Common Waters of Oregon. Keep Our Rivers Forever Free!

Common Waters of Oregon

"All the Navigable Waters of the State shall be Common Highways and Forever Free"

In The News...

River Rights on KBOO Radio
listen here...

"A River Runs Through It "
full story...

"That's no Compromise"
full story...

"This Land is Our Land"
full story...

Keep Our RIvers Forever Free!

Your Rights and Responsibilities

.Using Oregon's Waterways
 

  State-Owned Waterways

The rules controlling public use of state-owned waterways are simple. The Public Trust Doctrine gives you the right to use state-owned (or what are also termed "navigable") waterways (including submerged and submersible lands) for a wide variety of authorized uses including navigation, fisheries and recreation.
 
However, this doctrine is not a license to trespass on private land.
 
Although the public has some rights to navigate on waters where the bed is privately-owned, this may not include the right to wade or otherwise use the bed and banks of privately-owned uplands.
 
Anyone crossing private land to reach state-owned public land and waterways must have permission from the landowner. The landowner is under no obligation to grant this permission.
 
 
Oregon Supreme Court Cases involving Floatage Rights

  Be a Responsible User
 
Recreational use of state-owned waterways is a privilege enjoyed by many Oregonians and visitors. However, misuse and abuse of this privilege can lead to restrictions. The Department of State Lands and the State Land Board urge you to be a responsible user of public lands and waterways, obey all authorized closures, restrictions and postings, and exercise basic common sense, courtesy and consideration for others.
 

When using Oregon´s waterways:
  Illegal Acts on Public Lands and Waterways
 
DSL is often asked what acts are illegal on public land and waterways. As a general rule, any act which is illegal on private land is also illegal on public land. Some of the illegal activities which are frequently reported to DSL as occurring on state-owned land are as follows:
 
 
Offensive littering ORS 164.805

Class C Misdemeanor
(30 days; $1000)

Littering in or within 100 yards of state waters ORS 164.775

Class B Misdemeanor
(6 months; $2000)

Trespass on private land ORS 164.245

Class C Misdemeanor
(30 days; $1000)

Possession, use of a controlled substance ORS Chapter 475
Varies
Interference with property ORS 164.345

Class C Misdemeanor
(30 days; $1000)

Damaging property, less than $500 ORS 164.354

Class A Misdemeanor
(1 year; $5000)

Damaging property, more than $500 ORS 164.354

Class C Felony
(5 years; $100,000)

Damaging livestock ORS 164.365

Class C Felony
(5 years; $100,000)

Pointing firearm at another ORS 166.190
6 months; $500
Firing at person or building within range of weapon ORS 166.220

Class C Felony
(5 years; $100,000)

Reckless burning ORS 164.335

Class A Misdemeanor
(1 year; $5000)

About Us | Contact Us | ©2005 Common Waters of Oregon PO Box 4216 Salem, OR 97302