USCG Inland Navigation Rules (Rule 9)
When operating on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, recreational boaters are required to give way to boats restricted in their ability to maneuver.
- Commercial vessels—such as tug and tows, deep draft, and passenger cruise vessels—transiting the river can only safely navigate within a narrow channel.
- To maintain steerage on the rivers’ powerful currents, they must travel at a moderate speed. At these speeds, it often can take more than a mile for these heavy vessels to stop.
- An action such as crossing in front of a large vessel is also a violation if such a crossing impedes the travel of one of these vessels.
- Fines range from several hundred dollars to $5,000 if found guilty.