New PWC Water Rescue and Response Training in Oregon

Here’s a new video (courtesy of Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office) on some exciting new water-rescue training.

PWC Rescue Training, July 22, 2015, on the Willamette River. Training hosted by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with OSMB.

PWC Rescue Training, July 22, 2015, on the Willamette River. Training hosted by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with OSMB.

On July 22, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) to provide a day of training on the Willamette River. Local law enforcement agencies came to train on personal water crafts (PWCs) for patrol and rescue operations.

This training is new to the state, developed and organized by OSMB and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. It enhances marine patrol’s water-rescue and patrol response.

Participants focused on operating the PWC’s in various water conditions, including strong current and white water. They then advanced to riding with one or two passengers and performing rescues — picking up victims in the water while still maintaining control of their PWCs.

Some of the PWC’s are equipped with rescue boards, a floating platform attached to the back of the PWC. These were originally designed for use in the ocean but have been a great asset when performing rescues on our local waterways.

This is the second class so far this year, and included students from the Multnomah and Clark County Sheriff’s Offices.

The Willamette River in Clackamas County provides a great training location and variable water conditions, including strong current and deep white water.

Clackamas County and OSMB hope to continue hosting classes to train law enforcement from all around the region.

Next time you see a PWC on the water, it could be local law enforcement on patrol — ready to step into action for someone in need.

Fishing for Salmon on the Columbia?

Before you go for the Chinook, check out the Coast Guard’s newly revised Columbia River Bar Chartlette

This publication can be printed or referenced from your mobile device.

Also check the Coast Guard’s Bar Camera and bar restrictions.  Tune into 1610 AM (or channel 16 VHF marine radio) for NOAA weather broadcasts and other safety info so you can catch some fish AND have a boating experience to remember!

Page 2 with NOAA chart and areas to avoid, highlighted.

Page 2 with NOAA chart and areas to avoid, highlighted.


Despite low flows, Oregon river recreation busier than ever…

Boaters enjoying the whitewater rapids on the McKenzie River.

Boaters enjoying the whitewater rapids on the McKenzie River.

Despite low flows, Oregon river recreation busier than ever due to hot weather

By Terry Richard | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on July 21, 2015 at 5:30 AM

With some exceptions, last winter’s low snowfall across Oregon didn’t dampen enthusiasm for summer water sports.

In fact, summer’s recreational boating season has been busier than in recent years, due to pent up demand following the uptick in the economy and to the warm weather since early June that has people scurrying to water to cool off.

“Some of the rivers, the John Day, Clackamas and Sandy among them, are already at late summer flows,” said Dave Slover, owner of Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe in Portland. “But the main staples, the Deschutes, White Salmon, Rogue, North Santiam, all have plenty of water for boating.

“And with the incredible weather we’ve been having, our flatwater rental business of stand-up paddle boards has been booming.”

The North Santiam is an interesting case. As the reservoir that feeds the lower North Santiam, Detroit Lake joined the Owyhee River of southeast Oregon as poster boys for the Oregon drought this spring. Detroit Lake is still very low, but enough water is released out of Big Cliff Reservoir just below that the North Santiam is running at near average summer flows (1,000 cubic feet per second).

Boating goes on at Detroit Lake, too, though moorage is limited to where the two resorts relocated docks in late May to lower water levels.

Launching on Detroit Lake is limited to one of nine boat ramps, Mongold on State Route 22. Fortuitously, that ramp was upgraded in 2010 by the Oregon Marine Board, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and other agencies to serve low-water conditions typical of winter. The long concrete ramp down the brown side of the reservoir has been a godsend this summer.

With some exceptions, water out of Oregon reservoirs is released to keep fish runs healthy. As it turns out, those water levels are good for boating, too, especially rafting and kayaking.

Rogue River Blossom Bar Rafting and kayaking through Blossom Bar, the main rapids on the Rogue River in southwest Oregon’s Curry County.

