Thanks for all the info. The webcam idea is perhaps the most practical. All the pieces could fit together to do just what we need, although no out-of-the-box solution jumps out via internet searches.
We have the gauge painted on the bridge, and this is the ages-old reference for paddling this section of the river. What we need, is a way to read the gauge without having to go all the way to the put-in.
Solar powered webcams are available. These could be wirelessly connected to a router, if one were close enough, a remote possibility. More likely, we'd need to use a cell-phone. There is cell service in that area. I think streaming video over a cell phone would work, but I'm also wary of what the data charges would be. Of course, we don't need streaming video. One picture a day would be vastly better than what we have now. Four pictures a day would be fabulous. The pictures could be uploaded to our club web site, and we'd have an excellent reference to let us know the river level.
All the technology exists at costs a club could afford. What I don't see readily available is the combination of solar collector, battery, camera, cell phone, housing, and software/controller to make it all work. I feel capable of putting together all but the latter.
At this point, I want to float the idea by my club, to see if the club would consider funding it, and Maryland DNR, since the remote sending unit would need to be installed on park property. If those two entities don't go along with the idea, there is no use in delving further into the problem.
Additionally, several site problems will need to be addressed, like how to keep the devices from being wiped out in floods, stolen, or vandalized.
Posters: thanks for your ideas. Thoughts and comments welcomed.