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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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Columbia River Near Portland

Reported: 9/16/15

The Marine Board received notification of an "I-Beam" partially submerged near the old wingdam 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. 



  

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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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Molalla River System

 None reported at this time.

  

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McKenzie River System

McKenzie River below Deer Creek (44.237138, -122.059259) -Reported 11/23/15
Lane County Marine Patrol reported a fallen fir tree that lays bank-to-bank on the McKenzie River below Deer Creek.
 
Paddlers can get through a narrow passage, however; there are tree limbs that could cause entanglement.
 
This is on US Forest Service land and their representatives contacted the Marine Patrol to assess the obstruction.  The Marine Patrol deemed this a potential hazard that warrants mitigation.  The Forest Service will hire a contractor to cut the limbs and cut what they can of the trunk to allow for safe passage.
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 between Buell Miller and Greens Bridge -Reported 1/13/16 A large tree is crossing the main channel on the North Santiam that can be dangerous to drift or raft boaters. Signs have been posted at Buell Miller boat ramp.  The Linn County Marine Patrol is monitoring the tree over the next few days to see if high water maneuvers the tree downstream.  It's advised to launch downstream at Greens Bridge or take out at Buell Miller. 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.   


 

 
 
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Siltcoos River

None reported at this time.
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Rogue River System

None reported at this time.

 

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Umpqua River System

 

 

 

 

   

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Willamette River System

 





 

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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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