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Camp R.O.C.K. Rocks the River!
Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No 353 (Corrected)
Friday, June 24, 2016

Sorry about the 2nd mailing -- for an important correction: the best portage point for the dangerous Chain of Rocks is LEFT bank descending). Corrected in below text.

BTW: Go to the Rivergator page 10 in the St. Louis section ( for full details about negotiating this tricky place. And also who to call if you want help.

Note: Secretary Position Filled. (Welcome aboard the big canoe Lena von Machui!) We are still looking for a business partner in Helena, Arkansas. Exciting opportunity for the right person. See below for more details.

Camp R.O.C.K.

Last week we shared the wonders of paddling the Sunflower River with 130 kids enrolled in Camp R.O.C.K. — the morning session with 6, 7 & 8 year olds and afternoon session with 9, 10 & 11 year olds. Camp R.O.C.K is the result of a lot of preparation by two hardworking gals, Jen Waller of the CCHEC and Lesley Johnson from DSU. We love Camp R.O.C.K.! Camp R.O.C.K. rocks the river!

Note: The Coahoma County Higher Education Center (CCHEC) is a partnership between Delta State University (DSU) and Coahoma Community College (CCC). It was designed to enhance the outreach capabilities of both institutions. The partnership between DSU and CCC encourages regional growth and development by expanding educational and cultural opportunities for the people of Coahoma County, and the surrounding communities, and by targeting high needs in the North Mississippi Delta region.

River Roundup:

Middle Mississippi River:
the Middle Miss is forecast to bump upwards to 18.8 tomorrow (Saturday June 25th) at St. Louis with a volume flow of 308,000 cfs. At 18 SLG very little turbulence will be felt at the Chain of Rocks, but as the river level drops next week watch out for the very dangerous falls which form here below 16 SLG. Below 16 SLG paddlers should plan to portage here. Make landing at top of parking lot left bank descending (East bank, Illinois side) and make portage. If you have any questions about this notoriously dangerous place, contact the experts at Big Muddy Adventures for advice -- or professional guiding. Paddlers will find good flow and lots of exposed sand at the tops of all the islands below St. Louis, such as Moro, Marquette, Rockwood and Brown’s Bar. Most back channels will be open.

Lower Mississippi River:
There is a small bump headed downstream through northern Arkansas and Tennessee: The Mississippi is rising a few inches at Memphis, Tunica, and Helena but then falling afterwards. Today the river is at 8.1 on the Memphis Gage with a flow of 418,000 cfs. Notched back channels like Redman and Loosahatchie Bars above Memphis will be open (beware: with a lot of turbulence at the notches). Note: Channels not notched will be closed at this water level. Buck Island Back Channel is open through the notch with very little flow. Island 63 near Clarksdale is open, but Island 62 is closed.

Tunica Lake
and DeSoto Lake are still connected to the river, but will be cut off when the river drops another 4 feet. The Old White River and the Greenville Bends are still open, but with slow flow.

The Ohio fell a foot at
Cairo, IL, but is forecast to begin rising 2 feet a day by the start of next week, the result of recent rains across Upper Appalachia, which will be sure to affect everything downstream. To which degree, we will see next week.

For now though,
New Orleans has fallen to its lowest yet this year, hovering around 6, which means there will be good flow and more exposed sandbars and other places to make landings. Paddlers will find more sandy places to stop at places like Manchac and Algiers Points, Bayou Goula and Plaquemines Islands.

*Note: For more info about safe paddling the Middle and Lower Mississippi Rivers, go to the for mile-by-mile detailed descriptions of 1155 miles of free-flowing river between the Missouri River confluence (above St. Louis) to the Gulf of Mexico.

Wanted: Business Partner for the Quapaw Canoe Company Helena Outpost!

Great career opportunity in the best location on the Mississippi River in between Memphis and Vicksburg. “Where the Ridge meets the River.” Excellent community, excellent location, biggest river in North America at your doorstep. See below for full details.

Quapaw Canoe Company
Helena, Arkansas
Business Opportunity: Purchase/Partnership
Intro: This is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone who both loves the water and has dreamed of running or owning their own business. Purchase or partnership using well-established and successful system of operations. Great opportunity for first time 'outdoor-preneurs' for coaching, mentoring, logistical support, and camaraderie of the Quapaw Canoe network of river rats on the biggest and baddest river in North America!
Description: Quapaw Canoe Company - Helena Outpost is offering a purchase or partnership opportunity for someone who has a strong passion for rivers, outdoor recreation, and is ready to dive into a challenging but rewarding business based in Helena, Arkansas. For more information about QCC, please visit

