Clean, Drain, Dry -and Pull the Plug: Protecting Oregon’s Waterways
CLEAN all aquatic plants, animals, and mud from your boat, motor, or trailer and discard them in the trash. Rinse, scrub or pressure wash, as appropriate away from storm drains, ditches or waterways. Lawns, gravel pads, or self-serve car washes are best.
DRAIN your motor, live well, bilge, and internal compartments on land before leaving the waterbody. For paddle boats, drain by inverting or tilting the craft, opening compartments, and removing seats if necessary. Rinse or flush under flooring, at inflation chamber joints, or in other areas that can trap mud and debris.
DRY your boat between uses if possible. Leave compartments open and sponge out standing water. Find a place that will allow the anchor line to dry.
AND "Pull the Plug"
Learn to recognize these species and report any you find to the toll-free Oregon Invasive Species hotline,1-866-INVADER.
Empty your bait bucket on land before leaving the waterbody. Never release live bait into a waterbody, or release aquatic animals from one waterbody into another. NOTE: The fine for releasing live fish into a waterbody they did NOT come from is now a $125,000 fine or the cost of restoring the waterway!
Paddlecraft and Out-of-State Motorized Boats require Permits
Effective August 1, 2020, boaters who operate a non-motorized boat 10 feet or more in length, without a Waterway Access Permit permit, can be fined $115 and out-of-state motorboats who do not possess a $20 out-of-state AIS permit can be fined $50. Oregon motorized boats must have a valid registration displayed on the motorboat.
ORS 830.990: 1. Violation of ORS 830.565 by a person operating a sailboat that is at least 12 feet in length or a motorboat is punishable by a fine of $50. 2. Violation of the requirement to carry a Waterway Access Permit is punishable by a fine of $115.
Mandatory Boat Inspection Stations
All Boaters (transporting motorized or nonmotorized boats) are REQUIRED to Stop if Inspection Station is Open
Inspection teams are made up of specially trained personnel employed with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. ALL boaters are required to stop at designated roadside inspection stations.
Inspection teams will look inside and outside boats (including kayaks and canoes mounted on vehicle racks) for invasive species.
Any area that is capable of storing water for extended periods of time will be inspected.
If a motorized boat is deemed "clean," a member of the inspection team will affix a special zip tie around the bow of the boat and the trailer winch. This is proof the boat passed inspection and is clean for launching. Once the boat is launched, the zip tie will break away from the winch. Boaters are asked to pick up the remnants and properly discard them in the trash or plastic recycle container at the launch ramp.
Inspections take approximately 10 minutes. If a boat is contaminated with invasive species, the inspection team will decontaminate the craft on-site. This could take anywhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour.
Inspectors will also spend time educating the boater about properly cleaning, draining, and drying their craft before launching into Oregon waterways.
Inspection stations are set up for the current recreational boating season at the points of entry into Oregon and will also be set up at random locations. Failure to stop at an inspection station could result in a fine of $115 fine.
SECTION 1. ORS 570.855
570.855 (1) The State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board, and the State Department of Agriculture may require a person operating or transporting a recreational or commercial watercraft to stop at a check station for the purpose of inspecting the watercraft for the presence of aquatic invasive species:
[(b)] (2) The Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board, and the State Department of Agriculture may decontaminate, or recommend decontamination of. any recreational or commercial watercraft that is inspected at a check station operated under the authority of this section.
[(2)] (3) All check stations operated under the authority of this section must be plainly marked by signs that comply with all state and federal laws and must be staffed by at least one uniformed employee of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board or the State Department of Agriculture trained in inspection and decontamination of recreational or commercial watercraft.