“We’re doing well, though we started the year with some apprehension,” said Aaron Lieberman, operations manager for Orange Torpedo Trips, a Rouge River outfitter based in Merlin. “Business is up for most of our trips. It’s hard to say with any degree of authority why, but the perception is people are feeling more secure about spending non-essential income. More than anything, though, it’s the record number of hot days we’ve had, over 100 degrees.”

The Rogue River is currently running at 1,560 cfs at Grants Pass, which compares to a 75-year median for the same date of 1,590 cfs. It’s been higher in mid-July (4,070 cfs in 2011), but also far lower (778 cfs in 1940).

“Regardless of the flow people are still using the wild and recreational sections of the Rogue,” said Ross Parsons, a river ranger for the federal Wild and Scenic section. “The hot weather is getting people out. We don’t expect to see a drop in demand until the Grants Pass gauge drops below 1,000 cfs.

“The river at this flow is navigable by a skilled oarsman or woman. You may get stuck on a rock for a bit, but that happens at 10,000 cfs, too.”

The Rogue River’s passenger jet boat companies, upstream from Gold Beach and downstream from Grants Pass, are adjusting their operations to deal with water levels, as they do every season. The companies are decreasing weight in their boats by taking fewer passengers, but with capacities of 42 they are still taking 30 or more.

The trip to the wild section from Grants Pass ended in late June, compared to July 4 last year, due to low water, but the rest of the river has fewer obstacles and those trips are continuing. The Gold Beach jet boats are still running up to the wild section and will do so until around Sept. 10, when water released out of Lost Creek Reservoir diminishes.

Portland-area rafters and kayakers will continue to have access to what amounts to a second season in early September, when water is drawn down from Rimrock Reservoir east of White Pass in Washington. The water is late-season irrigation for the Yakima Valley, but it also sends boaters into a frenzy on the Tieton River for three weeks after Labor Day. Rimrock is 91 percent full at present.

Terry Richard
503-221-8222; @trichardpdx

*Be sure to go with an OSMB registered Outfitter/Guide.

For more information about river safety when using a paddlecraft, visit the Marine Board’s Paddlecraft page.

Which states require ethanol fuel?

Key: yellow—mandates ethanol-blended fuel; yellow/white—considered mandating ethanol-blended fuel; yellow/black—repealed ethanol-blended fuel mandate; black—banned ethanol-blended fuel (provisionally); white—no position. Infographic by Zach Higgins.

Key: yellow—mandates ethanol-blended fuel; yellow/white—considered mandating ethanol-blended fuel; yellow/black—repealed ethanol-blended fuel mandate; black—banned ethanol-blended fuel (provisionally); white—no position. Infographic by Zach Higgins.

-By Daniel Strohl, Hemmings Daily (Contributed to, Oregon State Marine Board -in bold)

Earlier this year, Hawaii became the second state to scrap its mandate that all gasoline sold in the state must have a certain amount of ethanol blended into it. Boaters and old-car enthusiasts who believe ethanol poses a threat to their engines cheered this move; at the same time, it made us wonder exactly how all 50 states have decided to legislate ethanol-blended fuel. Most of them probably mandate it by now, right?

Nope. Only seven states require E10 fuel. That’s down from nine total. And, in fact, at least a couple states’ legislatures have brought up the idea of banning ethanol-blended fuel entirely.

Indeed, ethanol policies across the 50 states are all over the map, as we discovered after looking up each state legislature’s record on the issue over the last 15 years. Some states investigated mandating E10 but couldn’t muster enough support for it; some mandated it with exceptions; some have conditionally approved ethanol-blended fuels based on the EPA’s stances; some haven’t even considered the issue at all.

To be clear, many of the states have supported the use of E10, E85, and other ethanol-blended and alternative fuels through incentives and purchases of official-use alternative-fuel vehicles. But we kept the scope of our survey limited to ethanol-blended fuel mandates and bans that impact the general public.

As you should be able to see from our map, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington all mandate ethanol-blended fuels. However, each state goes about their mandates a little differently.

