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Navigation Obstructions on Inland Waterways

All outdoor recreational activities include risk, and boating is no different. Every time you step into a boat you accept this.  You reduce this risk by wearing a life jacket and other appropriate safety gear, and learning the basic skill and knowledge to navigate the risks. 

When you take a boat down a river, you offset the increased risk by taking more precautions. SCOUT THE WATERWAY BEFORE running it.  All rivers are dynamic.  Boulders move, trees fall, currents shift, and changing flows can increase or decrease difficulty.
 
The Marine Board works with local county sheriff's offices to review reported obstructions.   Not every log or snag can be removed due to safety concerns or excessive costs.  If an obstruction creates a serious hazard and cannot be mitigated, the Marine Board may choose to close the waterway to ALL boating.
 
Also...float toys, air mattresses, inner tubes and many rafts are not designed for use in rivers.  They do not provide adequate flotation and puncture resistance.  Using the right equipment, carrying the right gear, and gaining the necessary knowledge will help ensure your safety on the water.

   

Contact your local Marine Patrol Office to report an obstruction​

The Marine Board works with local county Sheriff's Offices and the public to report navigation obstructions.  The Marine Patrol will investigate heavily boated areas and make recommendations to the Marine Board for mitigation.  Not every log or snag can safely be removed.  If law enforcement deem a waterway too dangerous for recreational boating, the Marine Director has the authority to close the waterway to boating. 

 

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Notice to Mariners

Weekly Notice To Mariners -U.S. Coast Guard District 13

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Notice -Issued March 2, 2011
WARNING TO: U.S. Registered Yachts and Sailing Vessels
 
PIRACY OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIA AND EASTERN AFRICA
 
Marad Advisory (2011-05) to Mariners: Risk to Vessels Transiting High Risk Waters

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Coastal Bar Web Cams & Bar Restrictions

NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard now have coastal bar web cams and bar conditions/restrictions for the following locations:

  • Columbia River -Cape Disappointment, WA
  • Tillamook Bar
  • Depoe Bay Bar
  • Yaquina Bay Bar
  • Siuslaw Bar
  • Umpqua Bar
  • Coos Bay Bar
  • Chetco Bar

Bar Camera Images and Latest Observations

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Statewide Valley Rivers and Bays

SAFETY FIRST...Scout the River Before Launching
 
Watch for trees, root wads and snags, floating debris and other hazards.  Remember, rivers are dynamic, meaning they are constantly changing depending on rain, snow melt, erosion, and other factors.  Boaters should expect log jams, and other obstacles (in conjunction with deviation from normal river patterns) and need to know what to do when they encounter hazards to protect property and lives.
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Rivers with Consistent Naviation Obstructions

Some of Oregon's rivers are prone to natural navigation obstructions based on the topography and geology of the water basin.  
 
The hazards listed on this page will list rivers that have consistent log jams, strainers, or debris. 
 
The Marine Board works with local law enforcement marine deputies to identify obstructions and who will then name the obstruction based on:
  1. Waterbody
  2. Proximity to known landmarks vs. river miles
 
The Marine Board will then use these names to correlate onto maps for perspective.
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Lost Creek Reservoir -Jackson County

The Jackson County Marine Patrol reported a major debris flow into Lost Creek Reservoir on February 2, 2015.  There are many acres of trees, libs, bark and other debris flowing across the lake and will create dangerous boating conditions.  At this time, the marine patrol are assessing the best mitigation opportunities.  Please keep a sharp lookout and steer clear of this debris flow

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Molalla River System

 Molalla River Above Wagon Wheel Park -Reported on 3-6-15

Several downed trees and concrete structure are obstructing the back channel just above Wagon Wheel Park.  Law enforcement officials advise staying river left and to stay on the main channel to avoid this area completely.  There are shallow areas where portage is possible.  Clackamas County is working with the landowner for assistance with mitigation and hope to remove two of the trees and creating a passage on 3-7-15.

