TLGV receives grant to help paddlers gauge water depth

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Wed., Jun. 1, 2011
 A kayak and canoe launch site at Simonzi Park in Putnam. Photos by D. Coffey.
A kayak and canoe launch site at Simonzi Park in Putnam. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Last Green Valley received a $250 grant from the Rhode Island Canoe/Kayak Association to improve paddling safety on the Quinebaug River. TLGV Deputy Executive Director Lois Bruinooge said the money would be used to purchase six stream gauges to be mounted at various locations along the Quinebaug. The 4-foot-tall gauges will tell paddlers the depth of the water at launch locations. “They'll give paddlers a quick visual on water height,” Bruinooge said.

Water levels at too high or low a point would indicate to paddlers that the water was dangerous. Running aground in shallow water could be averted, as could getting caught in fast-moving currents when the water is too high. High waters can also hide submerged rocks and trees, increasing the danger to paddlers caught unaware.

TLGV’s Water Trails Steering Committee is currently reviewing possible sites for placement of the gauges along the river. The Quinebaug River Water Trail System includes more than 30 miles of paddling opportunities for novice through expert. It has drawn in paddlers from outside of the state.

Past president of RICKA, Mark Roberts, said the 400-plus-member group often paddles in eastern Connecticut. “We support the watershed and its protection,” he said.

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