The RIVER ETIQUETTE & SAFETY
flyer below was originally posted by Drachir back in 2003 when Ifish was just a little online site and based on the number of new boaters and fishermen out there, it's time to repost it! Drachir - Thanks again for the original post. Mods - Can this be a Sticky?
RIVER ETIQUETTE & SAFETY
ON OUR POPULAR & CROWDED RIVERS
This flyer has been produced and is being distributed as an educational tool only. It is intended to aid people with some examples of proper River Etiquette scenarios and River Safety. It is a compilation of thoughts and ideas from many experienced and veteran boaters and anglers. Please use this flyer as a guide, in addition to common sense, and enjoy our rivers!
RIVER ETIQUETTE & SAFETY
On your river trip you may encounter rafters, kayaks, drift boats, jet boats, and bank fishermen. It is important to remember that our rivers can accommodate a variety of recreational users. If we all display common courtesy and respect towards each other, our trip will be enjoyable. Please respect the privilege to use both private and public property, as it can be denied us, if abused. Please keep our rivers clean and don't litter. If you haul it in, you can haul it out.
According to federal and state regulations, motorized boats must give right-of-way to non-motorized boats, especially when meeting a downriver bound boat. However, this does not give the non-motorized boat the right to block or hamper the safe passage of a motorized boat, which can only navigate inside the river channel. This has been a problem especially when kayakers hold in the channel or play in the rapids.
There may be times when jet boat pilots may not be able to see a non-motorized boat. They may be around a river bend, or behind a rocky area, or caught in the sun's glare. If you are in a non-motorized boat and hear a jet boat approaching, move to a slow current area, if possible, and as they come into view, motion them to pass through. In shallow channel areas, a jet boat cannot safely come to an idle in less than 24' of water. In these areas, the jet boat pilot may be forced to stay on plane, so give as much room as possible for them to pass by. All boaters should use extreme caution in shallow channel areas, especially those with visual obstructions.
On small rivers like the Clackamas, which are heavily fished and boated year round, jet boats should be prudent by moving from one place to another only for a purpose, like fishing. It is considered very disruptive for anglers, and unpleasant for adjacent landowners, for jet boats to cruise up and down the river for a joy ride or test drive.
Be careful to not follow other boats too closely. Maneuverability is essential when navigating through a set of river rapids, and it can be greatly reduced when boats follow too closely together. Pay close attention to not overload your boat, as this will also hamper your boat's power, handling, and maneuverability.
When launching or taking your boat out of the water, be very courteous, as boat ramps are often the site of conflicts. Space can be limited, so use the boat ramp and staging areas for launching and loading only. Prepare your boat for launch before entering the boat ramp area, and launch your boat as quickly as safe practices permit. After launching your boat, move away from the ramp area as quickly as safe practices permit. The same holds true after you have loaded your boat back on the trailer at the end of your day.
All boaters should avoid interfering with fishermen in any way; give them as much space as the conditions allow. Do not pass over the water that is being fished by either a boat or bank angler. Do not anchor, or start back trolling, downriver from another boat that is back trolling or side-drifting a good fishing spot. Be courteous, and either go to another area, or begin fishing upstream from the other boat. This also holds true for bank anglers. If you are in a boat and encounter a bank angler, do not attempt to fish the same water they are fishing. Bank anglers are limited in the areas they can fish, so be courteous, and move to another area, or move away from them a good distance before you begin to fish yourself.
In the past few years a new fishing technique has become quite popular in Oregon. It is called Boondoggin', or Side-Drifting. It has been very common in Washington for a long time. It is a technique that involves free floating in a boat, and letting your bait drift along the river bottom as your boat floats downriver. This technique may cause some conflicts with other fishing techniques, like back trolling, so here are some ideas on how to be courteous to others:
BOONDOGGIN', or SIDE-DRIFTING:
If you enter a section of river that is being fished by another boat, you may consider fishing the same technique as the first boat. If the area is large enough, two different techniques may be used on opposite sides of the river as long as neither boat interferes with the other. Side drifters should not begin fishing downriver from another boat that is already back trolling a good fishing spot. Be courteous, and move to another area. If you enter a section of river that is being fished by a side drifter, and you want to side drift as well, again be courteous, and begin fishing upriver from the other boat. It is best to take turns and to not race another boat back to the top of the drift. When finished with your drift and running back to the top, it is best to keep your wake to a minimum, and not run over the water that is being fished. When side drifting a good drift, do not hold or hover in one spot, trying to tie up the drift. Be courteous, and finish the drift, and then move back to the top for another pass.
All power boaters: Be sure to watch your wake. You are responsible for any damage or injury your wake may cause. Please remember that careless or irresponsible boating builds resentment towards power boaters, so be courteous and friendly.
On whitewater rivers, familiarize yourself with the river before boating on it! Many accidents are caused from not knowing the river. Make certain your boat is adequate for the river you boat, and that is has all the necessary safety equipment. Wear Your PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices), as they are there to save lives. If you dump your boat in whitewater, get away from your boat, as it may crush you against the rocks. Be sure to lend assistance to anyone who may be in trouble! The next time it might be you in need of assistance.
Always Remember, Alcohol & Whitewater Do Not Mix !!!!!!!
The I-Fishers of Oregon & Washington