2024 Channel Cat Talks
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9-10:45 a.m.

Channel Cat Talks leave from the Riverbend Commons at 2951 River Dr, Moline, IL. Cost per session is $20.

Purchase Channel Cat Talk Tickets

  • May 28th & 30th - Lock & Dam for Kids
  • Anthony Heddlesten, Civil Engineer, USACE
  • Geared toward the younger audience, this trip will teach children and their parents about the purpose of a lock & dam and its functions. Participants will get to experience locking through a dam during this exciting and informative journey.
  • June 4th & 6th - Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi River **RESCHEDULED to Sept. 3rd & 5th, 2024**
  • Karen Anderson, Historian
  • Iowa's earliest settlers walked, rode horses, or hopped a log into the Black Hawk Purchase, but by 1854 two miles of north-bound steamboats lined the St. Louis levee. By 1907 the Streckfus family of Rock Island had amassed the largest fleet of luxury steamboats in the world. *Due to a medical emergency, this has been moved to our make up dates of September 3rd & 5th, 2024.*
  • June 11th & 13th - Raptors Along the River
  • Dave Murcia, Director, Wapsi River Environmental Education Center
  • See a live raptor up close and personal as you learn from a Scott County Conservation Naturalist as he discusses birds of prey found in Quad Cities habitats. Hear about the local ecology and the impact humans have on these amazing flying predators.
  • June 18th & 20th - Common Chord RiverCurrents Tour
  • Ben Schwind, Education Manager at Common Chord
  • Using the river as a guide, learn about the history of American Roots Music and its migration up and down the Mississippi River. From Jazz in New Orleans, Blues and Gospel in the Delta, to Rock and Roll in Memphis, hear about its influence on our Quad City area. Enjoy a live performance with musical examples and the stories behind the songs.
  • June 25th & 27th - Fantastic Voyage on the Mississippi **FULL**
  • Dana Starkell, Adventurer, Paddle to the Amazon, Guinness World Record - 12,181 miles
  • At age 19 Dana and his father paddled a canoe from central Canada to the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. The Mississippi River was a memorable part of this 2-year Guinness World Record Breaking trip. Listen as Dana shares entertaining stories from their adventure, giving a unique perspective of life on the river. Go to paddletotheamazon.com to learn more.
  • July 9th & 11th - Quad Cities’ First Residents
  • Beth Carvey, Retired, Black Hawk State Historic Site
  • Learn about the many cultures of indigenous people that have occupied this region of the Mississippi River Valley over the last 10,000 years. Special emphasis will be given to the Meskwaki (Fox) and Sauk tribes who were the last two indigenous nations to occupy this portion of the river from 1740 to 1831.
  • July 16th & 18th - Quad City Pelicans
  • Tim Murphy, QC Audubon Society
  • Learn about the big white birds that can be found along the Mississippi River in our Quad Cities region. Twenty years ago this was not the case. Explore possible reasons the American White Pelican population has boomed recently.
  • July 23rd & 25th - I-74 Bridge & Its Features
  • Matt Dotson, Sr. Geotechnical Engineer
  • Though planning of the new I-74 bridge began in the early 2000s, the final design and construction didn't start until fall 2017. A more favorable alignment of the bridge and its approaches were chosen, requiring other preparations well in advance of construction and causing many businesses to relocate. Learn about the bridge foundations, structure, maintenance, lighting, and instrumentation items that were incorporated into our signature new bridge.
  • July 30th & August 1st - The Music of Bix Beiderbecke & Louie Bellson
  • Josh Duffee, Musician & Jazz Historian
  • During this unique and exciting Channel Cat Talk you'll explore recordings by Bix Beiderbecke and Louie Bellson as Josh Duffee plays excerpts and discusses the music of each artist. This event will take place a few days before the Bix Jazz Festival begins, coinciding with the centennial celebration of Louie Bellson's birthday year.
  • August 6th & 8th - Our River Landscape Mosaic
  • Professors Reuben Heine & Norm Moline
  • Pool 15 from Arsenal Island to Hampton reveals how physical geography and human actions combine to shape a landscape. Why does the river flow east-west here? What are key river processes and how have humans changed them? What are the current waterfront uses and environmental issues? Enjoy this river journey with us.
  • August 13th & 15th - Plastic Pollution on the Mighty Mississippi River
  • Lori McCollum, PACG
  • Learn about the plastic pollution and contamination of our most important local water resource. Did you know that 40% of the plastic pollution in the Gulf of Mexico flows down the Mighty Mississippi? Find out what you can do as a Quad Citizen to help keep our waters clear of plastic waste.
  • August 20th & 22nd - Commercial Fishing on the Mississippi
  • Mike Schafer, Schafer Fisheries
  • Come for a ride on the Channel Cat and listen to a commercial fisherman tell stories of how they make a living on the Mississippi River. Stick around to enjoy a fresh-caught snack afterwards!
  • August 27th & 29th - Gongoozling with USACE - 200 years of operation, maintenance, and inspections along the Upper Mississippi River
  • Anthony Heddlesten & Josh Hendrix, USACE
  • Lock through the first lock constructed in the 1930s for the 9-foot channel system and learn how it operates. On our way to and from the lock and dam we'll discuss why it was built and the maintenance and upkeep required to keep it running for over 90 years.

    2024 is the 200th Anniversary of the First Regulation to Start Cleaning up the Mississippi River! 2024 is the 200th anniversary of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ first appropriation to start working on creating navigable waterways - $75,000 under the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1824. This followed the General Survey Act of 1824 and both were related to the Gibbons v. Ogden decision of 3/2/1824.

    CLICK HERE to go to the 2024 Riverine Walks full schedule and details.
  • June 4th & 6th - Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi River **MAKE UP DATES for June 4th & 6th.**
  • Karen Anderson, Historian
  • Iowa's earliest settlers walked, rode horses, or hopped a log into the Black Hawk Purchase, but by 1854 two miles of north-bound steamboats lined the St. Louis levee. By 1907 the Streckfus family of Rock Island had amassed the largest fleet of luxury steamboats in the world. *Make - Up Dates. Originally scheduled for June 4th & 6th.*

Channel Cat Talks leave from the Riverbend Commons (2951 River Dr, Moline, IL) at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and run until 10:45 a.m. Channel Cat Talks are $20/session.

Purchase Channel Cat Talk Tickets

If the Channel Cat Captain or Riverine Walk Guide cancels, a rain date may be scheduled. If you have paid and are unable to attend, River Action will consider your payment a donation. No refunds will be given.

Volunteers Needed for Channel Cat Talks & Riverine Walks

A special thanks to our 2024 sponsors:

Click below to make a general donation to River Action via PayPal.


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River Action, Inc.
822 E. River Drive
Davenport, Iowa 52803
Phone: (563) 322-2969
Email: riveraction@riveraction.org

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