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News Releases
Marine Board member Vince Castronovo wake surfing on the Willamette River.
Marine Board member Vince Castronovo wake surfing on the Willamette River.
Special Emphasis Patrols Planned for Newberg Pool (Photo) - 06/15/18

The Oregon State Marine Board, in coordination with Yamhill, Marion and Clackamas County Marine Patrols, will be conducting elevated enforcement on the Willamette River in the area known as the “Newberg Pool” during the weekend of June 22-24.  The purpose of this effort is to ensure safe and legal operation in an area that receives numerous complaints each season. 

The Newberg Pool is the area on the Willamette River from the Hwy 219 Bridge at river mile 48.5 to Willamette Falls.  This area has experienced population growth over the last 20 years and increased mixed-use water recreation has followed.  This stretch of river is narrow and deep, being a draw for recreational motorboaters in addition to swimming and paddling activities.

Boaters need to comply with recreational boating requirements, local area rules and to minimize their wake.  There are several sections along the Willamette River with special rules.  View the Marine Board’s interactive Boat Oregon Map and select the “regulations” layer to see what rules apply for your area of operation.

To learn more about how to minimize wake, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/boater-info/Pages/Wake.aspx.



Boaters Reminded to "CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY Boats and Equipment to Protect Oregon's Waterways (Photo) - 06/14/18

The Marine Board, Oregon Invasive Species Council and Department of Fish and Wildlife are reminding boaters to “CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY their boats and equipment to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.  This effort, in conjunction with border inspection stations will help protect the fragile balance of Oregon’s aquatic ecosystems.

“Clean, drain and dry your boat after every outing," said Glenn Dolphin, the Marine Board’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program Coordinator and 2018 Chair of the Oregon Invasive Species Council.  “Recreational boaters, whether propelled by paddle, oar or motor, can help protect our waterways by draining all water within any interior compartments and letting everything thoroughly dry.  If every boater embraces this practice, it will go a long way in preventing the spread of invaders that are already in Oregon.” 

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native animals, plants, microorganisms and pathogens that out-compete or prey on Oregon’s native fish and other wildlife. They can harm the environment, hinder salmon recovery efforts, negatively impact human health and hurt local business economies. They come to Oregon from other states and provinces on trailers, boat hulls, motors, wading boots, fishing equipment and via many other vectors. Once they become established in one lake or river, they can easily spread to more waterways in Oregon.

In addition to boaters taking personal responsibility to ensure their boats are clean, six inspection stations are operating along the Oregon borders targeting out-of-state boats.  Inspection stations are open in Ashland, Ontario, Brookings, Klamath Falls, Umatilla,  and Burns.  Ashland and Ontario operate year-round, while the others are seasonal. 

All boats being transported are required to stop if an inspection station is open.  This includes mounted kayaks, canoes, inflatable boats, stand up paddle boards, catarafts, and trailered boats (including commercially transported boats).  Inspection teams are made up of specially trained personnel from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife who look inside and outside of boats for invasive species.  Inspections take approximately 10 minutes.  If a boat is contaminated, the inspection team will decontaminate the boat on-site.  Decontamination can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour.  There is no cost to the boater for decontamination.  “It’s extremely important that people stop at these stations to get their boats inspected,” Dolphin said. 

“We need to make sure plants and mussels are kept out of the state.  Right now, on average between 20- 30% of the people transporting boats don’t stop for inspections and that’s too much of a risk.  All it takes is one contaminated boat.  The cost of an AIS infestation is enormous.  We’ve already experienced our worst fears with Diamond Lake.  All of us need to take action to protect our waterways,” Dolphin added.   

The inspection stations, equipment and personnel are paid for through funds generated from the sale of  AIS permits, which are required on all motorboats and non-motorized boats over 10 feet when boating on Oregon’s waterways.  Oregon registered motorboats pay the AIS fee as part of their boat registration, so no additional AIS permit is required.  Out-of-state registered motorboats and sailboats must purchase a $20 annual permit.  Non-motorized boats have the option of purchasing a $5 annual or $10 two-year permit.  The Marine Board’s Aquatic Invasive Species FAQ page lists all of the purchasing options.        

