River obstructions pose risks

St. Joseph County commissioners last week heard from two people regarding an excessive number of obstructions in area rivers posing hurdles for canoers and kayakers.
Grant Wolf, representing the recently launched St. Joe H2O website, said video footage is planned to be shot this fall, and he would prefer to not have it feature images of blocked waterways.
Meanwhile, John Nelson, representing the St. Joseph County Conservation District, urged commissioners to offer a financial allocation to cover expenses related to a thorough correction of the problem.
He said he is aware of people who want to kayak and canoe down the county’s rivers, but the log obstructions make the task difficult.
Nelson said Wolf approached him about the problem and offered to do the work in order for the rivers to be navigable by making cuts wide enough in fallen trees, allowing passage of a kayak or canoe.
The task has been done on a limited basis by Jeff Pant of Fawn River Kayak and Ernie Manges of Liquid Therapy. The two, however, do it on a volunteer basis and use their own equipment.

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