Oregon State Marine Board

​Oregon's rivers are inherently dangerous, and some are prone to natural obstructions based on the topography and geology of the water basin.  The obstructions listed on this page will list rivers that consistently have log jams, strainers or other debris. 

During the winter and spring, debris flows and fallen trees are common.  By the summer, dropping water levels expose sunken logs and strainers, and the current often becomes stronger in the main channels on rivers and can take less maneuverable craft (inflatables) directly into the obstructions.  Take the time to plan ahead and scout the river before you put in.  Expect sudden drop-offs into deeper water along reservoir and lake banks.  Always wear your life jacket.  
 
Inflatable floating devices (i.e. air mattresses, pool toys and inner tubes) are not designed for rivers…please avoid using these devices for river recreation. 
 
 
​​River System ​Location ​Image/Map/Description
Beaver Creek ​Clackamas County, near the foot bridge Reported 5/30/17
Beaver Creek fallen tree near foot bridge in Clackamas County

Representatives from Canoe Oregon reported a
fallen tree near the footbridge across Beaver Creek.  
It's extremely tight to navigate under.  Portage
around, if possible. 
​Calapooia ​Linn/Benton County


 

N 44 34.273 W 123 08.565, section off Hwy 34 near Albany


Calapooia River Fallen Tree image
Depending on the water level, this fallen tree could be quite challenging to navigate under.  Attempt portage,
if possible.  

​Columbia Near Chinook Landing
Reported 9/16/15

 

Image of I-beam on the surface of the water

The Marine Board received notification of an "I-Beam" partially submerged near the old wing dam below Chinook Landing.  A boater has already collided with it and totaled their boat. The Marine Board is coordinating with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office to mark & sign the beam while trying to determine who the property owner is.  Caution is urged if boaters are operating in this area.

​Little Deschutes N 43 46.558' W 121 28.458'


N 43 46.986' W 121 28.082'

​Two obstructions are between the State Rec Road and Forest Road (by 1000 trails).  The first GPS location is across the channel and has been there since 2014.  There is safe portage, but inexperienced boaters need to keep a sharp lookout and scout for a take out.  

The second obstruction is 1.3 miles downstream from the first obstruction.  Another tree has fallen and at lower water levels, portage will be difficult.  

At this time, these obstructions cannot be mitigated due to their remote locations.  
Elk River
​Curry County, downstream from the confluence of Indian Creek and Elk River
Obstruction location from Google Earth -at the bend in the river near the grass area
Map image of log obstruction.
Trees are creating a partial obstruction on the Elk River approximately one mile up river from Iron Head boat ramp.  Portage is possible.  Less maneuverable craft are encouraged to avoid this area and to launch from Iron Head or further downstream. Curry County Marine Patrol is working with the landowner to identify the best way to mitigate the logs. 
McKenzie ​McKenzie River near Belknap
+044.19259, -122.05182
Off Belknapp Springs Rd. 

6/16/17
Fallen tree off Belknap Springs Rd on McKenzie River
A tree has fallen with the root wad intact, across the McKenzie River near Belknap Springs Rd.  Signage has been posted at the Olallie and Frissell ramps.  This area is heavily used by guides.  Stay river right.  At this time with the current river flow, boaters are encouraged to put in downstream of this obstruction.  As river levels drop, the main flow can easily carry boats directly into the obstruction.  A large rock is holding the tree in place. Mitigation is being considered with the help of the Lane County Sheriff's Office.    

McKenzie River at Riverbend -Springfield

(44.04'47.43"N., 123.01'25.94"W)

4/28/17
UPDATE 5/10/17: Lane County Marine Patrol and the Eugene/Springfield Fire Department used three boats and lots of skills to remove roughly 1/3 of the obstruction.  The crews were able to make safe passage for jet boats; however, this area is extremely dangerous for paddlecraft.  Additionally, Hills Creek Reservoir and Lookout Reservoir are going to be drawn down for repairs which will increase flows to approximately 10,000 cfs, until August.  This obstruction cannot be safely mitigated further at the current water levels, and almost certainly cannot be completed with the higher flows expected.  Signs will be posted at nearby boat ramps and paddlers will be encouraged to avoid this area altogether.

Mitigation on obstructions for the McKenzie River at Riverbend


Log jam on McKenzie River near Riverbend,

Several cottonwood trees are down, obstructing the river left channel.  Strong current in the narrow channel forces non-motorized traffic into the obstructions.  There is portage, but less maneuverable craft can get into trouble in a hurry.  Keep a sharp lookout.  The downed tree poses a risk to inflatable craft. Signs have been posted at nearby launch ramps.  As water levels drop, this area will become more problematic and powerboats will not be able to pass through.  Lane County marine patrol is working to mitigate some of the obstruction in an attempt to create passage. 