Louisiana and Washington only mandate that 2 percent of the total volume of fuel in the state have ethanol blended into it, while the rest mandate E10. Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, and Pennsylvania mandate ethanol-blended fuel only if ethanol refineries in their states produce certain minimum amounts. And at least a few of the states—Minnesota, Missouri and Oregon—provide exceptions for older vehicles (lawn equipment, ATV’s and boats) or for exempt premium gas from having to contain ethanol.

In all, 14 states have attempted to pass mandates—some of them multiple times—but failed. None have attempted to do so since 2009 except for Iowa, which has tried to mandate ethanol-blended fuels four times over the last decade.

As we mentioned before, Hawaii is one of two states to repeal its mandate. The other, Florida, eliminated its ethanol-requirement law in 2013. Hawaii’s repeal came after at least two other attempts—in 2011 and 2013.

Four other states have also made attempts to do away with their mandates: Minnesota (2009), Missouri (2008), Oregon (2011, 2013, and 2015) and Pennsylvania (2015). Oregon’s legislature has adjourned for the year, but Pennsylvania’s remains in session.  (*Note: Oregon’s SB 424 relating to the exceptions to the requirement to sell gasoline blended with ethanol, was passed in the Senate, but upon adjournment of the 2015 legislative session, remained in the House Committee on Energy and Environment.)

From the extent of our research, half of the states haven’t ever addressed ethanol-blended-fuel mandates for the general population. Gas station owners in those states and the other states without a mandate are free to sell whatever blend of fuel they feel their customers want: E0, E10, E15, E85, whatever.

– See more at:

Marine Board Approves 34 Grant Applications

Round 1 Boating Facility Grants for 2015-2017The Oregon State Marine Board approved 34 individual grants for boating access facility improvements in the state at their last quarterly Board meeting, held on June 23, in Salem. The 34 applications for Round 1 Grants identified $11 million in project needs with $6.2 million requested from the agency.

The Board awarded $2,404,966 in state funds and $1,951,296 in federal funds for the 2015-2017 boating facility improvement projects.

“Round 1 Boating Facility Grants” make up roughly 70% of the state boater funds ($2,404,966) for the agency’s Facilities Program, which it leverages for $1,951,296 in federal funds.  Round 2 will allocate 20% of state boater funds to facility projects, and if there are any remaining funds toward the end of the biennium in 2017, there may be a Round 3 grant cycle.

For more of the accounting breakdown for each grant that was approved, visit Boat Oregon News on the Marine Board’s website.

New, two-lane concrete ramp with aluminum boarding floats in Irrigon, OR on the Columbia River.

New, two-lane concrete ramp with aluminum boarding floats in Irrigon, OR on the Columbia River.

It’s National Boating and Fishing Week! June 6-14th

(Content provided by

National Fishing and Boating Week, a national celebration of fishing and boating, takes place the first full week of June every year. This year it’s June 6-14, 2015. It highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing people’s’ quality of life and preserving our country’s natural beauty. It also is when most state’s offer their Free Fishing Days!  And in Oregon, it’s June 6 and 7th!  Listing of free fishing even locations.

Why Go Boating and Fishing?

Family Fishing and Boating Take me

Boating and Fishing are fun, stress-relieving activities:

  • De-stress: Boating is ranked as one of the top 3 of all stress-relieving activities
  • Connect with Nature: 90% of Americans live within an hour of navigable water
  • Help Conserve: The funds from your fishing licenses and boat registrations go towards the conservation of our natural aquatic areas and help pay for boating facilities in Oregon.

Free Fishing Days 2015

During National Fishing and Boating Week, most states offer free fishing days. These are days where anglers are allowed to fish on public bodies of water without a fishing license.

Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time. If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing, out on the water for the day.

Mentor or Teach Someone New to Fish

Did you know that one of the main reasons people don’t go fishing or boating, is because no one has invited them? For a newcomer, fishing can feel like an intimidating activity without an experienced guide, but you can help change this. During National Fishing and Boating Week, or the next time you go fishing, take someone new: a child, a relative, a friend.

