Afternoon temperatures are rising and sunny summer fun is right around the corner; and on the long list of ways to keep cool in the Gorge, stand-up paddling seems to be rising in popularity in sync with the mercury.
But before casting out on one of the area’s many bodies of water, authorities at the Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Coast Guard want to remind you of a couple of regulations SUP users are obliged to follow.
By Oregon law, SUP boards qualify as boats. As such, users are required to wear (if 12 or younger) or carry life jackets when “beyond the limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area” and a sound signaling device (whistle).
Additionally, a new regulation requires SUP boards to have an Aquatic Invasive Species Permit.
According the Oregon Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, permits are required for paddle craft and other non-motorized vessels over 10 feet long for both residents and nonresidents of the state. Permits are transferable between craft, but each one on the water is required to carry a permit, which can be purchased online through a sales website for $7 per year or through OSMB for $5 per year.
Although surfboards, sailboards and kiteboards are listed among watercraft exempt from this requirement, SUP boards over the length of 10 feet have been classified by the USCG as a boat and as such are required to have permits.
The permit program is used to help fund the state’s AIS program and activities with the chief goal of protecting Oregon from the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species such as the quagga and zebra mussels, Asia carp and New Zealand mudsnails, which have caused widespread problems in waterways throughout the eastern U.S. and Great Lakes regions.
How to buy a permit
n Permits can be purchased at ODFW license sales agents, ODFW offices that sell licenses and on ODFW’s online license sales website for $7.
n The Marine Board sells one- or two-year Tyvek tags for non-motorized boats for $5 and $10, respectively, that can be purchased at the Marine Board office, 435 Commercial St. N.E., Salem, or ordered via mail by downloading an application and returning the form to the Marine Board.
n The Marine Board also has a number of dealers throughout the state that sell the Tyvek tags. A map of ODFW and Marine Board point-of-sale locations can be found online at http://1.usa.gov/11hPB1Q.