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Marine Board Hosting Public Hearing on Implementing 2019 Legislation - 08/14/19

The Oregon State Marine Board is hosting a public hearing on August 22, from 4 pm to 7 pm.  The hearing will be held at the Jackson County Roads Building, Auditorium Meeting Room, 200 Antelope Rd, in White City.  

The public is invited to attend the hearing to learn more about the proposed rules impacting recreational boating and to provide testimony on the draft language to implement the legislative bills passed during the 2019 legislative session.

The Marine Board will meet on October 24, 2019, and may make a motion to adopt, amend, or take other action on the proposed rulemaking.

For those unable to attend, public hearings will also be held in Bend on August 29 and in Portland on September 11.

Written testimony can also be submitted by email to .rulemaking@oregon.gov">osmb.rulemaking@oregon.gov or by U.S. Mail to Jennifer Cooper, Administrative Rules Coordinator, Oregon State Marine Board, 435 Commercial Street NE, Salem, OR 97301. Testimony will not be accepted via telephone. Written comments will be accepted until 5 pm on September 20, 2019.

To view the Notices of Rulemaking and proposed rule language, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Rulemaking/CombinedNoticeofRulemaking.pdf.

For information about all of the scheduled public hearings, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/Board-and-Public-Meetings.aspx.


Marine Board Seeks Written Public Comment on Petition to Amend Regulations on Gold Lake in Lane County - 08/12/19

On August 5, 2019, the Oregon State Marine Board received a petition requesting the Board considers allowing the use of electric motors at a slow-no wake speed on Gold Lake in Lane County.

Prior to the 2019 legislative session, Gold Lake and other lakes in various counties were designated in statute as non-motorized waterbodies.  Constituents brought forward HB 3168, which passed during the session, that authorizes the Marine Board to open rulemaking to allow boat operations by electric motors at slow-no wake speeds on named lakes under certain circumstances.

Written public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 27, 2019, and can be submitted via email to .rulemaking@oregon.gov">osmb.rulemaking@oregon.gov or by U.S. mail to Jennifer Cooper, 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 public notice visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Rulemaking/PublicNotice_GoldLake_Aug5_2019.pdf.

To view HB 3168, visit https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3168.


Boaters reminded of duties after an accident - 07/29/19

The Oregon State Marine Board reminds all boaters to be good neighbors on the water. If your boat’s wake swamps or capsizes another person’s boat and puts those people in danger, do the right thing and help them out. If you don’t, you may face a misdemeanor violation or worse.

“In the past few weeks we’ve had several reports of motorized boats capsizing or swamping dragon boats and small crew boats in the Portland area,” said Randy Henry, Boating Safety Manager for the Marine Board.  “According to witness accounts, the boat operators made eye contact with the victims but continued on their way without stopping to assist. This can literally be a criminal offense,” Henry added.  

Failure to fulfill these duties could result in a Class A misdemeanor citation.  In cases where the boat operator leaves the scene of a boat accident where there is personal injury or death, the boater may be charged with a Class C felony.  

“If we get a good description of the operator, we will go after them. We have some congested waterways in Oregon now and boaters need to watch out for each other.  Those who do, are heroes,” said Henry. “Those who don’t, create conflict and risk lives.  This is no different than a hit-and-run in a motor vehicle – the consequences are worse if you drive away.”

The Marine Board contracts with 32 county Sheriff Offices and the Oregon State Police to enforce marine laws.

For more information about the Marine Board and the agency’s programs, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/pages/index.aspx


A boat with attached flotation being removed from the Swan Island Lagoon
A boat with attached flotation being removed from the Swan Island Lagoon
Agencies remove abandoned boats from Swan Island Lagoon (Photo) - 07/29/19

The Oregon State Marine Board and the Oregon Department of State Lands, in partnership with the Multnomah County River Patrol, coordinated an abandoned boat cleanup in the Swan Island Lagoon on July 26.  Ten boats were identified for seizure.

Marine Industrial Contractors used two barges, one with a crane to remove watercraft and the other for transporting the boats. Some of the boats were located along the shoreline and others partially submerged in the lagoon.

“This is the first of several cleanups being discussed,” said Ashley Massey, Public Information Officer for the Marine Board.  “We’re grateful to the contractors for being able to remove all of the identified boats at the same time.  The efficiencies and cost savings are huge. This will allow all of the agency partners to continue planning future on-water cleanups and hopefully more groups can come together to help clean up the trash along the shorelines. We care about our waterways and want them to be clean and safe for everyone.”

The Oregon State Marine Board’s Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removal Program outlines procedures for delegating authority to an enforcement agency to seize and remove boats from state lands and waters (ORS 830.908 – 830.944), in addition to seizure protocols.  Oregon’s ADV program sets aside $150,000 each biennium to fund or reimburse up to 90 percent of the removal costs to abandoned derelict boats, statewide.  The Swan Island Lagoon clean-up effort will cost approximately $18,000 and includes taking the boats to a storage facility, removing any hazardous materials or recyclable materials, and dismantling each boat.  The Department of State Lands and Marine Board are working together to cover the costs. 

“This clean-up represents a great partnership between state agencies, upland property owners and local government to address a shared problem,” said Ken Armstrong, DSL Communications Manager. “We have much more to do here and elsewhere, but this is a good start.”

