State-owned waterways are commonly termed "navigable." When Oregon became a state in 1859, all the land underlying waterways that were used, or could have been used, in their natural condition to transport people and goods, became state-owned. However, specific waterways, or portions, that met this navigability standard were not identified. State law authorizes the State Land Board to determine if a waterway is navigable for title.
The following links provide information regarding public use and ownership of waterways in Oregon, the navigability determination process, and the history of navigability in Oregon.
Public Use of Oregon's Waterways
Frequently Asked Questions
Your Rights and Responsibilities
Attorney General Opinion (2005)
Ownership of Oregon's Waterways
Rivers, Creeks and Sloughs
Navigability Determinations and Historical Information
More information is available from Bill Ryan, Assistant Director, 503-986-5259.