GAMBIER — A work crew from the Knox County Park District erected eight river safety signs Friday at canoe and kayak access points along the Kokosing State Scenic River, which became an imperative for river safety following two drownings on the river last summer.
The red-and-white, aluminum signs are weather resistant and attention-getting, said Lori Totman, park district director, who was on hand with her crew to go from the access point to put up signs.
The signs include a QR code that canoers and kayakers can interface with on their smartphones to give them up-to-date flow rates.
A flow rate of 100 to 300 cubic feet per second is in the acceptable range.
Anything above that enters the dangerous area, meaning river trips are inadvisable. Totman included news about the signs during a written update this week to Knox County Commissioners.
Totman developed an “ACT NOW” protocol for persons preparing to enter the water with their canoes and kayaks:
•Always wear a life jacket or PFD (personal flotation device).
•Check flow rates before entering the river.
•Take water and air temperature into consideration before entering the river (the two combined should be at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit).
•Never swim, tube, kayak or canoe alone.
•Observe the river for fast-moving currents and murkiness.
•Watch for river hazards such as fallen trees, large rocks and debris.
Working with her on placing the signs on metal posts were park district employees Carl Norris, head of park operations; Jeff Glasstetter, Tim Tahyi and Art Crim. The signs have been placed at eight Kokosing River access points:
•Big Run Road access, 8921 Big Run Road, Gambier.
•Hope Fishing access, 11675 Pipesville Road, Howard.
•Kokosing Gap canoe access, 17812 Lower Gambier Road, Mount Vernon.
•Kokosing Water Trail access, Brown Family Environmental Center, 10115 Laymon Road, Gambier.
•Millwood access, 11640 Bridge St., Howard.
•Pipesville Road access, 12059 Pipesville Road, Howard.
•Riley Chapel Road access, 10300 Riley Chapel Road, Walhonding.
•Zuck Riparian Preserve, 28300 Zuck Road, Howard.
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