The Tillamook Board of County Commissioners voted Wednesday, May 27, to reopen 13 county boat launches seven days per week. Effective at 6 p.m. Friday, May 29, these 13 boat launches will be open for access by users with a Tillamook County Annual Parking Pass or Day Pass. Fully reopened boat launches include: Burton Fraser, Fishers Point, Little Nestucca, Lake Lytle, Memaloose Point, Nehalem Bay, Netarts Landing, Pacific City, Parks Landing, Roy Creek, Sollie Smith, Steiner and Three Rivers.
The Tillamook Tidewater ADA access boat dock on Highway 131 is also open seven days per week.
Commissioner Mary Faith Bell said the county encourages people to continue safe distancing practices. Just because the weather is nice, it does not mean the danger has passed.
The Cape Kiwanda boat launch at Hungry Harbor Drive shall be open seven days a week to commercial dory boat operators, who are also permitted to the park on the beach. The boat launch is open to recreational dory boat operators Monday through Friday. Recreational operators are prohibited from parking on the beach but are permitted to park trailers in the Cape Kiwanda parking lot. The Hungry Harbor Drive boat launch will be closed at 6 p.m. on Fridays to the recreational fleet.
Commission Chair David Yamamoto said things are going very well with opening the boat launches.
Kilchis River Campground boat launch and Whalen Island boat launch will remain closed until June 15. Mills Bridge and Mapes Creek boat launches will remain closed until further notice.
“The big test to me is going to be this weekend when we open up transient lodging again,” Yamamoto said. “This is going to be very interesting to see how things operate; what the county looks like.”
At their May 20 meeting, the commissioners voted to lift the limit of three persons per boat. Boaters should comply with all Oregon State Marine Board regulations and the Governor’s order on physical distancing in parking lots, boat launches, and boats, which requires maintaining a distance of six feet.
The City of Tillamook has followed the county and has opened all of the boat ramps seven days a week. Sue H. Elmore and Carnahan boat launches are both open.
All county, state and federal parks within Tillamook County remain closed. All other county parking lots, beach accesses and certain parking areas along road rights-of-way remain closed.