Last month, while on foot patrol at Scioto Audubon Metro Park, a seasonal ranger Jake found two kayaks stashed along the bank of the Scioto River. A quick check of the area revealed no kayakers around. The boats were in excellent shape, with the paddles, and too far out of the water to be washed ashore out of some sort of accident. Believing the kayaks were stolen due to the way they were hidden in the underbrush, rangers checked the boat registration. Contact information was then tracked down for the registered owners. They discovered their hunch was correct. The kayaks had indeed been stolen from a canoe livery. Rangers were able to return the kayaks to the rightful owners after proof of ownership was provided.
All recreational boats (including canoes, kayaks and inflatables) are required by law to be be registered through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks and Watercraft. This can be done at division offices, as well as a few retailers around town. Check the division webpage for specific locations. Without the boater registration, it is highly unlikely these these kayaks would have ever been returned to their owners. Good job ranger Jake!