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Central Oregonians react to new state permit for paddlers, possible fine

(Update: Adding video, comments from residents, Oregon State Marine Board)

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 charges $2 transaction fee for the three permit options. The one-year and two-year permits are also available through the Marine Board’s Boat Oregon Store without a transaction fee.

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.

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  1. Isn’t it interesting how the name has changed from an “Invasive Species Prevention Permit” to a “Waterway Access Permit”?

    First it was justified as contributing to help prevent an ecological problem and now it’s simply just a payment demanded to access the public’s waterways. What’s next? A “Walkway Access Permit” to go for a walk?

    1. Yes and the permit needs to be attached to your shoes, but the new permits are also transferable to other walkwaycraft. For example, if a family has two or more walkwaycraft, but only one is on the walkway at one time, then only one permit would be required.

    2. Good catch. I still ain’t gonna buy one. Haven’t yet. The guy down at Rainbow fuh lipped out that I just didn’t give a rat’s hind quarter what he had to say, and I pushed off and headed out not long ago. There was a Deputy at Trout Creek. That was pretty funny. He wouldn’t set my ticket down and I wouldn’t take it. Finally he set it on my tailgate and walked back to his rig and drove off. We drained our gear, loaded our stuff and drove off as well. Never heard another word

    1. Actually this is the Governor Kate (I’m a failure) Brown’s way- and has been for years now.

      On an up-note- this may keep cheap and petty Portlander’s outta CO waters for a spell. I personally don’t paddle board- could care less- but I certainly do not approve of Brown’s constant dipping in to everyone’s pockets to fix her poor budgeting skills. She keeps breaking it- then wants others to fix it… simply the worst Governor in our State’s history.

        1. Bwahahaaaa- “Kate’s such a failure yet shes a governor”

          Yeh- and Ryan Leaf was a number one NFL pick !!!

          Some of you that troll this site looking for your “gotcha” moment are just priceless !

  2. Big Brother is getting bigger by the day. Pretty soon nothing will be legal to do without a permit. I told you this was coming. All Hell is breaking loose.

    But as always………..Have a nice day! 🙂

  3. OK. Now time for a access tax for bicycles. The tax should be the same as a motorcycle fee for accessing roads. While their at
    It, same other requirement ta as a motorcycle. Lights. Helmet. Insurance…..

    1. Darn fine idea!! That way the bicyclists’ can help pay for bike lanes, stripping to cordon off bike only portions of the roadway, and bike paths. I think I will send a letter off to the Queen recommending this pronto.

  4. Lets see how this one ends up. First the Forest Service tried the trail permit thing. Then we are already paying the Recreation Pass permit, do we see any tangible improvements from that. Now the 10ft permit, there hundreds if not thousands of non-motorized that qualify for this tax in Oregon. We’re talking a lot of money and we’re to trust how monies will be allocated? First they’ll have to create a blotted bureaucracy to collect and administer funds. This is for lack of a better word is B******T

  5. k, so I don’t carry a wallet when I’m on the water. Does some law require me to provide id? What if I’m “homeless” or an “illegal alien” and have no id? Are they going to arrest me? Deport me?
    Almost every place we go requires a forest service permit to park. What does that cover? Parking. Do only people with “non-motorized boats 10 feet and longer” use the restrooms? Personally, I don’t and I wouldn’t with all of the bums around. It’s a kayak, We don’t need “new boating access . . . non-motorized boat launches . . .low-freeboard docks, etc.” We carry it down to the water.
    Sounds like they just want more slop for the government trough.

  6. As long as I see expired vehicle license plates all they way back to 2018 I don’t think we should have to pay this. It will never be enough money for this state. This state has enough money except it all goes to pers. how about if the state wants more money they wait for the private sector to get a pay raise and they can get more in taxes.

  7. The best part of this whole thing is the people in Salem don’t care what you think. They make the rules, they enforce the Rules , and you will follow them. Kate Brown and the Oregon cops will strictly enforce these rules while they allow their terrorist foot soldiers to burn Oregon cities. Launch a dirty kayak, off to jail. Loot a Nike store in Portland. You’re free to go..

  8. This is just a way for Salem to tax the popularity of stand up paddle boards. Most of them are just foam composite and the smart owners will just sand/cut off an inch or so from the tail and tell the Queen to push a rope

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