in the Fargo and Moorhead area, but you’re much more likely to hear them first. American Kestrels have a signature call which can often be easily heard, making a “kleklekle” noise.  Linked below is the American Kestrels’ signature call:  https://www.audubon.org/sites/default/files/AMEKES_1.klee-klee-kleealarmcall_KYle.mp3?uuid=5e33863e5d6d3


If you do get a glimpse of an American Kestrel near the Red River, there are a few things to know to help you identify them. American Kestrels are one of the smallest species of falcon known today. They typically reach a length of approximately 12 inches with a wingspan of 24 inches. Male and female kestrels have different colored feathers and patterns. The females have more rust and brown colored feathers, mimicking their nests or areas they may perch for camouflage. Male kestrels have blue and grey feathers on their heads and tails. American Kestrels are also known for feathers making a black stripe pattern under their eyes. Local birders have shared with us it is common to see them arrive in March and leave in October.

Species such as American Kestrels are important to our Red River Valley area because they can help keep a balance of animals within our ecosystem and benefit us all. American Kestrels are identified as a raptor due to how they use their talons to capture their prey. They will fly above their prey and dive quickly downward, swooping to catch it. Their prey consists of large insects, small mammals, and small birds. Large grasshoppers, beetles, mice, and even quail can be prey to an American Kestrel.

American Kestrels are not currently listed as a concern on endangered animal identification lists and their populations appears stable in most areas of North America. However, in certain areas populations are beginning to decline due to habitat loss, competition from invasive species, pollution, and other unknown factors. We can help by creating nesting areas, bird boxes, and other sought-after resources in our backyards, open fields, and along the Red River Valley Area.

References:
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-kestrel

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel/id

https://peregrinefund.org/explore-raptors-species/falcons/american-kestrel

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Volunteer Organization Trees Award

River Keepers accepted the 2019 Volunteer Organization Trees Award from the North Dakota Forest Service on behalf of the Reforest the Red Project. Project partners include The City of Fargo – GovernmentFargo Park District, and Cass County Soil Conservation District. The award was in recognition of the efforts to coordinate over 550 volunteers to plant thousands of trees and shrubs along the Red River to create an improved riparian buffer which provides bank stability, habitat for wildlife, shade, increased recreation opportunities and improved water quality. Thank you to all of the volunteers who took the time and energy to help! #SustaintheRed #RKThanks

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RiverArts Fishing Clinic

Written by Sarah Ambuehl, volunteer

Around 75 kids and their families came together on July 23rd for the River Arts Fishing Clinic at Memorial Park in Moorhead. The event’s success was due to the

various project partners; Moorhead Parks and Recreation, and the FM Walleyes. We were also fortunate for the 15 dedicated volunteers who led activities, a first aid station, and helped kids fish.

Over the duration of the event kids visited eight different stations, each providing them with a fun hands on experience and knowledge. The stations included information ranging from what river pollution looks like (pictured) to learning how to cast, to knot tie, to identify fish, to water safety. Through these stations these kids, who often had never fished before, have a better idea of all that has to do with fishing near the Red River. After the kids visited all eight stations, they went to River Keepers staff and told them what they learned to receive a mini tackle box as a prize before heading to the highlight of the evening, actually fishing in the river. It was a rewarding moment when some of the kids could not choose just one thing that they learned.

With the help of the FM Walleyes the ambitious learners headed to the river to put their skills to the test. One lucky fisherman caught on to a 14-pound, 28-inch catfish! That one was a little tough to reel in.

If you want to join in on next year’s fun, sign up for our e-news on the homepage of our website to stay up to date on future fishing clinics and other upcoming events.