Recreational boaters in the Newberg Pool stretch of the Willamette River could face new restrictions come boating season. The Oregon Legislature is considering two bills, HB 25-55 and HB 27-25, that would prohibit boats weighing more than 4000 lbs from participating in towed water sports on the river. That includes tubing, water skiing and wakeboarding.
The new rule would impact about 30 miles of the Willamette River, from Willamette Falls to the mouth of the Yamhill River. The Oregon State Marine Board says this is one of the highest use areas of the river, and it sees the greatest diversity of use. The stretch in question is also developed on both sides of the river, which has led to conflict in the area.
Legislation has been drafted in the past to address it, but the new bills face critique from opponents who say that the restrictions are arbitrary and actually constitute a threat to small businesses and the safety of boaters.c