News Releases

Corps encourages safe recreation season on Columbia and John Day rivers

Published May 22, 2013

PORTLAND, ORE. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites visitors to enjoy the many recreational opportunities near the John Day-Willow Creek Project this summer while being safe in or near the water.


"Each year thousands of visitors head to Lake Umatilla and the lower John Day River," said Tony Schoenecker, natural resource manager at John Day-Willow Creek Project. "To keep everyone safe we ask that you ‘Know Before you Go.’ There are some changes to our operation and we want guests to be aware."


Visitors can enjoy camping, picnicking and boating at Corps-managed recreation areas. On the Washington shore, the Corps operates Plymouth, Roosevelt, Sundale and Railroad Island parks; Crow Butte Park is operated by the Port of Benton. Visitors to the Oregon shore will find Corps-managed Lepage and Quesnel parks; other non-Corps parks include Arlington, Irrigon, Boardman and Umatilla marine parks.


"We want to remind visitors on the lower John Day River to be alert and observe the temporary closure of Albert Philippi Park for the 2013 recreation season. During this closure no public access or use is permitted," Schoenecker said. "It’s also important to respect the John Day Wildlife Refuge. To protect important habitat no camping is permitted along the shores of the refuge." The refuge boundary begins at the mouth of the John Day River and extends to river mile 30.


Another important consideration is to practice Pack-it-In, Pack-it-Out, Schoenecker said.


"It falls to each of us to help preserve these recreation areas and one thing we can do is to take everything back out," he said. "We ask all visitors to come prepared to take garbage back home with them for proper disposal. It’s critical to keeping these areas beautiful for sightseers, birders, anglers, hikers and anyone who uses these parks."


The Corps has one last request of boaters: Wear your life jacket. Keep your loved ones safe this season by ensuring everyone in or near the water wears one. They save lives!


For more information on recreation opportunities near the John Day-Willow Creek Project, contact the Natural Resource Management Office at 541-506-4807.

Natural Resource Management Office
Diana Fredlund

Release no. 13-029