Unwritten rules are difficult to enforce

On Father's Day, quite a few of us were fishing off the bank in Shady Cove at the Rogue River RV Park.

Quiet serenity, the sound of the river and birds "… right? Wrong!

All of a sudden here comes this yahoo screaming up the river in his loud, flat-bottom, black and red jet boat. The thing was so loud that the driver of this annoyance even wore ear protection. He proceeded to do donuts, create a wake of three feet and make about as much noise as you can imagine.

We all gave him the thumbs down signal, which did not phase this idiot one bit. He came back three times.

We all believe there is an unspoken rule here in Shady Cove "… no power boats past the bridge.

There are fishermen, lots of rafters and many private docks that can be unhinged. It's very dangerous and it ruins fishing, too. Why is this guy allowed to do this?

Christine A.


For decades there has been an unwritten rule in Shady Cove that powerboats don't run upstream from the Highway 62 bridge and it's widely adhered to, largely because of all the reasons you cited, Christine.

It's also a darn good way to ruin a boat because some of those ledges and rocks will take down a jetboat faster than you can say "Ohhh s......"

But the problem is it's pretty darn difficult to cite someone for breaking an unwritten rule.

"It's been that way forever, but there are no hard and fast rules about powerboats other than no personal watercraft upstream of where Gold Ray Dam used to be," says Lt. Pat Rowland, who runs the marine patrol program for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

The Oregon State Marine Board has received a complaint about powerboats upstream of the Highway 62 bridge, and it might even be from you, Christine.

Marine deputies are looking into identifying the boater so they can inform him of the power of the unwritten rule in Shady Cove, Rowland says.

Rowland says he once cited a personal watercraft operator from California who was doing doughnuts in the Rogue in front of the Shady Cove ramp, but never a powerboat.

If you want that unwritten rule written, Christine, you can petition the Marine Board to change it.

Get hold of them at www.boatoregon.com.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

Share This Story