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Fishermen Want Log Jam Cleared

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- A giant log jam on the Iowa River has snagged the attention of a group of fishermen who want the Department of Natural Resources or Johnson County to break up the floating wood pile.

At the end of Green Castle Avenue, fishermen can put in to boat down river, like Tanner Marack and Rhett Patzner did on Thursday. But there's no motoring up river these days.

"You can't go down too far, and it's just nice to go up river," Marack said.

"It's a mess. It would be nice to  get rid of it, but nobody will do (anything) about it," Patzner said.

The log jam sits just up river from the bridge that crosses the Iowa River at Green Castle Avenue. It spans the entire width of the river, and dozens of feet up the length. The logs are littered with garbage and dead fish carcasses.

"It's disgusting. I hate to see the litter. There's no reason for it, there's not. If it was opened up, it wouldn't be this way," said fisherman Moe Rammelsberg.

Rammelsberg grew up on the river bottoms, and has been fishing in the area all of his life.

"All we ask is for someone to open the river up. It's all we ask," he said.

The log jam usually accumulates after every winter, and river flooding generally takes care of it. But the problem has been getting worse in the last couple of years, Rammelsberg said.

Last year, a group of private citizens came in and cleared the logs out on their own, but it was expensive and dangerous. Rammelsberg feels like his tax dollars should take care of the problem.

"If it's a money situation, where's all the fishing money for our licenses going?" he said.

He wants the DNR or Johnson County to step up to the plate and break up the jam.

"It's all we're asking, something to be done. Memorial Day weekend, and our boats are sitting in the garage," he said.

The DNR said the jam is in the jurisdiction of Johnson County Secondary Roads, because their bridge is keeping it in place. A DNR employee said they have been working with Secondary Roads on a plan to remove the jam, but he did not know when that would happen.
 
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