McKenzie River at Riverbend -logs are beginning to pile up. 

​Molalla ​Railroad Bridge between Wagon Wheel and Canby.
Molalla Railroad Bridge Obstruction

Large amounts of debris are completely blocking the far right at center channels under the railroad bridge, and are partially blocking the left channel.  OSMB is in communication with the railroad and marine law enforcement to create safe passage.  At this time, it is impassable.  Boaters are urged to put in/take out upstream or downstream of this obstruction.
​​North Santiam Marion/Linn County
4/18/17
North Santiam google image of location of downed tree on the North Santiam River
The Marion County marine patrol reported a downed
tree three miles below the Buell Miller boat ramp.  Right now boaters can avert it by staying river left, but as water levels drop, the current may pull less maneuverable boats directly into it.  The Marine Patrol will be back to the location over the weekend and the obstruction will be signed as well as nearby boat ramps.  
North Santiam Marion County

​Between Greens Bridge and Buell Miller Boat Ramp reported 4/4/16
Fallen tree on the North Santiam River between Greens Bridge and Buell Miller boat ramps.

​A fallen tree is blocking a large section of the river on the North Santiam between Greens Bridge and Buell Miller. River left (downstream) has a gravel bar, so the current will take boaters into the tree.  Marion County Marine Deputies are assesing the obstruction and will make mitigation recommendations to the Marine Board.  At this time, its best to avoid this section of the river.
 
UPDATE: The tree has been topped off, but due to dropping water levels, the gravel bar on river-left creates a strong  current directly into tree.  Stay river-left and paddle strong/hard toward the gravel bar to make safe passage. As water levels drop, portage will become more difficult.   

​​

Between Shelburn and Green's Bridge
Reported 3/7/16

The Oregon State Marine Board received a notification of 
multiple downed trees spanning the channel on the North Santiam between Sheburn and Green's Bridge.  Signs have been posted at boat ramps upstream and downstream of the obstructions.  Boaters are urged to keep a sharp lookout, read the river carefully, and portage around whenever possible. 
Downtown Mill City
Reported 3/10/15
Image of damaged retaining wall

A large concrete portion of a retaining wall has crumbled and is hanging on by rebar just above the river surface.  Boaters are advised to stay well clear of the banks.  The landowner and the city have been notified.  At this stage, 

the concrete is not an obstruction to recreational boating, 

but does pose a safety hazard due to the instability of the bank.   

Rogue​ Jackson County

Between Takelma Park and Dodge Bridge

Reported: 2/17/16

(42.26130 N, -123.4751 W)

Obstructions between Takelma Park and Dodge Bridge on the Rogue River in Jackson County.
​Two trees with root wads are in a shallow rapid, along with two trees off a higher bank into the river.  There are several strainers on river-left, just below the shallow gravel bar.  There is also one large oak tree on river-right.  The gravel bar makes safe navigation challenging. Jackson County Marine Patrol is making progress to mitigate the obstructions and will continue as weather and conditions allow.  The marine patrol advises boaters to avoid this
stretch of the river since safe portage is not currently possible. 
Winter storms have dropped boating obstacles in the Upper Rogue River, Medford Mail Tribune -Mark Freeman
Sandy
Clackamas County, ​5 miles downstream of Oxbow State Park
(45.503966, -122.336304)

There are 2 downed trees, one above and one below Camp Angelos. The tree above the camp is estimated to be 2.5 ft. to 3 ft. in diameter, with a root ball that spans about 7 ft. wide. The root ball is said to be anchored well on shore, while the rest of the tree stretches completely across the river.  There is not much time to react to these obstructions and signs have been posted at nearby boat ramps.  Marine Patrol deputies will be evaluating the obstruction and reporting back to the Marine Board on whether they can be mitigated.  In the meantime, its recommended to avoid the area.

Santiam

Linn County

Two miles above the confluence of the Willamette River

(44.756501, -123.109940)

Image of a strainer on the Santiam River in Benton County, two miles upstream from the Willamette River confluence.
There are between 6-8 logs with root wads in the river with smaller ones stretching approximately 2 miles upstream from the confluence of the Willamette River in Linn County.  There is room to maneuver and law enforcement advise staying river left dowing downstream. These strainers are too large to be mitigated at this time. Signs are posted near the obstructions and the obstructions themselves are marked them with caution tape. 
Siltcoos ​Fallen tree 400 yeards below Hwy 101 Bridge -Reported 4/4/16

43.8839, -124.1257
Siltcoos River fallen tree obstruction.

