Forum Held on New Oregon Boating Laws

By Jordan Williams.

The open forum at the Deschutes County Services Building was held to explain new boating permits and regulations to boaters and non-motorized boat users.

The new boating laws under Senate Bill 47 will mostly affect paddle sports like canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. The legislation is also changing the name of the permit from Aquatic Invasive Species to the Waterway Access permit.

The fees for the permit will be more expensive than the previous one. It will cost $5 for a one-week permit, $17 for a one-year permit and $30 for a two-year permit.

The Marine Board is a fee-based agency and does not receive state general fund dollars. The agency also receives marine fuel tax revenue.

Topher Robertson, programs director at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, in avid boater and said the changes are positive ones.

Right now, I think I’m looking forward to the change, said Robertson. I think we could use an increase in better sites and more safety outreach and education.

The fees gathered from the new permits will help fund paddle sport amenities and other nonprofits.

Ashley Massey, information officer for the Oregon State Marine Board, hosted the forum and answered questions about the new fees.

What the revenue will do is go into a fund that’s dedicated to creating and developing paddling access so people will have more access to water, Massey said.

The Waterway Access Permit will also attempt to improve safety regulations. The permit will require non-motorized boat outfitters and guides to offer helmets for Class 3 whitewater rapids.

The agency said 90% of its expenditures go back into water sports.

Here’s information about the changing regulations:

You can also send any questions or concerns to [email protected]