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Coastal River Etiquette
Boaters and Anglers Need to Get Along to Avoid Restrictions
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Conflict happens...and has been happening for a while along the banks of Oregon's coastal rivers. 
 
Our rivers are ideal habitat for sport fish, which is a huge draw for anglers.   
The Marine Board has received complaints about situations where the competition for fish leads to confrontation. "It's very hard to craft rules that force people to be polite," says Randy Henry, Operations Policy Analyst for the Marine Board. "It would be much better for everyone if they recognized a simple truth about fishing: It's supposed to be fun."
 
THINGS TO KNOW:
 
  • Cuting someone's line out of anger can constitute harassment.  At the very least, it will escalate conflict.
  • Throwing rocks or casting weights or hooks at someone can constitute assault.
  • Operating your boat in a way that can or does cause damage or injury is "Unsafe Boating."  This is a citable offense.
  • Unsafe operation with a purposeful disregard for others'safety is "Reckless Boating."  Another citable offense.
  • Boating Under the Influence of Intoxicants -Makes bad sitations worse; $6,250 fine.
  • Trespass -For private lands, boaters and bank anglers must stay below the ordinary high water mark.  You must have permission to cross private propertly to access public water.  Respect private lands.  Carry out your garbage, do not build campfires, remove all human waste.  For more information, view "Public Use of Oregon's Rivers and Lakes." 
  • Report illegal activity.  Poaching, trespass, dumping or other illegal activities cannot be corrected if they are not reported.  Report to Oregon State Police or county sheriff.  Provide as much detail as possible -boat "OR" number, license number, physical description, location, time, etc.  Photos or video may help too.
 
Law Enforcement Phone Numbers
Curry County..........541-247-3250
Coos County..........541-396-3121
Lane County..........541-682-8599
Lincoln County.......541-265-4277
Tillamook County...503-815-3316
Clatsop County......503-325-8635
*Emergencies - dial 911
 

Other Suggestions to Reduce Conflict
* Boat and bank anglers need to share the water, but bank angling is often limited on coastal rivers. Boaters should avoid anchoring or repeatedly fishing through a popular bank-access hole. "Fish twice, move along,"

* In areas where boat use is common, bank anglers should not wade to the middle of the channel or to the top of their waders. Likewise, they shouldn't cast across the river and expect boats to not pass through. You cannot legally restrict navigation.

* Boat away from bank anglers to avoid interrupting their fishing. If boating away would put you over holding water, communicate your intentions to float by the bank anglers to avoid spooking the fish.

* Minimize motor use on smaller rivers. Drift boats do not plane * increased throttle provides little increase in speed but creates a larger wake and more noise. Have patience and travel slowly. If motoring back up stream means disrupting bank anglers, limit your upstream trips.

* Fish On: Give the person with a fish on room to play and land the fish. Reel in your lines, move away.

* Clean up: Always pack out all garbage, fishing gear and anything else you carried in. Carefully collect all loose fishing line and properly dispose of it. Leave no trace.


 

Education and Outreach
First Steps to Addressing Conflict
 
Signs and brochures were created to educate anglers and boaters about the importance of reducing conflict during peak fishing season in order to avoid regulatory restrictions.  Both the sign and brochure address each party; the boat angler and the bank angler. 
 
Download the "Fishing Smaller Coastal Rivers" brochure and the:
Signage for Coos County Rivers 
Signage for Curry County Rivers
 
News Rlease: Marine Board Rejects Restrictions on South Fork Coquille River