Wake-surfing banned, waterskiing limited in 10 miles of Willamette

According to the Oregon Statesman Journal, wake surfing will be prohibited in the entire 10 miles of the river from Waverly Marina upstream to Willamette Falls. The reason the activity is targeted is due to the size of the wave created and the impact it can have in a narrow stretch of the river with lots of docks that can be impacted.

Travis Williams, executive director for Willamette Riverkeeper, said the ban on wake surfing is a smart move.  

He said that as the boats for wake surfing have gotten heavier and more powerful — essentially seeking to create legitimate surf waves — they’ve had a negative impact on the river’s ecology, private property and other river users. He said there have been other river users swamped by the huge waves, docks destroyed and banks sloughing down into the river.  

“Not all machines make sense in all areas,” he said. “This is no different than prohibiting certain vehicles in our public lands. As these boats have grown and evolved over the past decade, the problems associated with them have become more acute. The Marine Board took a solid step to reign these craft in.”

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