  

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McKenzie River System

McKenzie River -1.0 Mile Below Trails End Boat Ramp –Reported 4/22/15
The Lane County Marine Patrol reported a bank-to-bank obstruction from a 3-foot thick cottonwood tree, located 1 mile downstream of the Trails End Boat Ramp.  This is creating a low-head dam flow and is difficult to see.  There is no portage around the blockage and is on private land.  Signs have been posted upstream and downstream of the obstruction.  A contractor is being procured in an attempt to create safe passage. 


McKenzie River -1.6 miles below Bellinger Boat Ramp -Reported 3/25/14A fallen tree is blocking one of three navigation channels approximately 1.6 miles downstream from the Bellinger Landing Boat Ramp.  Lane County Marine Patrol deputies assessed the obstruction and recommended having the tree cut to allow safe navigation. Boaters should take out at Bellinger if they put in farther upstream.  The goal is to have this obstruction mitigated by Wednesday, April 1. Law enforcement advise using the side channel.

 
McKenzie River - just below the Frissell Bridge, reported 9/18/14 A large tree has fallen, spanning the McKenzie River, about 500 yards below the Frissell Boat Launch. Please scout the river and use extreme caution in this area as river levels may fluctuate.  Signs have been posted at sites upriver of the obstruction.  The Forest Service is evaluating options for mitigation and will keep us advised. 
UPDATE: 10/1/14The tree was not topped, however; there is an opening on the river-left for drift boat traffic.  Signs at the nearby boat ramp will remain in place so boaters are aware the tree will be there until high water moves it downstream. 



McKenzie River at Eagle Rock - Reported 5/16/13
Location: 44.10.7197'N, -122.42.9308'W

A tree from the hillside has fallen into the river and is protruding into the river from the left bank.  Presently there is sufficient water to safely negotiate around it, but boaters are advised to use caution as water levels change.  Forest Glen and Finn Rock boat launches upstream have been posted with information signs.  Lane County Marine Patrol is monitoring the obstruction and will keep us advised.

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McKenzie River Below Leaburg Dam -Reported May 15, 2012 -Ongoing

A large boulder is in the middle of the only chute/pathway directly below the boat slide downstream of the Leaburg Dam.  Extensive boulder field has developed into this channel, lodging the largest one.  As the water level drops, boaters can easily capsize when attempting to use the slide.  Authorities from ODFW and EWEB have been notified since the initial reporting and will meet again to discuss potential options.  

The dam is currently under construction and the middle and east side gates are inoperable.  The slide ramp below the dam is not usable because the water coming from the dam is being discharged on the same side.  The only access to the ramp is via the road across the top of the dam, which is currently closed. ​

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Santiam River System


North Santiam River in Downtown Mill City -Reported 3/10/15

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.   



 

North Santiam River Between Green's Bridge and Jefferson -Reported 3/5/15

A fallen log blocks the entire river approximately 3.5 miles from Green's Bridge and is considered very dangerous.  A group of rafters were trapped in the log and barely escaped.  A fallen log blocks the entire river approximately 3.5 miles from Green's Bridge and is considered very dangerous.  A group of rafters were trapped in the log and barely escaped.  Benton County Marine Patrol cut off as many limbs as they could and created a narrow passage on river left.  They advise that only experienced boaters attempt to navigate through this obstruction.  There are several submerged trees, strainers, and very strong current.  Exit and warning signs have been posted upstream.  People who are inexperienced, are on float toys or inflatable boats are urged to avoid this area altogether because these obstructions can easily entrap and puncture less maneuverable craft.  Exercise caution and exit where the sign indicate. Bids are being sought to find out the cost of mitigation.  It may not be feasible.



North Santiam River by Stayton (Garen) Island above Stayton - Reported 9/25/14
Water hydraulics and overhanging branches are making the north channel of the North Santiam River around Stayton (Garen) Island dangerous to paddle craft and small boats. The hazardous area is approx. 1-2 miles above the Stayton Bridge.  Users are advised to take the south channel.  Signs are being posted at upstream launch points and Marion County Marine Patrol is assessing mitigation options.  Please use extreme caution in this area.​
 
 
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Siltcoos River

Above Lodge Pole Day Use Area


Near Siltcoos Road west of the work center.  A tree fell across the river last summer, landing in the Lodge Pole day use area.  Boaters are advised to use extreme caution when navigating around the obstruction.  It has been reported that kayakers are passing through it without issue.

