Safety on the Willamette River
The Willamette River is a wonderful place to boat, swim, kayak, paddle board, relax, and enjoy the beauty of Oregon. As the Portland metropolitan area population has grown, an increasing number of motorized and non-motorized boaters are recreating on the Willamette between Oregon City and Dundee. This stretch of the river is known as the Newberg Pool. It averages approximately 30' deep and 500' wide. The relatively narrow width of the river within the Newberg Pool can lead to congested conditions and leaves little space for wake energy to attenuate prior to putting other boaters and property at risk. Large wakes have crashed into docks knocking people over, paddle-boarders have been knocked off their boards, and smaller boats and non-motorized watercraft have been swamped.
The Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) has worked hard to implement policies and provide educational materials to help improve safe boating operations within the Newberg Pool. As responsible boaters, it is important to understand and follow OSMB's safe boating guidance, as well as the law.
Your action is needed to keep the Willamette River safe for all those who want to enjoy it. Please review the following guidance and regulations to ensure you are boating responsibly.
If you see an unsafe or illegal operation, please report it. The Marine Board is funded by boater registration fees. Nearly 45% of their budget is spent on law enforcement, which is stretched thin. You can help make our waterways safer by making the Marine Board and law enforcement aware of irresponsible boating via the OSMB's online E-Tip reporting system.