Motorized Boating Regulations

November 17, 2020 Update: An online permit is required to boat between Service Creek and Tumwater Falls. Permits to launch from July 16 - December 31 are available on this website, except for trips on Segment 1A and 1B (Cottonwood to Tumwater Falls) in the Fall (September 1 – November 30), which are available at Recreation.gov. Thirtymile Boat Launch is not accessible by vehicle from Dec 1 - April 15 for the winter closure of Armstrong Canyon Rd.

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.