The Future of the Upper Rogue River


Over the past decade, commercial jet boats have been operating on the Upper Rogue River. In December 2022, Oregon State Parks considered approving a ten-year concession permit for the commercial jet boat operation to continue on the Upper Rogue River Watershed out of the Touvelle State Park. An operation that was, and still is, drastically affecting the river, fish, and communities of southern Oregon. 

In 2022, when considering a ten year extension, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department hosted a public meeting where folks could learn more about a potential commercial jet boat concession out of Touvelle State Park. Additionally, OPRD sent out an online survey for stakeholders to participate and let their voice be heard. Rogue Valley Times did a poll asking folks if they liked jet boats on the Upper Rogue River. The public and stakeholders gave their input with over 1,600 comments submitted on the issue. OPRD decided not to issue a concession permit to allow jet boats to operate out of Touvelle State Park. 

Despite OPRD’s decision, the jet boat operation continued its services out of Touvelle State Park, advertising on county roads and installing anchored docks on OPRD property. The commercial jet boat operation continued business as usual. OPRD referred concerned advocates to the Department of State Lands, stating the Department of State Lands owns the river bottom and it lies in their jurisdiction to regulate. Since then, the record has been corrected, the river bottom is OPRD’s jurisdiction and responsibility.

Advocate for wild fish in the Upper Rogue River

And here we are today, four managing agencies that regulate the Upper Rogue River (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of State Lands, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and Oregon State Marine Board) have partnered with Oregon Kitchen Table (OKT) to help decide the future for this iconic river in southern Oregon. OKT is the creation of a group of non-partisan, non-profit community organizations dedicated to helping Oregonians have a voice - to share their ideas, opinions, beliefs, and resources in improving Oregon and our communities. 

To learn more about the harmful impacts that jet boats are having on the Upper Rogue River, we encourage you to watch this short video put together by Upper Rogue Guardians. From safety issues to driving over spawning fish, these boats have future impacts to the wild native fish that call the Rogue home.

As river users and wild fish advocates need to come together and speak up for the Upper Rogue River. OKT wants to hear from people who live in Jackson County and visit the Upper Rogue about their experiences, values, and desires for the future of the Upper Rogue River. Head over to the OKT website or see below to learn more about the multiple opportunities to engage in this process and let your voice be heard about the future of the Upper Rogue River. If you are a river user of the upper Rogue River, you are a stakeholder! Give your input on what you would like to see for this iconic river. 

Here are the quick details:

  • Share what you think online in English or Spanish here through July 5th.

  • Join a community conversation online or in person! Register here.

    • ZOOM: Wednesday, May 22, 6-8pm: English with Spanish interpretation

    • Thursday, May 30, 6-8pm at the Shady Cove Middle School Gymnasium: in person in English (Spanish facilitation available by request)

    • Tuesday, June 4, 5:30-7:30pm at Touvelle State Park: in person in English (Spanish facilitation available by request)

    • Monday, June 17, 5:30-7:30pm at the Jackson County Library in Medford: in person in English & Spanish

  • Join our partners at Rogue Riverkeeper for a community conversation on June 19 at our office at 562 A St. in Ashland! Register here.

Please consider joining one or multiple meetings to let your voice be heard. Complete the survey to help share your voice for wild fish on the Upper Rogue River. 

For more information on the issues surrounding the Upper Rogue River, don't hesitate to get in touch with Southern Oregon Coordinator Kirk Blaine at


Join Us for a Guaranteed Good Time for a Great Cause! Where: The Miracle Barn at 65599 Tweed Road, Bend, OR / *Virtual auction available anywhere you have wifi! When: Saturday, August 17th, 4 - 7pm What: A FREE Central Oregon benefit for our wild, native fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving communities.