Changing Water Levels Bring Increased Risks Through the Narrows


We take your fun seriously and that means making sure you are safe out on the water. Over the weekend several customers unfortunately hit their boat while crossing through the narrows.  Active Water Sports is making this public service announcement to raise awareness of the dangers through this stretch of the river and help other boaters navigate it safely.

“The Narrows” is a stretch of water above Willamette Falls and just upstream from West Linn’s Willamette Park. These islands provide a picturesque view but large boulders sit just above and below the waterline, depending on changing water levels. Boaters should carefully navigate through this area right now as several of the danger areas can’t be seen due to current water levels. The channel is typically marked with navigation buoys but at this time there are no markers.

Active Water Sports recommends to avoid passage through this stretch if not a necessity but understand that is a challenge seeing as 10 Street boat ramp is the only open launch on the Upper Willamette right now. The graphics below highlight the high risk areas and show a recommended route for safe passage.Willamette River The Narrows

The highest risk level area is right as you start through the narrows if you are heading from Willamette Park. This area is where four boats were damaged this past weekend. It is approximately 1.15 miles from the Willamette Park boat launch so make sure to slow down and follow the recommended route as you approach this area.

Tips for Safely Navigating The Narrow

  • Go slow!
  • Have a spotter in the bow if possible
  • Empty the ballast so your boat sits higher in the water
  • Don’t tow any riders through this stretch
  • Depth meter is not always effective and won’t detect rocks


This next graphic highlights one additional danger area on the other end of The Narrows. Approximately 3.5 miles from Hebb Park Boat Launch, this rocky area extends far from the shoreline so make sure to stay in the middle of the river.

The Upper Willamette River is a great boating spot so go out there, have fun, and stay safe. Download these graphics to your phone so you have them handy when you are navigating through the narrows.

We look forward to seeing all of our great customers out on the water and not in our service department.


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