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Maps of Oregon-Owned Waterways

River with mountains on either side and blue sky.The Department of State Lands oversees Oregon-owned waterways – lakes, river segments, and miles of territorial sea and tidally influenced bays and estuaries that belong to the people of Oregon.

These waterways are considered Oregon-owned because they have been declared navigable through legislative, judicial, or administrative proceedings, based on whether the waterways could have been used for trade and travel at the time of statehood. Learn more about how a waterway is determined to be navigable and how you can make a navigability request: ORS 274, OAR 141-121.
Many of the beds and banks of these public waterways are owned by the state of Oregon; however, some are under private ownership.
  • Beds, or submerged land. Lands that are usually underwater and lie below the line of ordinary low water, the line on the shore where water normally recedes to its lowest annually (usually in the late summer).
  • Banks, or submersible land. Lands that are sometimes submerged underwater. Banks are located between the line of ordinary low water and the line of ordinary high water, where the water tends to be at its highest. Generally, the boundary of banks can be identified by the point where vegetation begins to grow.

Identifying Oregon-Owned Waterways
This map helps identify the approximate location of most of Oregon-owned waterways. The boundaries will be general and will not represent the exact line of ownership.

Alternatively, you can view a list of lakes and river segments that are considered Oregon-owned waterways in which public use is protected by the Public Trust Doctrine.Tidally influenced waterways, subject to the ebb and flow of tides, are Oregon-owned from the mouth (river mile 0) to the head of tide. This also includes the territorial sea. While these waterways are not listed individually below, they may be viewed in the Oregon-Owned Waterways Map above.

The Territorial Sea

DSL also oversees use of the territorial sea, the waters and seabed that extend three geographical miles seaward from the coast. Oregon’s coastline, the mix of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and capes that line the water, is a state recreation area that is regulated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.


Erin Serra, Ownership Specialist