BLM to change plans for releasing John Day River boater permits


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Prineville District Office will soon change how boater permits are released for portions of the John Day Wild and Scenic River.

Beginning January 1, 2022, boater permits for the high season of use will be released on a daily rolling schedule instead of block releases that were used in past years.  

The high season is currently defined as May 1 to July 15 for the river segment from Service Creek to Tumwater Falls, and September 1 to November 1 for Cottonwood Bridge (Burres) to Tumwater Falls. 

High Season permits are first-come first-served and will be available on at 7 a.m. Pacific Time four months and one month in advance of a given launch date.

For example, for a launch date of May 1, 2022, 50 percent of permits will be released on January 1, 2022, at 7 a.m. Pacific Time and the remaining permits will be released on April 1, 2022.

The High Season Boater Permit Daily Release Schedule can be found at 

In addition to changing the permit release schedule, the BLM is adding options for longer trips and to better manage crowding.

Beginning January 1, 2022, there will be a separate category for boaters who are planning to launch upstream of Clarno and take out at Thirtymile or farther down river. 

For more information about the John Day River, please contact the Prineville BLM at (541) 416-6700, or visit To get a permit for the river, please visit 



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