The Public Will Decide the Fate of High-Speed Jet Boats on Upper Rogue River Waterways

MEDFORD, Ore. — A series of community meetings will decide the fate of the use of high-speed jet boats on the waterways of the Upper Rogue River.


Concerns that Jet Boats Negatively Impact Salmon Populations

Many Oregonians believe that jet boats have a negative impact on the river’s salmon populations, while also posing a danger to others using the waterways. These members of the community would like to see the outright ban of the use of jet boats on the Rogue River.

A series of community meetings began in mid-May to discuss the use of jet boats on 30 miles of the Rogue River, north of Medford.

Public input is being gathered by four state agencies – the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Department of State Lands. They are gathering public input via Oregon’s Kitchen Table, the National Policy Consensus Center’s statewide platform for civic engagement. Their report is earmarked for early August.

The final round of public meetings will be held at 5.30 p.m. next Monday, June 17, at the Medford Library, while an online survey closes on July 5, after which the agencies will decide if recreational use on the Upper Rogue River must be restricted.

Rogue Riverkeeper program manager, Frances Oyung, expressed concern about the frequent use of high-speed jet boats on the river which is believed to be harming salmon populations. The Rogue Riverkeeper works to defend, protect, and restore clean water, native fish, and healthy communities across 3.3 million acres of the Rogue watershed. The organization nurtures good stewardship and community responsibility of the Rogue River and acts as a watchdog of the watershed.

Concerns that salmon populations are being negatively impacted are backed by a 1994 study on the effects of jet boats on salmon reproduction in Alaskan streams. The report alludes to a ‘negative impact on embryo survival from jet boats.’

But the owner of Rogue Jet Boat Adventures disagrees. Taylor Grimes says jet boats operate in shallow waterways and do not disrupt the underwater environment as much as rivercraft with external propellers.

Grimes says people are uneducated about jet boats because they pose no danger. Operating from TouVelle State Recreation Site in Central Point, Grimes says ‘it’s a perception thing.’ Jet boats can stop very quickly and are highly maneuverable.



Effects of jet boats in AK streams_1994 – DocumentCloud

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