A list of our most F.A.Q.'s:
Q: Do we need to make a reservation?
A: Absolutely not. Walk ins make up the vast majority of our business at the Port Clinton store. However, reservations are welcome. We do recommend making reservations for larger groups that way we can be ready for you! Reservations are also highly recommended for the river trips out of the Oak Harbor store.
Q: Can we bring our own kayak, canoe, or paddleboard?
A: Yes. At our Port Clinton location you can launch your own boat from our canal for $7. You are under no time restrictions. You just have to be back by closing time. You may also take your kayak or canoe on one of our river trips for $15 out of the Oak Harbor store. This includes shuttling you and your boat up stream and keeping your car on our lot. Your boat must be registered with the state of Ohio and be at least 11.5' in length to fit on our trailer.
Q: Can we bring fishing poles? Do we need a fishing license? What might we catch?
A: Yes fishing poles are welcome. Ohio law requires anyone 16 and over to have a valid fishing license to fish public water ways. The river is plentiful with Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Crappie, Bluegill, and many other species are well represented.
Q: Do you have an age limit?
A: Absolutely not. We are an all ages welcome kind of place. We have life jackets from infant on up. Each child that wants to paddle their own boat will be determined on a case by case basis. Keep in mind that the longer river trips can be an all day event. You know your child better than we do. Plan accordingly.
Q: Can we bring our dog with us?
A: Of course. We allow large dogs in the canoes with you and smaller dogs on the kayaks. We even had someone put their pooch on a paddleboard before!
Q: Are lifejackets and paddles provided?
A: Absolutely. All you need to do is show up. We take care of the rest.
Q: What should we bring with us?
A: We always recommend a pair of water shoes, sunscreen, and plenty of fluids. Of course, if you forget any of those things we do carry them all! Bring whatever you need to make you comfortable. The only thing we ask that you not bring is glass bottles and Styrofoam coolers.
Q: Wait a second, doesn't portage mean to carry a boat?
A: Yes, portage does mean to carry a boat between two navigable water ways. However, the stretch of the river we operate on is close to the mouth of the river and Lake Erie making it perfect for paddling. The Portage River likely derives its name from early explorers who were forced to portage or carry their canoes and boats around the river's intermittent shallows and rapids. Since then,1850 to be precise, the Ohio legislature passed the first of several laws mandating the draining of the Great Black Swamp into the Portage and Maumee rivers. This led to the creation of many of the tributaries, streams, and ditches feeding the Portage River. The Portage River is over 40 miles long! We operate on the 20 river miles closest to the mouth!
Depending on water levels the only place you may have to portage your boat is on the Elmore to Oak Harbor Livery trip. Even at low water levels it would only be occasionally.
Q: What if I have a reservation and it is raining?
A: Paddling is an outdoor adventure controlled by mother nature. We operate rain or shine. We will only shut down for severe thunderstorms or flooding. Many summer thunderstorms go away just as fast they come in. If we have a random thunderstorm come through and it clears up, chances are we are still open.
If you are caught in a thunderstorm it is best to pull over and wait it out. Once you commit to a river trip you need to finish it. We can not come and get you. Access to the Portage River is extremely limited. In the event of an emergency call 911.