Oregon flyfishers want to ban jetboats from portion of river
MEDFORD — A fishing club in Oregon is asking officials to ban jet-powered boat engines from a portion of the upper Rogue River.
The Medford-based Rogue Flyfishers Association and riverside landowner Greg Layton have filed a petition with the Oregon State Marine Board to ban jetboats from a 24-mile stretch of the river, reported The Mail Tribune.
It is an attempt to limit where Rogue Jet Boat Adventures owner Taylor Grimes can operate. The petitioners say traditional sports like drift boating, kayaking and fishing are threatened by Grimes’ operation.
The speed needed to power a jetboat through the narrow and often shallow stretch of river from TouVelle State Park up to Rattlesnake Rapids puts other users at risk, said Layton. The 25-foot tour boat could crash into another vessel and its large wake could cause issues.
“It just seems to be a use that's not conforming to that part of the river,” Layton said. “I know he tries to be careful, but there are still limitations. It's inevitable there will be some kind of mishap.”
Grimes said he runs up to four trips a day through the area during the summer tourism season. The upper Rogue is “a multiuse river” and a jetboat ban would cater to one or two particular interest groups, he argued.
“I don't think the public will really tolerate that,” he said.
Marine Board boating safety program manager Randy Henry said the board has historically been pretty conservative about restrictions between conflicting users and requires a clear safety issue to restrict access to the river.
“That's why we're gathering the public input, to see if it rises to that level,” he said.
Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/