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John Day River

Launch permits are unlimited in 2016. An on-line launch permit is required year-round and available here to boat all sections of the Mainstem downstream of Spray. Permits to boat upstream of Spray are encouraged and available here and at launch points. Notice: Boaters launching at Cottonwood Bridge (J.S. Burres) will need to take-out at Rock Creek or McDonald Crossing as there is no road access to the river at Starvation Lane.

Motorized Boating Regulations

The table shows the type of watercraft and where and when they may be used.
Personal watercraft (Jet-Skis and similar boats) are permitted on the John Day River downstream of Tumwater Falls only.
  Upstream of Service Creek (Seg 4) Service Creek to Clarno (Seg 3) Clarno to Cottonwood (Seg 2) Cottonwood to Tumwater Falls* (Seg 1)
Non-Motorized Boats Open Open Open Open
Electric Motors (40 lbs. thrust or less) Open Open Closed Open
Oct 1 - April 30
Motorized Watercraft Open Open
Oct 1 - April 30
Closed Open
Oct 1 - April 30
* John Day (McDonald) Crossing is the last public take-out before Tumwater Falls.