In April, the Oregon Legislature passed SB 1589, modifying motorboat activities on the Willamette River in the area known as the Newberg Pool, which is now defined as the stretch of river from river mile 55 at the confluence of the Yamhill River to river mile 26.6 at Willamette Falls.
Because of river width, dock density, and history of high boater use, the Newberg Pool Congested Zone of the Willamette River has unique boating regulations. These laws require additional education credentials for all towed watersports participants, restrict certain boating-related activities near structures, and ban wake surfing. Wake surfing is defined as the activity of propelling an individual forward on equipment like a surfboard using a boat’s wake. The person may be holding a rope or free riding. Equipment used in this activity may include but is not limited to wake surfboards, wakeboards, stand-up paddleboards, and hydrofoils.
Boat owners who operate in the Newberg Pool Congested Zone must also apply for a Towed Watersports Endorsement and Towed Watersports Motorboat Certificates (decals) that verify the maximum loading weight of the boat is under 5,500. Boats above this weight limit are not permitted to engage in towed watersport activities. Boat owners with boats that meet the new requirements will be issued boat decals which must be placed on the port and starboard sides of the bow of the boat. The education card and decals cost $20, are valid for two calendar years, and the decals are not transferable between boats.
More information can be found on the Marine Board’s Newberg Pool Rules web page.