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Rogue River System

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office is warning citizens about a dangerous river hazard along the Rogue

river. A large oak tree fell across a portion of the river about 1.74 miles above Dodge Bridge. Marine deputies have spent several days cutting the tree and all that remains is the root wades and main trunk. Those pieces are too large and heavy to move.

There are two safe channels around the hazard which must be entered upstream. Deputies are working with the Oregon State Marine Board to better mark and remove the remaining hazard, however it may take a week to complete.

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Umpqua River System

North Umpqua below Soda Springs Dam - Reported January 31, 2014
& Updated on March 6, 2014

A large tree is blocking passage of the river just below Soda Springs Dam, above Boulder Flat, but is also upstream of the Boulder Creek Boat Ramp.  The Forest Service posted signs in the undeveloped locations alerting boaters to the obstruction.  Forest Service representatives report that the intention is to leave the tree in-place since it's location is in the Boulder Creek Wilderness and managed for primative recreation. 

 

 

 

 

Umpqua River Below Smith Bridge -Reported 12/29/14

A cable is in the water approximately 1/2 mile below Smith Bridge and runs bank to bank. The cable is difficult to see and lies just above the water's surface.  The land owner has been notified and will be removing the cable in the morning of December 30.      

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Willamette River System

Willamette River at Wallace Marine Park -Salem -Reported 5/30/14

This submerged tree was first reported in the winter, and it was hoped that high water flows would transport the obstruction downstream or to the shoreline.  It hasn't budged.  Polk county Marine Patrol also report a submerged vehicle in the vicinity, and have marked it with a cautionary buoy

 UPDATE: March, 2015

The log remains, and other debris has accumulated.  The obstruction is highly visible and has been marked by marine patrol deputies.  It was hoped that winter high water would dislodge the tree, however, the high water didn't arrive.  Other options are being considered, but boaters are urged to motor to their left as soon as possible after launching to avoid the current potentially carrying the boat toward the tree. 



 

 

 

 


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Health Advisories

Blue-Green Algae Advisories
 
When are advisories issued?
The Department of Human Services Public Health office of Environmental Toxicology evaluates bluegreen algae test data to determine whether algal blooms present hazards to animals or human beings. DHS does not have resources to collect or test algae samples, but DHS often receives reports of testing done by private contractors, researchers or other government agencies. How long do advisories last?
Dangerous algal blooms may develop and disappear within a matter of days, or they may continue for weeks or months. The longest advisory period for any water body in Oregon to date began in early June and lasted into late November. The intensity of the bloom and the concentrations of toxin in a water body are not uniform. Often thealgaes are most dense around the edges of the water body, but wind or water currents may change the location of affected areas very quickly.

Usually a dangerous bloom is associated with a distinctbluegreen color and cloudiness in the water. Algal blooms often produce large floating masses of green, yellow or bluish green slime. Visibly affected water should be avoided whether or not there is an official advisory in place.
 
Blue-Green Algae Health Concerns in Oregon- frequently asked questions about blue-green algae

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Caution Urged for Dory Boats and Surfers

Cape Kiwanda

The Dorymen's Association and local surfers are working together on solutions to prevent
accidents on Cape Kiwanda.  Tragedy hit the Pacific City cove on July 6, 2008 when a young surfer was seriously injured when a dory boat prop struck him.
 
Improved signage, better coordination between user groups and partnerships with local business to help distribute brochures with safety messaging have been developed to improve safety.  
 

Local users know the risks of being on the beach.  The Dorymen's Association and local surfers want to help educate and inform vacationers and out-of-towners (beach combers, kayaks, swimmers, waders, kite surfers, etc.) about the dory boat launching/beach landing, and being more aware of beach safety.  Both groups want to help make the beach safe for everyone, and not impose regulations that prohibit any user group from doing what they enjoy.
 
 
For more information about the Dorymen's Association, visit:  www.pcdorymen.com
 
 

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North Santiam River Report

 The North Santiam River Guides Assiciation offers a monthly river report with information about the best channels to drift, areas that might get less experienced boaters into trouble, as well as how the fish are biting! It's a great resource for all boaters.
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Tualatin River

 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.

 

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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. 

 

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