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Spring Boating
Spring is a great time to go boating in Oregon.
Fish: If you fish, spring means the opening of trout season, access to high lakes, the awakening of bass and panfish and good runs of chinook salmon and shad. Check this fishing primer...
Whitewater: If you raft, spring is plentiful whitewater on the Clackamas, Sandy, Santiam, McKenzie, Deschutes, John Day, Owhyee, Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua and numerous other rivers across the state. Each storm is a new opportunity for experienced enthusiasts.
Cruising: We do get some nice days in March, April and May, which provides some excellent cruising. Waterlevels are good, wildlife is about the boating can be great.
Things to know: Spring storms cause quick fluctuations in river and reservoir levels. The Corps of Engineers is in the delicate balancing act of providing adequate in-stream flows for migrating fish, filling reservoirs for the summer recreation and irrigation, and managing them for potential flood control needs. The WillametteRogue and other river systems can be highly variable this time of year. Check our Access Page for river and reservoir levels. You'll also find links to weather forecasts.
Oregon's waters are always cold, but especially in the spring with snow melt. Because of the cold water, accumulation of debris and other hazards, always wear your life jacket.
If you plan to participate in spring chinook, sturgeon, shad or other big-river fishing, make sure your gear is in good shape and you know how to use it. A good anchor, plenty of rope and a float is necessary for in-river fishing like this. Check the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife web page for fishing reports and information.
Before heading out, double check your boat, motor, equipment and safety gear. Make sure all life jackets are in good shape and fit the people in boat. Also, do you have your Boater Education Card?