Geography: The Mississippi River forms 321 miles of paradise for paddlers along the Eastern Border of Arkansas, and Helena sits in the center of it all. With a protected harbor and 2 boat ramps, Helena is the ideal setup. Additional access to spectacular paddling on the White River, the Arkansas River, the St. Francis River, the Cache River (ivory billed woodpecker?) and Big Creek -- all within an hour’s drive of Helena.
Requirements: Must live in Helena or be willing to relocate. Must be friendly and people-oriented. Must be good with kids as well as adults. Must have good communication skills, and be able to speak comfortably with individuals as well as groups. Must be a capable writer and typist. Must be computer savvy (both Microsoft and Apple systems). Knowledge of Quickbooks a plus. Ability with Social Media a plus. Must be willing to tackle challenges and learn new skills. We will train as needed. Must be a good team member, but also must able to work independently. Must be passionate about the outdoors and the American wilderness ethic. Must be physically capable of outdoor tasks (such as canoeing and kayaking) and moving heavy equipment in preparation and/or cleanup of expeditions. Must have own personal vehicle and current driver’s license. Must be honest, earnest and hard-working. We are all worker bees in this company; the river is the queen.

Other Helpful Skills (but not requirements):
Experience in nature tourism. Wilderness First Aid, or other medical training. Creative writing. Youth Outdoor Programming and Leadership. Natural Sciences. Adobe software. Grant-writing.

About Us:
Quapaw Canoe Company is a mission-driven small business based in Clarksdale, Miss, with river outposts in Helena, Ark and Natchez, Miss. We are dedicated to exploring and sharing the beauty and wildness of the Lower Mississippi River and its muddy tributaries in human powered vessels.

Partnership or Purchase opportunity, subject to negotiation, including long term association with Quapaw Canoe Company: its systems, equipment (giant voyageur canoes), and internal mechanisms (that have passed the test of time for safe operations on the biggest and wildest river in North America).

Quapaw Canoe Company -- Helena, Arkansas
Partnership/Purchase Opportunity


This Partnership/Purchase will enable Quapaw Canoe Company to better establish itself in Helena and provide higher quality service to its clients.

Statistics from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show there are 24 million recreational paddlers in the U.S (compare that to 11 million licensed hunters). Most Americans go hiking, biking and paddling in the Rocky Mountains, Appalachia, the North Woods, or Florida to participate in outdoor recreation. The Mississippi River is America’s largest undiscovered wilderness. Quapaw Canoe Company is seeking to provide better access for paddlers right here in the heart of America’s Deep South.
We provide an essential link to nature in the heart of America on the biggest river in North America, the 3rd largest in the world. 1155 miles of free-flowing river below St. Louis with countless channels, back channels, side channels, runouts, passes and chutes to explore and get close to nature. Paddling brings clients closer to the essence of the wild river than any other means.


Quapaw Canoe Company was established in 1998 to provide high quality wilderness experiences on the Lower Mississippi River and its floodplain.

An opportunity in Helena

Quapaw Canoe Company Helena Outpost opened in 2008 at 411 Ohio in the historic district of downtown Helena. In 2012 we purchased the most ideal location for a river business in Helena at 107 Perry (5548 square feet). Helena has the best ramp and the safest harbor for hundreds of miles up & down the river (in between Memphis and Vicksburg). If any place is going to become the Canoe & Kayaking center of the Lower Mississippi River it’ll either be Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez or Helena -- and Helena has better public access and riverbank public camping. In addition, a public use island (Buck Island) is found within one mile of the Helena Harbor. Buck Island has been preserved for public recreation by Arkansas Game & Fish. All of these variables create the ideal combination for making Helena the springboard for Nature Tourism on the Mississippi River. All of the pieces are in place. It is only a matter of time before Helena reaches the tipping point and this takes off. When it happens, Quapaw Canoe Company will be there to serve and benefit!


We want to expand our services in a wholesome manner, to better serve our clientele, and better protect the river, and we want your help in a purchase/partnership to make this possible.

Rivergator Celebratory Expedition New Dates: March 14th to May 5th, 2017:

Due to the catastrophic flooding we suffered in March, we are backing up the dates on the Rivergator Celebratory Expedition from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017. If you have been thinking about joining us for this 6-week celebration from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico, please adjust the dates on your calendar: March 14th to May 5th, 2017. Exact itinerary and more details forthcoming.

The Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River
is one million words describing the Middle and Lower Mississippi River for paddlers! Free online guide to the mysteries of the big muddy river from St. Louis to the Gulf. Also includes thousands of photos, maps and videos. 6-year project now being completed with the help of hundreds of naturalists, paddlers, and other river rats. Go check it out at!

The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch
is a service of the Lower Mississippi River Foundation
Clarksdale, Mississippi ~ Helena, Arkansas

*** For more photos of the Lower Miss and excellent descriptive text for safe paddling, go to ***