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Lower Willamette River Rules for Boat Operation

Special boating laws are in place for the lower Willamette River from Willamette Falls to downtown Portland (Hawthorne Bridge). These rules restrict certain boating-related activities within certain proximities to structures and restrict the activity of wake surfing. More details are provided in the images below.

Information on seasonal pass through zoneRegulations for Ross Island and the Holgate Channel
Wake surfing is prohibitedWakeboarding is permitted 200 feet or more from docks or other structures

Tubing and other inflatable devices are allowed to operate within 200 feet or more from docks and other structuresWaterskiing is allowed 100 feet or more from docks or other structures

Boaters must follow slow-no wake rules within 100 feet of docks and other structures


Resources

Lower Willamette River Rulemaking History

Interactive Boat Oregon Map with data layer for local area rules

Video -Rules for Motorboat Operations from the Hawthorne Bridge Upstream to Willamette Falls

Newberg Pool Congestion Zone Rules (RM 55 at the confluence of the Yamhill River to RM 26.6 at Willamette Falls)

Towed Watersports Education Program

Lower Willamette River Rack Card


Locations with Rules/Education Signage

Signs will vary by location and are translated into several languages.

  • Cathedral Park
  • Swan Island Boat Ramp
  • Willamette Park
  • Sellwood Temporary Tie-up Dock
  • Milwaukie Bay Park
  • Tryon Cove Temporary Tie-up Dock
  • Foothills Temporary Tie-up Dock
  • Roehr City Park
  • George Rogers Park
  • Cedaroak Boat Ramp
  • Meldrum Bar Boat Ramp
  • Clackamette Park
  • Jon Storm Temporary Tie-up Dock
  • Sportcraft Landing Boat Ramp

The pass-through zone is seasonal, from May 1 - September 30 each year, while the other rules for boat operations in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties are year-round.

Failure to adhere to the rules is a Class B violation with a $265 fine.