PORTLAND Many boaters were surprised to learn that rules have changed along the Willamette River, as the sunshine brought them out in full force this weekend in the Portland Metro area.
The Multnomah County Sheriff s Marine Patrol was pulling up to boat after boat, warning people about two new no-wake zones. They are located near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, where TriMet is building a new transit bridge, and along the Holgate Channel.
Temperatures in the 80s both Saturday and Sunday enticed an especially large number of water recreationists to area rivers. More were expected next week, too.
Signs and buoys warn boaters to slow down to five miles an hour, but not everyone was noticing.
I ve had quite an education today, Wake-boarder Steve Wilson said, after a talk with the marine patrol. It used to be a great place to wake board and ski, but now not so much anymore.
The biggest concern is for people working in this area on the project, especially if they are on the water, said Sgt. Travis Gullberg, with the Multnomah County River Patrol.
Along with the no-wake zones, boaters and wake-boarders had another major obstacle to deal with. There were far more swimmers in the water than usual Sunday, because of the Sellwood to St. John s Bridge Swim.
Organizers said they got complaints about recreational boats coming too fast and too close to the swimmers. Thankfully, there were no reports of anyone getting hurt.
The marine patrol issued warnings over the weekend, instead of citations, to give people a chance to get used to the new rules.
We re just trying to do a good job at getting people educated about what s going on, Gullberg said.