[OSMB-News] OSMB News: Reminder – New Boating Rule on Willamette Between Newberg and Canby

Randy Henry randy.h.henry at state.or.us
Fri Jun 11 11:57:37 PDT 2010

For Immediate Release
Date: Friday, June 11, 2010

Reminder – New Boating Rule on Willamette Between Newberg and Canby
The Oregon State Marine Board is reminding boaters – specifically operators of boats with ballast tanks, wedges or other devices designed to enhance boat wakes – that use of the devices on the Willamette River between Newberg and Canby is prohibited.

The Board adopted the wake enhancing device (WED) restriction in 2008 but did not phase the rule in until 2010. Marine officers from Clackamas and Yamhill counties will be looking for violators.

People who wakeboard or wakesurf use the devices to increase or shape the wake to improve their enjoyment of the sport. A side effect, though, is that the wake carries more energy and travels further. This isn’t a problem on large waterways, but this section of the Willamette River between Highway 219 bridge at Newberg and the upper end of Willow Island near Canby is typically 400 to 600 feet wide, with steep, soft-sediment banks and heavily developed shorelines. The increased popularity of wakeboarding and ballasted boats starting in about 2000 lead to complaints of dock damage and erosion and a three-year regulatory process starting in 2005. The regulation doesn’t prohibit wakeboarding or any other activity – just the use of WEDs. This rule is in addition to a requirement that boats operate at slow-no-wake speeds when within 100 feet of all docks and moorages in this area.

The WED restriction also prohibits loading a boat with people in such a way as to increase boat wake. Officers will be looking for boats with groups of people sitting in the stern of the boat to force the bow up, causing the boat to “plow” through the water and create larger wakes.

The bottom line, according to the Marine Board, is that all boaters are responsible for any damage or injury caused by their wake. 


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