Columbia River boating regulation

“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.”

-Linda Hogan-
Firstly let me state that I agree that most rivers and wetlands should be protected from the ravages of higher speed boats.  Boat motors of higher than 20hp cause a great deal of disruption and damage to the natural habitat of a waterway.  I would like to share the information article as a direct quote from Wildsight regarding this particular letter of support for the boating regulations in question:

The Columbia River and Wetlands need your support so the last of three boating regulations can see the light of day. This last regulation would restrict motorized boating activity in the Columbia River between Fairmont Hot Springs and Donald Station (except on Lake Windermere) to motors of 20 hp or less.

For more than 10 years, Wildsight has been working to have boating regulations put in place that would protect the Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area from the negative impacts of high-powered motorized recreation.

The final amendment is now open for public comment—and anyone who cares about conserving and maintaining this natural treasure is encouraged to comment, either in writing or by attending one of three open houses at the end of July. (See below for a schedule of the open houses and how to comment in writing.)

“It’s time for people who care to speak up,” said Ellen Zimmerman with Wildsight. “We’ve been helping keep this issue on the ‘front burner’ of the Federal Government for a long time—and we’re so close to having three boating regulations that will help protect the Columbia River and Wetlands and that are considered fair by the majority of residents.

“Your voice is absolutely vital in helping seal a decade of work that will protect the natural beauty and ecological values of the Columbia River and Wetlands far into the future.”

What you need to know about the amendment and regulations

The first two regulations—the prohibition of power-driven or electrically-propelled vessels in the Columbia Wetlands, and the prohibition of water-skiing—are in the last stages of the Transport Canada’s lengthy legal and public process.

The other proposed amendment used to be a “seasonal prohibition on the operation of power-driven vessels in the main channel of the Columbia River from March 1 to July 15, with the exception of electrical propulsion.”

Due to public comment, however, the amendment was recently revised to allow for historic use of the wetlands. Because it was revised—by Wildsight and the Ministry of the Environment, with the support of the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners—it has to go through a new public comment process.

The amendment is now “to allow for historic use of  motors of 20hp or less using the Columbia River between Fairmont Hot Springs and Donald Station—except on the waters of Lake Windermere.”

20 hp prohibition is a good compromise

Wildsight supports this amendment and would like it to become law in Canada.

“We support the 20-hp-prohibition because it allows for historic use of the Columbia River and is a good balance between extremes of ‘no-motorized’ and ‘over-motorized,’” Zimmerman said.

“Whether you believe, like Wildsight, that a less-than-20 hp regulation is a good compromise, or whether you believe it is too much of a compromise, we hope you will comment to Transport Canada, either in writing, or at one of the open houses. We cannot overstate how much this will help protect the integrity of the river and wetlands.”

The following is brief letter that I sent through Wildsight to support the final proposed Columbia River boating regulation:


I support the final proposed Columbia River boating regulation, currently under review by Transport Canada.

I understand the regulation would allow for the historic use of motors of 20hp or less only on the Columbia River between Fairmont Hot Springs and Donald Station, except on Lake Windermere, which would not be affected.


Today’s “stone”  is Day 83 without support, all will crumble, without voice, all would be unheard, our waterways, our voices


One thought

  1. We really need to protect our rivers, lakes, and waterways from high-speed boaters and jet-skiers. The vibrations from the high speeds loosen bridge- and dock pilings and the noise pollution frightens wildlife. Great post, Eldy.

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