Your invitation may be just what someone needs to start a lifetime of love for fishing and boating. Join others in sharing the joys of boating and fishing by spreading the word through your social media channels:

Click on the images for the full size and share them as badges on your social pages:

A grandfather mentors his grandchildren in fishing from a boat during one of the Free Fishing Days Three friends go fishing offshore on a center console boat on one of the Free Fishing Days Two children and a father scoop up a fish in a net as they fish from shore during national fishing and boating week

Show us your first catch during National Fishing and Boating Week Catch a memory you'll never release during National Fishing and Boating Week

How to Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week

Family Fishing and Boating Take me

The best way to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week is to get out on the water! Fun, stress-relieving activities, fishing and boating are some of the best ways to unwind.

  • Find Places to Boat and Fish: Cruise around our Places to Boat and Fish Map to boating and fishing spots that are near you and fits your family’s needs
  • Visit one of the Top 100 Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat in America. The online community recently voted for their favorite fishing and boating spots across the country where families are bound to have an enjoyable day on the water. Take a look at the Top 100 list to find a spot close to you.
  • Learn to Fish: Watch instructional videos and read tips from pros on how to cast, tie knots and make fishing rigs in our How to Fish section
  • Share Your Photos: Once you catch the big one, the best thing to do is share the photo! Add yours to our Big Catch Photo Gallery
  • Attend an Event: Many states hold events such as how-to clinics, fishing derbies, boat parades, family festivals and more during National Fishing and Boating Week. Check out our Community Events section to find an event in your state

Celebrating Conservation

You may not know it, but participation in fishing and boating actually helps fund efforts to conserve our natural waterways. A portion of all fishing tackle and license sales, as well as boat supply and registration sales, fund the conservation and preservation of our nation’s waterways through a program called the Sport Fish Restoration Program. This means that every time you purchase a fishing license or register a boat, you are helping improve the natural places you love.

In 2016, National Fishing and Boating Week will take place June 4 – 12.

Oregon Fishing License

Lane County Radio Community Forum -Boating Safety this Season

Lane County Marine Patrol Deputies on the Willamette River, early spring 2015.

Lane County Marine Patrol Deputies on the Willamette River, early spring 2015.

Outstanding radio interview chalked full of important safety “info to know” as you head out on area rivers and lakes -featuring Lane County Marine Deputy, Charles Douglass.

Lane County Radio Community Forum -Boating Safety this Season -With Tracy Berry (McKenzie River Broadcasting)


  • PLAN-PLAN-PLAN & FILE A FLOAT PLAN with family or friends.
  • WEAR A US COAST GUARD -APPROVED LIFE JACKET (The water is still cold!)
  • HAVE PADDLE, WILL MANEUVER.  Float toys have very little maneuverability and create higher risks of injury.  Float toys are not designed for a river.  Use a sturdy craft with paddles.
  • KNOW WHAT EQUIPMENT TO CARRY AND STATE LAWS: Whistle, life jackets, AIS permit, and possibly more equipment for motorboats.
Infographic of how to avoid entrapment in a strainer.

How to avoid entrapment in a strainer.

From day-to-day, the water will go down and change the river/lake dynamics.  Steep drop offs, strong hydraulics, etc.  Check the Marine Board’s website to learn where the reported navigation obstructions are.  Where possible, the agency will work with Marine Law Enforcement to mitigate navigation obstructions.

Keep this summer fun by applying these precautions!

The Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge Construction

Conceptual design of the Peter Courtney Minto Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge.

Conceptual design of the Peter Courtney Minto Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge.

Now that construction activity is underway for the bridge construction, the City of Salem intends to post regular updates, the first of which is included below.

Contractor will begin pile driving at Riverfront Park near the Eco-Earth Ball; park users or those in the vicinity of Riverfront and Minto Brown Island Park may hear the pile driving.
During the week of 6/1:
-Contractor will begin constructing temporary work bridge
-Begin form work at two foundation locations at Riverfront Park
-Contractor will begin pile driving for temporary work bridge in the Willamette
-Slough; park users or those in the vicinity of Riverfront and Minto Brown Island Park may hear the pile driving
-Continue working on path at Minto Brown Island
This schedule is subject to change.