To do your part to help protect Oregon’s waterways, follow these steps:

Clean: When leaving the water, clean all equipment that touched the water by removing all visible plants, algae, animals and mud.  Equipment includes watercraft hulls, trailers, shoes, waders, life jackets, engines and other gear.

Drain: Drain any accumulated water from boats or gear, including the bilge and live wells and transom wells, before leaving a water access point.  Pull the boat’s bilge plug and allow water to drain. 

Dry: Once home, fully dry all gear before using it in a different waterbody.

In 2017, ODFW technicians inspected 21,035 boats and intercepted 17 with quagga or zebra mussels and 283 with other types of aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian milfoil and brown mussels.    

“There is so much at stake,” Dolphin added. “If quagga or zebra mussels get into our waterways they will have a huge impact on dams, irrigation systems, drinking water supplies and our fisheries.”  

Researchers estimate that invasive zebra and quagga mussels alone could cost the power industry more than $3 billion, and industries, businesses and communities more than $5 billion nationwide over 6 years.

“The Pacific Northwest states (OR, WA, ID, WY, MT) are the last region of the country that is not yet invaded by mussels,” said Dolphin.  Tribes, the federal government, states and nonprofit organizations have come together to address aquatic invasive species contamination through research, inspection and decontamination efforts and rapid response exercises.  “We’ve got a great communication network but we have to remain vigilant.  Inspection stations aren’t open 24/7 so we need everyone’s help.”  Learn to recognize aquatic invaders and report any you find to the toll-free Oregon Invasive Species Hotline: 1-866-INVADER

The Oregon Invasive Species Council is the main coordinating organization for all taxa of invasive species (terrestrial and aquatic) and includes a wide variety of stakeholders, along with state and federal agencies tasked with managing invasive species.  Their next quarterly meeting will be held in Charleston and Bandon on June 19 and 20. 

During 2016, the Council spent a considerable amount of time developing a state-wide strategic and action plan that covers a 10 year time-frame for implementing important management activities.  However, the necessary fiscal resources are not available at this time to fully implement the plan.  The Council has submitted a funding proposal for the 2019 legislative session with the hopes that adequate resources can be allocated to the Council to be able to meet their mission of working to protect Oregon against all taxa of invasive species.  More information can be found at https://www.oregoninvasivespeciescouncil.org/.   

You can also learn which waterbodies already have aquatic invasive species, view the 2017 Annual AIS Program Report, and the Least Wanted list of invaders at https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/boater-info/Pages/Aquatic-Invasive-Species-Program.aspx.


Pictured:  An outrigger canoe with quagga mussels found during an inspection in 2017 from a contaminated state.

Attached Media Files: AIS2017.jpg
Fallen tree near the confluence of the North Santiam and Santiam Rivers in early May.
Fallen tree near the confluence of the North Santiam and Santiam Rivers in early May.
Caution to Paddlers -- Scout for River Obstructions (Photo) - 06/05/18

Nature plunged many trees into Oregon rivers and streams this winter – a good thing for fish but a risk for paddlers, rafters and tubers.  Some of these obstructions will become more dangerous as river levels drop, requiring people to portage around obstructions.

“We urge ever boater to plan ahead, prepare carefully, check the online resources, and scout each section of river before boating through it,” said Randy Henry, Boating Safety Manager for the Marine Board.  “Life jackets are crucial, but may not help if a boater gets entangled in a submerged tree.”  Henry urges the following precautions:

  • To help plan a trip, visit the Marine Board’s obstruction page to see where there are reported obstructions.        
  • The list is not comprehensive: scout each section of river before committing.  When in doubt –scout and portage out.
  • Stay clear of partially submerged trees and limbs.  Strong currents can quickly carry you in, potentially leading to capsizing and entrapment.
  • Wear a life jacket.  Given the water temperature, boaters are encouraged to wear a properly fitting life jacket on the outside of their cold weather attire if boating during the cooler morning hours.  Be sure to dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. 
  • Boat with others and stay within sight of one another.  Do not separate very far so you can respond quickly for help.  
  • Know your limits and how to self-rescue.  Be sure your skills and experience are equal to the river and the conditions. 
  • Fill out a float plan and print out a copy to let others know where you are boating and when to expect your return. 

