- Wear a properly fitting life jacket
- If you haven’t done so, take a boating course and a paddling course
- Check the weather before you leave
- Dress for the weather. Layers are best
- Avoid boating alone because there is more safety in numbers
- Leave a float plan. Tell someone where you’re going, when you’ll return, and who is with you. When you return, remember to let that person know
- Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Carry an extra paddle and a whistle to alert passersby in the event of an emergency
- Carry extra clothing in a waterproof bag so that it stays dry
- Keep your weight low in the boat. If you change positions, keep one hand on the boat
- If you capsize, stay with the boat and hold onto it if it is safe to do so. If you are in a current, move yourself to the upstream side of the boat
- Keep hydrated by drinking non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages
- Stay near the riverbank
- Make yourself visible and watch for other boats as they may not see you
- Stop only in designated areas
- Portage your boat around areas that you do not feel safe
- Keep all of your lines secure and never tie a rope to yourself or anyone else
- Do not become complacent about the river
- Observe and avoid restricted areas near dams and power plants
- Do not stop or anchor beneath bridges or in the channel
- Watch for anything that looks suspect or out of the ordinary. Report all activities that seem suspicious to the Sheriff 509 447-3151
Washington and Idaho Boating Regulations
- For more information on Washington’s boating education, licensing requirements, and safety, visit Adventures in Boating Washington: or contact the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission at (360) 902-8844.
- For more information on Idaho’s boating education, licensing requirements, and safety, please visit Adventures in Boating Idaho: or contact the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation at (208) 334-4199.
Stewardship and Involvement
- Leave No Trace by packing out your refuse, using biodegradable soaps, avoid trampling vegetation and leaving sites clean. Join the Leave No Trace Program.
- Click here for a great article outlining Leave No Trace principles.
- Follow local fire restrictions.
- Become a member of the Pend Oreille River Water Trail group by contacting the Pend Oreille River Tourism Alliance.