OREGON – WILLAMETTE SLOUGH – MINTO ISLAND PEDESTRIAN / BICYCLE BRIDGE: Special bridge notice Legacy Contracting, Inc. is constructing the Minto Island Pedestrian Bridge in Salem, OR in vicinity of Riverfront Park Playground at 44-56-19.0N, 123-02-43W.  The construction work will be Monday through Sunday 24 hours per day until October 15, 2016.  Boaters can expect overhead cranes and pile driving while constructing temporary trestles with overhead hazards with a minimum clearance of 10 feet.  A temporary 40 foot wide channel will be marked with signs for passage under the bridge and through the construction zone.  Regulatory orange and white buoys will be also be placed marking the construction area for no wake and bridge construction.  The onsite superintendent is Monte Nunnelly can be reached at (503) 510-7624.  For more construction information, contact Todd Ross at (503) 749-1818, or

Free Class -Electric Shock Drowning Prevention






Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Class

Saturday, June 6, 2015

9 am to Noon

Rocky Point Marina and Boatyard Clubhouse

23586 NW St. Helens Rd., Portland, OR

On Saturday June 6, Rocky Pointe Marina will host an Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) prevention class at the Boatyard Clubhouse in St. Helens, OR. Joined by local boat owner and ESD-prevention advocate Kevin Ritz, Rocky Pointe Marina hopes to raise awareness of the dangers of stray electricity in the water that can lead to fatalities.

Following the tragic loss of his young son to ESD over 15 years ago, Kevin Ritz has made it his life mission to prevent this from happening to others. Kevin will be offering his expertise on the subject, as well as providing hands-on demonstrations with boats, power pedestals and shore power cords.

This class is free and open to all. We strongly encourage representatives from all marinas and yacht clubs to attend. Please reserve space(s) by emailing to Or simply show up. All are welcome.

The best way to avoid ESD at your facility is to not allow swimming. These 8”x11” signs will be available at the class for only $5 each. You can pre-order your sign when signing up.

In honor of Lucas Ritz.

In honor of Lucas Ritz.


Order Replacement Boater Education Cards Online

Recreational boater showing his boater education card.

Recreational boater showing his boater education card.

Life jackets? Check. Fire extinguisher? Check. Food and water? Check. Boater education card? It’s Friday night at 11 pm and you’re leaving at dawn for the lake when you realize, “Oh no, what did I do with it. Is it in the boat?” No worries. With the Marine Board’s new online storefront (open 24/7), boat operators can order a replacement boater education card and print out a temporary permit and go boating right away. Boaters no longer have to call or visit the Salem office during business hours to verify they have a card, and then wait for snail mail for their replacement, which typically takes two to three weeks.
“This time every spring, boaters get their boats and gear prepped, and sometimes panic when they realize they can’t find their card,” says MariAnn McKenzie, Boater Education Coordinator for the Marine Board.  “It’s easy to go to our online registration system to order a replacement.” The cost of a replacement card is $8 and the storefront accepts most major credit cards.
Go to and click on the RegLine icon from the homepage. If boaters have purchased an AIS permit, applied for a boater education card, or registered a boat, the Marine Board’s online storefront already has the boater’s baseline data. Simply register to create an account. Once boaters establish a user name and password, they can login, and click on online services drop-down, and select the Boater Education Card Replacement Application link, then follow the directions. Once payment is verified, boaters will have the option to print a temporary permit, which is valid for up to 60 days and must be carried onboard the boat. If you need assistance with the online process, please contact the Education Section at the Marine Board at 503-378-8587.
The Mandatory Education law was implemented in 2001 and requires boaters to take an approved boating safety course, apply for a boater education card and carry it with them on the water when operating a powerboat over 10 horsepower. The program was phased in by age beginning in 2003 and after 2009, all boaters are required to take a boating safety course. The card costs $10 and is good for life. McKenzie adds, “Remember to make sure you have your card with you when you’re out on the water. It’s a Class D violation and boaters could get a $110 fine.”
To order a replacement boater education card or to set up an account with the Marine Board’s online storefront for other permits or licenses, visit