"Whitewater is not as popular as it used to be,'' Bassage told the newspaper. "The figure quoted by the USGS is not a one-time fee. It is an annual fee so it will be challenging each year to come up with funds and satisfy the USGS.''
Bobby Bower, executive director of the outfitters association, said he is working to raise public interest in the gauge and is looking for funding partners to keep it operational.
"We don't want service suspended at the Thurmond gauge,'' Bower said. "This gauge has a huge economic impact on the area. It is a key component to keeping people safe while they are on the river.''