Check out the Marine Board’s Paddling Oregon Safely brochure for more information.  Visit boatoregon.com for everything you need to know about recreational boating in Oregon.


Instructor and student working together to learn drift boat operations on the Rogue River.
Instructor and student working together to learn drift boat operations on the Rogue River.
Marine Law Enforcement Annual Drift Boat Training Set for the Rogue River (Photo) - 06/04/18

During the week of June 11-15, Marine Law Enforcement personnel from around the state will be learning and perfecting their drift boating skills on the Rogue River.  Students will learn to swim in whitewater, practice rescue techniques, navigate class III whitewater, and operate in remote environments from drift boats, rafts and catarafts.

Running whitewater takes training and practice, so law enforcement can respond to emergencies quickly and confidently.  “The best way to learn and get the hang of things is to just do it, with experienced instructors guiding the way, ” says Eddie Persichetti, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Marine Board.  Each day the students drift various river sections, beginning with Class I rapids.  “Day one we build on focusing their attention and vision down river to see the whole run vs. the next ten feet in front of the boat,” says Persichetti.  Day two, instructors build on the skills from the day before and then progress onto more difficult skills with more difficult rapids throughout the week.  The key is to develop the skill and confidence in officers so they can help people who find themselves in a hazardous situation while keeping them all safe at the same time,” Persichetti explains. 

The skills the officers gain will give them a strong foundation in their law enforcement roles when they return to their patrol area.  “We also practice scenarios where students encounter boaters and guides who are not in compliance with existing laws,” Persichetti adds.  “When the law enforcement students leave this training, they have a new respect for safety on the river, the people who run it and playing by the rules.”

Recreational boaters can expect to see law enforcement students drifting on the Upper Rogue from Lost Creek Reservoir to Touvelle Park from June 11 through June 14, and the Middle Rogue from Ennis Riffle to Argo Canyon on June 15.

For more information about boating laws and regulations, visit www.boatoregon.com.


Marine Board to Hold Public Hearings on Wake Sports, Solicits Public Comments - 05/30/18

The Oregon State Marine Board will be holding three public hearings to gather feedback on proposed statewide rules of operation for wake sports.

The hearings will be held in the following locations, dates and times:

  • Deschutes County Services Building, Barnes Sawyer Meeting Room, 1300 NW Wall St. in Bend on June 28, beginning at 11 am;
  • Jackson County Parks, Auditorium Room, 7520 Table Rock Rd. in Central Point on July 10, beginning at 6 pm; and,
  • Oregon State Marine Board, Conference Room, 435 Commercial St. NE in Salem on August 15, beginning at 6 pm.

The proposed rule action amends OAR 250-010-0010 Definitions, for terms used in Chapter 250 of Oregon’s Administrative Rules for wakeboarding and wake surfing and adopts a new rule, OAR 250-010-0026 Wake Sport Operations, prohibiting wakeboarding and wake surfing within 200 feet of a dock, float, floating home, boathouse, designated boat moorage, floating restroom, or person in the water.  The rule also prohibits wakeboarding and wake surfing within 100 feet of a non-motorized boat. 

Written comments will be accepted until August 31, 2018 by 5 pm and can be submitted via email to .rulemaking@oregon.gov">osmb.rulemaking@oregon.gov  or by U.S. mail to: June LeTarte, Administrative Rules Coordinator, Oregon State Marine Board, 435 Commercial Street NE, Suite 400, Salem, OR 97301.  Comments via telephone will not be accepted.  

To view the proposed rule language, visit http://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/Rulemaking-and-Public-Notices.aspx.


