I’ve left the Hudson and while I miss her twists and turns and bays full of boats, I’ve settled along the banks of a new river.
The Kokosing River runs 57 miles long and her watershed extends hundreds more. She lazily floats by my college, barely deep enough to reach your knees. As you head northeast, towards Howard, OH, the river deepens and is flanked by tall rocks and waterfalls. In some spots, the Kokosing stops seeming like a river and trickles slowly over rocks, barely maintaining its flow.
Surrounded by agricultural land, the Kokosing sometimes has the faint but pungent smell of manure. A 2007 EPA survey stated:
Evaluation of E.coli results revealed that approximately 65% of all sites studied (including tributaries) failed to meet the applicable recreation use standard. Elevated bacteria concentrations were mostly likely due to a variety of sources including failing home sewage treatment systems (HSTS) and livestock access to streams.
A comprehensive survey has not been done of the Kokosing since, so it is unclear what the current health of the river is. According to my biology professor, the Kokosing is one of the cleanest rivers in Ohio. It’s apparently teeming with life; low turbidity and high dissolved oxygen levels are signs of an optimal habitat.
I’m looking forward to spend more time on the river and learning more about the water quality along the Kokosing.