River Etiquette

Be Courteous

Be considerate of other river users. Don’t use the boat ramp if other space is available. If you do use the ramp, get organized before you get to the ramp so you can launch or take out quickly. Be wary of those fishing from the bank or from boats and keep a respectful distance from their fishing lines!

Respect Private Property

Although the river is a public resource, it should be assumed that property is private unless otherwise noted on a sign or map. Respect all No Trespassing and No Hunting signs. The success of the Willamette Water Trail and other river recreation is built on public lands, and not trespassing in private lands. When camping, be aware of the boundaries of OPRD Greenways or other parks.

Leave No Trace

As you travel the river by canoe or kayak and plan to spend the night along the river, it’s important to remember to adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace. Over the years we’ve seen a few river travelers who have had a tough time understanding that, in essence, you should seek to leave any place you camp better than when you arrived.

Too often people are reluctant to talk about Poop. Heck, we all do it – so let’s be frank. The better you deal with human waste, the better. There are a variety of ways to do this. The best option, especially with any group of three or more, is to bring a simple toilet system. These come in a variety of forms, from the Wagbag system, to free standing basins with toilet seats! At the end of the day, what comes out of your “back end” should not mean the end of an enjoyable trip, nor should it make the use of a campsite problematic! This is a key part of Leave NO Trace. 

There are a variety of products, such as Waste Bags, the Luggable Loo, Clean Waste GO Anywhere Toilet Kits, Kelty’s Blockhouse Privacy Shelters, and many others. The point being, do your duty! A simple internet search can provide a range of options, or a visit to your local outdoor store.