The Department of State Lands is involved in the clean-up due to its stewardship of submerged and submersible state lands up to the point of Ordinary High Water.

The Marine Board also advocates boaters be good stewards of the environment by adopting clean boater practices and having an end-of-life plan for their boats. “Boats, like cars and homes, need routine maintenance and TLC; but somewhere down the line, they reach a point when they are beyond repair,” Massey added.  “If you’re not sure what to do, contact the Marine Board to discuss disposal options.”

For more information about the Marine Board’s Abandoned Derelict Vessel Program and how to be a clean boater, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/forms-library/Pages/Forms-Library-Home.aspx.


The Marine Board is funded by registration, title fees and marine fuel taxes paid by motorized boaters. No lottery, general fund tax dollars or local facility parking fees are used to support the agency or its programs. Boater-paid fees go back to boaters in the form of boating safety services (on-the-water enforcement, training, and equipment), education/outreach materials, and boating access facility grants (boat ramps, docks, parking, restrooms, and construction and maintenance). The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit program is dedicated funding to pay for border inspection stations, decontamination equipment, inspectors, and signage/outreach materials. The Mandatory Education Program is self-supporting and revenue helps pay for education materials and boater education cards.  For more information about the Marine Board and its programs, visit www.boatoregon.com.

The Oregon Department of State Lands is overseen by the State Land Board, which consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Bev Clarno and State Treasurer Tobias Read. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit. For more information about the Department of State Lands and its programs, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dsl/Pages/index.aspx

Paddlers and Floaters -Low Water Levels Mean More Awareness (Photo) - 07/25/19

It’s that time of year when lower water levels create safety challenges for paddlers and floaters, especially inexperienced recreators who are unfamiliar with how to safely maneuver their craft around obstructions near the banks or just below the surface of the water.

The Oregon State Marine Board offers the following tips on how to have fun and stay safe:

  • Always float with a friend, especially in paddlecraft or float tubes.  Have at least two boats or float devices and a plan if you become separated.  Always fill out a float plan or give detailed information to a friend or family member about where you’re going, when you expect to return, what clothing you’re wearing, and who’s with you.  Also, put contact information on your craft so if you get separated, the craft can be returned. 
  • Keep your wits about you.  Boating in rivers can be extremely relaxing; so much so, that it’s easy to be hypnotized and less aware of your surroundings.  Always keep a sharp lookout and routinely scan from left to right and right to left for logs, submerged objects, and the watch the direction the current is carrying you.  Maneuver away from objects well ahead of time. 
  • Stay well clear of log jams and strainers (root wads, trees, branches, logs). They allow water through them but can catch and entrap paddlers underwater, entangle lines, and easily puncture float tubes or pool toys not designed for river use.
  • Read the water.  Where is there white-water?  Where does the water eddy?  These indicate what’s below the surface and give key information to boaters on how to safely navigate the run and what line to take.
  • Scouting your float ahead of time -is worth the time.  Determine the safest course when boulders, gravel bars, or fallen trees/root wads are present.  Reported obstructions can be found at the Marine Board’s website to help plan your excursion. 
  • Go with your “gut feeling.”  If something doesn’t feel right, listen to it.  When in doubt, portage out (take the boat over and around an obstruction -from land or nearby gravel or sand bar).
  • Know your limits.  Know your ability at the moment, not from what you know you’re capable of doing.  Stick to rivers that are classified as I or II if you have a medical condition or are new to river running/floating. 
  • Use the right gear for the type of boating.  When running Class III or higher rapids, a helmet, properly fitting life jacket, a throw bag, and secured gear is incredibly important.  Two inner tubes tied together or in an inflatable craft with more than one air chamber are defined as a “boat” and are required to carry a properly fitting life jacket and a sound-producing device like a whistle. The Marine Board advocates even people floating in single inner tubes or pool toys wear a life jacket.  Inner tubes and pool toys aren’t designed for rivers and can easily puncture, in addition to quickly floating away from a person in fast current.  
  • On reservoirs and lakes, sharp drop-off’s are a given.  Tree stumps, boulders, and fallen trees may not be visible.  Take special care when operating near the banks, where many of these obstructions lie just below the surface.  Wear a life jacket, especially children, when on the banks.  Expect banks to be unstable. 

Check the Marine Board’s website for reported navigation obstructions.  The Marine Board cannot mitigate every obstruction, but with the help of our marine law enforcement partners, strive to ensure safe passage for popular waterways for all boaters.  Another resource is the “Paddling Oregon Safely” brochure, located in the Forms Library at boatoregon.com.


Attached Media Files: SSantiamPunctures.jpg
Temporary Boating Closure on the Clackamas River - 07/24/19

The Oregon State Marine Board closed a portion of the Clackamas River to recreational boating in the vicinity of the PGE Faraday Powerhouse due to the construction of a new powerhouse.  The in-water use of heavy machinery poses a significant safety risk to boaters. 

This temporary rule (OAR 250-020-0033) prohibits boat operations near the Cazadero dam to a point 100 feet downstream of the PGE Faraday Powerhouse, a distance of approximately 1.8 river miles.

Construction is underway.  Signage is posted at nearby ramps and buoys cordon off the downstream end of the closure area.  This rule will remain in effect until January 1, 2020.

To view new rules and notices, visit https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Pages/Rulemaking-and-Public-Notices.aspx