SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Most paddlers of non-motorized boats across Oregon could face a $115 fine if they fail to show law enforcement a state Waterway Access Permit, beginning August 1, the Oregon State Marine Board warned Monday.
The permit replaces the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention permit and went into effect Jan. 1.
“The Legislature gave our agency six months to work with marine law enforcement, with the intention to educate folks out on the water that are new to the activity that may not know what the previous requirement was," Marine Board Public Information Officer Ashley Massey said Tuesday.
The permit is required for all non-motorized boats 10 feet and longer. Failure to show the permit is a Class D violation with a $115 fine.
The permits are required on all Oregon waterways, with the exception of federally designated wild and scenic rivers where other permits are already required (boater pass or lottery permits).
NewsChannel 21 spoke Tuesday with some people at Riverbend Park in Bend to hear their thoughts on the fee.
“I'm not excited about a fine, but I’m not opposed to paying for a permit," Adrienne Nelson said. "I’d like to have a better understanding of where the money’s going to.”
“I agree with charging people for access that they use,” Doug Ingham said. "The penalty is a little steep, but I just think that's incentive for some people about what they have to do."
“My question is, 'Why do we need permits for paddleboards?'" Crystal Beebe said. "I understand boats and stuff like that, but it’s not like there’s an engine on them.”
The rule will be enforced by the 32 county sheriff's offices and Oregon State Police, who contract with the Marine Board.
“They’ll be out doing courtesy checks for equipment and other safety requirements, as well as engaging with people on the waterways they patrol to make sure they’re operating safely," Massey said.
The permit funds two programs: One is the AIS Prevention Program which is co-managed by the Marine Board and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The rest of the revenue is directed to a dedicated account for the development and improvement of non-motorized access and other services for non-motorized boaters.
The Marine Board’s Boating Facility Program administers the competitive grant program and recently accepted the first grant applications. These programs will develop new boating access and improve facilities by adding vehicle parking spaces, non-motorized boat launches, restrooms, low-freeboard docks, etc. and will continue to fund ODFW-managed boat inspection stations for aquatic invasive species.
Grants will also be available to Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribal governments, and public and non-governmental organizations for boating safety education, equipment and access to underserved communities.
Permits are required, except on on federally designated wild and scenic rivers where other permits are already required (boater pass or lottery permits) or for youth 13 and younger.
The new permits are also transferable to other paddlecraft. For example, if a family has two or more paddlecraft, but only one is on the water at one time, then only one permit would be required.
Three purchasing options are available: One week (valid for 7-days from the date of purchase from ODFW) for $7, one calendar year for $17, and two calendar years for $30.
Permits can be purchased through:
- ODFW Electronic Licensing System where you can print out permit or display using the ODFW App;
- Boat Oregon Store (downloadable PDF to save on mobile device or print and carry with you). If it’s your first time using the Boat Oregon Store, here’s some help getting started.
Massey said this is the first time in the Marine Board's history they are seeking public comment on grant applications.
Paddlers can also comment on grant applications the agency received as part of their recent grant cycle. Visit the Boating Facility Grant Application Comment Page. There’s nearly $900,000 in (motorized and non-motorized) revenue available, with 19 applications requesting nearly $1.5 million for a total project value of more than $2.5 million.
The deadline to review applications and provide comments is August 7. Comments will be reviewed and shared with our Board prior to a special August 27 Board meeting to consider the grants.
Learn more about Waterway Access Permits and how Marine Board funding supports boating needs in Oregon.