​A 4-foot pine tree has fallen across the Siltcoos River in Lane County.  The land is public and the managers have been contacted.  Lane County Marine Patrol has contacted a contractor to create safe passage.  Boaters are advised to stay to river right after safe passage has been made.  Most of the tree will remain in place for fish habitat.  
​Tualatin ​​Fallen tree -Fields Bridge in Clackamas County -Reported 4/20/15 

A fallen tree was reported on the Tualatin River, upstream from Fields Bridge in West Linn, behind 23044 SW Ulsky Rd.  This area is used primarily by paddlecraft and is passable.  The tree is also visible.  The Clackamas County Marine Patrol deputies are assessing the obstruction and will make recommedations for future mitigation.

The Tualatin Riverkeeper reported seven separate log jams to the Washington County Marine Patrol who forwarded the information to the Marine Board. 

The log jams are in the following locations along the Tualatin River:

Click on the coordinates above for an aerial view of the navigation obstruction.

In all of these log jams, law enforcement report that boaters cannot safely navigate around the obstruction and portage may not be possible.  In many of these log jams, there's a large volume of trees.  Boaters are urged to plan ahead and avoid these areas.  As the water levels continue to drop into the summer, these logs won't be going anywhere.  

​Umpqua
Willamette ​Lane County, below confluence near Hileman County Park
– 44.141065, -123.122286
Reported on 5/30/17​
Log jam/obstruction near Hileman County Park on the Willamette River
Paddlers reported a strainer downstream of Hileman County Park/Boat Ramp below the confluence of the McKenzie River on the side channel entering the main channel.  A log is on river left but the current carries paddlers to the right, into a log jam.  This was a close call for the paddlers, who were pinned but able to climb out to safety.  The Lane County Marine Patrol unit is assessing the obstrution for potential mitigation and recommendations for boaters.  Less maneuverable boats and inexperienced paddlers are encouraged to stay in the main channel.  These paddlers advise wearing life jackets and are grateful they wore theirs.  We will post updated information when we hear back from the marine patrol.  

​​ ​Approximately 100' downstream from KEED Rapids, above the Autzen Footbridge in Eugene
Image of insulated line bowing low above the water on the Willamette River near Eugene.

Reported on 2/1/17 by Eugene Fire:
A line is dipping to roughly three feet above the surface of the water line.  EWEB has been notified to investigate.  Boaters are urged to pass on river right or river left where the line is farthest from the water.  Proceed with caution.

​Coast Fork Willamette River at Lynx Hollow Park, 43.864827, -123.0209788

A boater reported an area of concern to Lane County Marine Patrol on December 20, 2016.  The marine patrol report that this is an earthen dam (low head) with some hydraulic effects due to high water.  The normal chute for passage is difficult to see.  Boaters should be able to navigate over any area of this earthen dam at the existing water level or portage around.  Boaters are urged to pay attention and oar through the area to avoid getting stuck.

1/4 Mile below Clearwater Landing
Lane County

-Reported 7/16/16

 

44.024263 -122.959271

Image of a strainer 1/4 mile downstream of Clearwater Landing on the Willamette River in Lane County

 

Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue would like to alert boaters and those recreating on the Willamette River in Springfield of an obstruction in the water.  Approximately ¼ mile downstream from Clearwater Landing on river right is a large cottonwood tree that has fallen into the water that could pose a hazard to boaters and swimmers.

The main current of the channel runs directly into the root wad.

The Sheriff’s Office continually updates the Marine Board about this obstruction. Due to safety, the obstruction cannot be removed due to the water volume and strong current.  We are encouraging people to use extreme caution in the area. Stay far river left.  ClearwaterHazard.jpg

Brown's Landing

44.1898627, -123.153338


Lane County Marine Patrol reported a rood wad and tree debris near Brown's Landing on the Willamette River.  Drift boaters who take river left may be drawn into the debris by the current.  Take the river right channel, which is the first visible route when heading up or down stream. 

Below Dexter Dam

​43 degrees 57'38.03"N, 122 degrees 51'57.46"



A 1920’s era shovel excavator fell into the river from an undercut bank on the Willamette River below Dexter Dam.  The land is privately owned and there isn’t a safe portage.  A private contractor will be required to remove the excavator and contacts to the owner are in process.  Signs have been posted upstream to the dam.  Boaters are urged to avoid this area.

A fallen tree was mitigated on 7/18/16 below the Middlefork
​boat launch/Dexter Dam. With water
levels dropping and drift traffic increasing, boaters are encouraged to scout ahead and keep a sharp lookout.  Carefully read the river.

Missing marker on Linn Co. side of river, RM 127.3

-Reported 6/9/16

River marker missing on Willamette River, Linn County
 

River Marker 127.3 -- The river's bank awashed away and the sign is layong on its back against the bank. Please be aware of this while navigating the river.

  Read the River
 
Graphic of how to Read the River


 
 

 

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