Share the waterways
Share the waterways
Boating on Oregon's Waterways --Plan, Pay Attention, Share (Photo) - 05/23/18

Salem, OR – There are dozens of boat types on the market and so many opportunities to explore Oregon’s waterways.  Regardless of what’s calling you to the water and the type of boat you’re in, be sure to plan ahead, pay attention and share the water so everyone can have a fun time. 
The Oregon State Marine Board invites boaters to explore the interactive Boating Oregon Map, where you can find a boat ramp near you, plan for a weekend escape to places less-frequented or find a waterway in the center of all the action

“This season is off to a great start,” says Ashley Massey, Public Information Officer for the Marine Board.  “Take time to plan ahead.  Check the weather forecast, water levels or tides, see if there are any reported obstructions, and have the right gear for the activities you’re doing,” Massey adds.  Boaters can check the Marine Board’s website to find out what equipment is required based on the size of the boat and rules for operation which vary by waterbody. 

Massey also emphasizes paying attention to your surroundings, continually scanning port to starboard and keeping a close eye on what’s ahead. “Brush up on the rules-of-the-road, start out slow because of debris in the water from this past winter, and whatever you do –don’t text and drive.  In 2017, there were 17 collisions from distracted driving.  Social media, taking pictures and texting can be fun, but the operator needs to maintain focus and awareness to what’s going on around them,” says Massey.

“High water levels in the spring cover many wing dams (also known as pile dikes) on rivers and bays and are just below the surface.  Boaters need to keep their distance from the shoreline up to several hundred feet out from shore so they don’t inadvertently hit one of the piles.”  Boaters are encouraged to learn where the wing dams are located based on the waterbody where they’re boating from NOAA Charts.  The navigation charts can be downloaded for free.

With Oregon’s population increasing and many people wanting to boat in their own backyards, think about taking a “dispersion excursion” to lesser-known waterbodies, especially for people new to paddlesports or seeking more solitude.  There are 96 waterways where motors are prohibited and 50 designated as electric motor only.  Visit the Marine Board’s Experience Oregon Boating Handbook for more information about these regulated areas for paddlers and easy accessibility.     

The Marine Board also recommends boaters play it safe by:

  • Not using marijuana, drugs or alcohol.  Instead, take along a variety of non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of water.  Impairment can lead to a BUII arrest.  Drugs and alcohol impair a boater’s judgement and coordination which every boat operator needs.  Swift currents, changing weather and debris require boat operators to be focused and skilled to avoid an accident. 
  • If you are feeling tired, take a break on land and return to the water when you are re-energized and alert. Wind, glare, dehydration and wave motion contribute to fatigue.  Continually monitor the weather because it changes quickly.
  • Operators and passengers should wear properly fitting life jackets. Learn more about life jacket types, styles and legal requirements.  Anyone rafting on Class III Whitewater Rivers is required to wear a life jacket, and all children 12 and under when a boat is underway.  The water temperature for most waterways is below 50 degrees this time of year and wearing a life jacket is the most important piece of equipment for surviving the first few seconds of cold water immersion.  What’s the downside to wearing one? 
  • Never boat alone –especially when paddling.  Always let others know where you are going and when you’ll return.  Print out a downloadable float plan to leave with friends and family.
  • Be courteous to other boaters and share the waterway.  Congestion is a given in many popular locations, especially with nice weather.  By staying in calmer water near the shore, paddlers can help ease conflict with motorized boats and sailboats that need deeper water to operate.  Non-motorized boats are encouraged to use the shoreline adjacent to the ramp to help ease congestion.  Regardless of your boat type, stage your gear in the parking lot or staging area prior to launching your boat.  This makes launching faster and everyone around you, happier.     
  • In Oregon, all boaters must take a boating safety course and carry a boater education card when operating a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower. The Marine Board also offers a free, online Paddling Course for boaters new to the activity.  

For more information about safe boating in Oregon, visit www.boatoregon.com.