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Deschutes County

State proposes rules to let disabled boaters use motors on North, South Twin Lakes

South Twin Lake file Richard Bozarth
Richard Bozarth/KTVZ file
South Twin Lake

Written comments sought until Oct. 4

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon State Marine Board solicited written comments Tuesday on proposed rules that would allow boaters with disabilities to operate motor boats at slow-no wake speed on on North and South Twin Lakes.

The proposed rules amend Oregon Administrative Rule 250-020-0091, Boat Operations in Deschutes County.

The Marine Board directed staff to draft rules that would allow the use of electric motors by persons with disabilities on the lakes. Currently, no motorboats are allowed.

The board is interested in expanding opportunities for boaters with disabilities to safely recreate by allowing them to operate with electric motors at not-to-exceed slow-no wake speed. Recent legislation (HB 3168 in the 2019 Oregon Legislature) authorizes the Marine Board to amend the regulations for North and South Twin Lakes.

Written comment will be accepted until Oct. 4 at 11:55 pm. Comments must be received prior to the closure time/date to be considered. Comments can also be submitted by email to  or by U.S. Mail to Jennifer Cooper, Administrative Rules Coordinator, Oregon State Marine Board, 435 Commercial Street NE, Salem, OR 97301.   

Those wishing to provide oral testimony to the Marine Board may do so by calling (503)378-2617 and leaving a concise voice message not to exceed two minutes. Audio files of these messages will be provided to the Board Members for their review.

The board will deliberate at their quarterly board meeting on Oct. 21, and may vote to adopt the proposed rules as written or to pursue another direction.

To view the proposed rules, visit

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  1. Why electric trolling motors are banned is a mystery to me anyway.
    No motors rules came about because of 2 stroke outboards which are louder, have a residue oil trail and spew much more smoke than 4 stroke motors and none for electrics at all.
    No reason for not using electrics for everyone.
    No reason but unreasonable control over citizens by an overzealous government.
    Talk about non-essential personnel…..

  2. This is a terrible idea. You go to these high lakes to get away from the noise, although that is changing with the influx of new “locals” every day. The last thing we need is a motorized boat on lakes that do not allow for it. Let it go people.

  3. North and south twin lakes are so small and have a very different, peaceful atmosphere,
    and because of that there are a lot of people that like both lakes. I completely understand
    why motors are not allowed because it would ruin those qualities…
    I don’t have a problem with disabled folks using an electric motor as long as it’s not abused.
    They aren’t fast and there is no noise or pollution so I don’t see it causing any problems.
    Allowing electric motors would allow disabled folks a chance to enjoy both lakes.
    Granted, those with disabilities can go to many other lakes and use a motor, but not everyone wants to put up with the noise, skiiers and obnoxious jet skis that are common
    at many of the other lakes.

    I wonder if they would have to have disabled stickers for their boats ?

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