Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Rivers with Federal Permitting Requirements

There are four rivers in Oregon managed through federal permitting systems, not the Oregon State Marine Board. These include the Deschutes, John Day, Rogue, and Snake Rivers.

Each of these rivers has its own management system with different seasons and application dates. Boaters wanting to plan a trip on one of these rivers must familiarize themselves with the applicable permitting system and requirements for the specific river section they intend to boat.

It is the boater's responsibility to be aware of, and follow, all federal permitting requirements for the river segment runs. Some segments are limited entry segments on each of these four rivers that cap the number of boaters who may launch each day, boaters who have not obtained the necessary permits are not allowed to launch.

In addition, these rivers all flow through wild and difficult-to-reach places. Trip leaders are responsible for doing the necessary research and planning to ensure that their group's skill level, equipment, and preparation are adequate for a safe outing.

Traveling by river in these places can require full self-support capability including food and water, protection from the environment, first aid, a garbage system, and a toilet system to pack out all solid waste. A plan and equipment for self-rescue are also needed as help is often not available in the event of an emergency.

All of the permitting systems for these rivers and further information can be accessed by visiting  and searching for the river of interest.

The following schedule provides additional detail for motorized boats on Segment 4, Mack's Canyon to Heritage Landing on the Lower Deschutes River

*The Marine Board is not responsible for Boater Passes or the BLM website for purchasing passes.



The Lower Deschutes River is a limited entry system managed under a multi-agency management plan that was written in 1993 and supplemented in 1997 to describe permit system features.  The Lower Deschutes River is managed cooperatively by the: Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Parks and Recreation, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon State Police; and local governments, with a single representative for Wasco, Sherman and Jefferson counties and the cities of Maupin, The Dalles, and Madras. The agencies are advised by a working group composed of commercial and non-commercial boating interests and state, tribal, and federal agency representatives.   



Permitting Systems for the Lower Deschutes, John Day, Rogue, and Snake Rivers

Lower Deschutes River Management System - Oregon Parks and Recreation Department 


Learn more about the National Wild and Scenic River System in the U.S.


Oregon State's Scenic Waterways


Understand the "Need to Know" information for floating in these areas and follow "Leave No Trace" principles:

On overnight and day trips, all boating groups are required to carry and use a water-tight, reusable toilet system to remove solid human waste from the river canyon. 

The toilet must be large enough to service the entire party for the complete length of the trip.

All buckets used to carry human waste are required to have a rubber gasket in the lid. 

Plastic bags are not allowed, except human waste bags specifically designed for this purpose.  

Once used, human waste bags must be carried in a water-tight container. 
Dispose of used human waste bags in a garbage dumpster. Disposing of these bags in a vault toilet is strictly prohibited.