New signs near dam

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CHARLES CITY, Iowa – Meet Mike Kirsch.

He’s a Charles City man who knows the Cedar River very well.

“I love to fish. I’ve fished ever since I was a little child on this river with many, many years with my Dad. He’s no longer around but I still carry on when the fishing is good I’ll spend almost everyday on the river,” said Kirsch.

And it’s no surprise he’s seen some interesting things while on it.

”There have been a couple of issues in the past where boats or pontoons have gone over the dam over the years. Most of the time it was caused because they launched here at the ramp immediately above the dam when the river was normally about normal when it happens so there’s more current than there is right now,” said Kirsch.

And that’s exactly why the city decided to put up new signs along the river to help drill in the concept of watching out.

“We have a safety first policies for just about every department that’s in existence in the city including the park and recreation operations,” said Mayor Jim Erb.

Mayor Erb says while it may point out danger ahead, the signs actually point to a bright future for the city because not as many people using the river have as much experience on it as mike Kirsch.

“It’s really a sort of tribute to the success we’ve had with the riverfront venture or project. We’ve got a lot more people that we’ve brought down to the river that are actively utilizing it in a lot different ways up and down the river including close to the main dam which has always been there,” said Erb.

But in the end it should always be a clear-cut sign to never go near the Cedar River Dam.

“The normal thing which is stay away from that particular area there’s really no point. We’ve got plenty of river down below,” said Erb.

“It’s just something to be cautious about, but again a lot of people anybody local around here it’s no issue in that they know the dams there,” said Kirsch.

According to Mayor Erb, the lowhead dam just below the main dam was removed in 2011 to make the river safe for area kayakers.

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