ISU Study: Turkey, Volga River Recreation worth $12.4 Million, 150+ jobs

AMES — Many of Iowa’s river towns are again embracing their waterfronts, and with good reason, according to a new statewide river use study by Iowa State University.

The ISU study showed overall economic impact from river recreation along 73 Iowa river and stream segments supported more than 6,350 jobs with $824 million in sales and $130 million of personal income.

“In addition to recreational benefits, the results show that there are sizable local economic benefits from spending by visitors,” said Dan Otto, professor of economics and an ISU Extension and Outreach economist.

Researchers in ISU’s Department of Economics and Center for Agricultural and Rural Development conducted the study with funding from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Turkey (above Elkader)

Total Trips: 182,619

Total Spending: $4,953,116

Common Activities:
· Fishing
· Camping
· Relaxation
· Wildlife viewing

Turkey (below Elkader)

Total Trips: 104,564

Total Spending: $2,836,058

Common Activities:
· Fishing
· Relaxation


Total Trips: 170,837

Total Spending: $4,633,560

Common Activities:
· Fishing
· Hunting
· Use of trails
· Relaxation

Full results of the study available at

Economic Impacts of River Trail Recreation in Iowa (PDF)

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