Outfitters/Guides and Charters
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Don't Know Who to go With?
The Marine Board registers outfitter/guides annually to certify that they carry the minimum liability insurance required by law, they have current First Aid and CPR training and if required have a US Coast Guard (USCG) Operator License and/or Surety Bond.
Outfitter/guides are issued an annual registration card they are required to carry and show to anyone who asks. Employees are not issued separate registration cards.
Outfitter/guides must maintain a list of employees with the Marine Board and make sure employees have valid First Aid and CPR training. Other requirements include a USCG Operator License if using a boat in navigable waters and/or training if providing raft trips in Class III or higher whitewater.
Annual decals or tags are issued if boats are part of the outdoor recreational activities they provide. Motorized boat decals indicate the maximum number of passengers. If an outfitter/guide or their employee operates a motorboat in navigable waters, the operator must carry a valid USCG Operator License. The motorized boat decal will indicate the type and area of operation licensed by their USCG license.
Check our list of actively registered outfitter/guides below. Other resources include www.traveloregon.com
, or guide associations such as those listed below.
Click below for a list of:
Contact the Marine Board at (503) 378-8587 with any questions or to verify if a person is registered as an outfitter/guide or operates a licensed charter vessel. Report any illegal guiding activity using the State Police TIP Hotline (800) 452-7888.
Know Before You Go
Ask to see your outfitter guide's registration card or look for the decal on the boat. If the outfitter/guide is an employee, ask for the name of the company. You can verify outfitter/guide registrations with us by calling (503) 378-8587.
Report any illegal guiding activity using the State Police TIP Hotline (800) 452-7888.
Resources for Outfitters and Guides
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If you accept fees or other compensation to take people fishing, hunting, rafting, biking, hiking or other outdoor activities on public lands, you must be registered through the Marine Board. Application and other forms are available below. Please call the Outfitter/Guide registration specialist for additional assistance at (503) 378-2519, or e-mail OSMB at Marine.Board@state.or.us
Forms Available for Download
Non-resident applicants must include a photocopy of a current driver’s license with their application. Non-resident fees are prorated to the amount an Oregon resident would pay in that state.
Guide Applicant Requirements:
- A completed application
- Certificate of insurance
- First Aid / CPR card
- Surety Bond
- United States Coast Guard Operator License (if operating in navigable waters)
- Annual non-refundable fee (Oregon Residents, $50; non-residents, see schedule)
Requirements are based on Oregon Revised Statutes, ORS Chapter 704 and Oregon Administrative Rules, OAR Chapter 250 Division 16.
|Liability Insurance |
|Proof of liability insurance covering occurrences by the outfitter and guide and their employees which result in bodily injury or property damage must be current and on file at the Marine Board. The Certificate of Insurance (COI) must cover not less than $300,000 combined single limit per occurrence general liability insurance. The certificate must match the name and/or business name on the application; list the Marine Board as the certificate holder; list the descriptions of operations (activities) covered and if applicable, the types and number of boats used. |
|First Aid and CPR |
|A current certificate issued to the outfitter/guide and each employee or party of interest that meets the minimum standards set by the American Red Cross. A copy of the certificate or card for the outfitter/guide must be submitted. The outfitter/guide is responsible to make sure all employees carry valid First Aid / CPR certificates. |
|The outfitter/guide must provide the names of all employees, agents, and parties of interest who physically provide or who directly assist in physically providing outfitting and guiding services. The outfitter/guide must notify the Marine Board by mail, email or fax of any additions or deletions of employees immediately. |
|United States Coast Guard (USCG) Operator License |
|A valid USCG Operators License must be carried by all outfitter/guides or employees who operate a motorized boat in navigable waters of the United States. A copy of the USCG Operator License should be submitted with the application. An outfitter/guide registration does not allow operation in the ocean. Information about how to obtain a U.S. Coast Guard Operator License can found at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/ or by contacting the Portland Regional Exam Office at (503) 231-2296. A list of navigable waters is attached and a full list may be found at http://www.uscg.mil/d13/docs/CG_Navigable_Waterways.pdf |
|Surety Bond |
A Surety Bond or Letter of Credit issued by a financial institution in the amount of $5,000 must be submitted for any outfitter/guide who accepts deposits of more than $100 per person.
|Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit (AISPP) – REQUIRED FOR NON-MOTORIZED BOATS |
|An Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit is required for each non-motorized watercraft in use. Motorized boats with current registration do not need an additional permit. A separate payment is required for accounting purposes. |
- Beginning in December 2010 the non-motorized decal or raft tag will verify the fee has been paid.
- If a non-motorized decal or raft tag needs to be replaced you will be charged $5 per item.
- Non-residents with motorboats must pay a $20 AISPP fee per boat. Oregon residents with motorboats pay the AISPP fee as part of their boat registration fee.
An outfitter/guide registration does not take the place of other local, state or federal use permits. Outfitter/guide registration is required to obtain a special use permit from the US Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management. Providing false information when applying for registration is a Class B Misdemeanor. Guiding without a current outfitter/guide registration is a Class B Misdemeanor. Conviction may result in a fine up to $1,000 or imprisonment up to 6 months or both, and denial or revocation of an outfitter/guide registration for up to 24 months.
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What New Rules Mean to You
On October 25, 2011, the Oregon State Marine Board adopted a series of rule changes to update the Oregon Outfitter and Guide Program. This vote completes stage 1 in the top-down review of the program that had seen only incremental changes in the last 25 years. The new rules are the result of a series of 10 months of work that included a survey of all registered outfitters and guides, a series of 10 workshops across the state, and three meetings of the statutorily defined Guide Advisory Committee (GAC). Administrative actions and the draft rules were adopted with unanimous support of the GAC.
In addition to rule changes, the Board has implemented a series of administrative changes developed with input from the GAC. The administrative changes will improve communications between guides, the Marine Board, and law enforcement agencies. Rule changes primarily improve accountability for illegal or unregistered guides, but they also clarify rules to ease compliance by legal guides.
Rule Summary (Effective Nov. 1, 2011)
1. Clarify scope of Board authority to sanction outfitters and guides:
a. A technical error limiting Board sanctions to a “letter of reprimand” has been fixed. Serious violations may now result in up to a two-year suspension.
b. A “discipline policy” clearly states the review process to determine an appropriate response to a violation or series of violations.
c. ORS Chapter 830 (boating laws) is added to the list of statutes for which serious or repeated violations may result in sanctions.
d. ORS Chapter 166 (criminal harassment, etc.) is added as cause for sanction if violations occur while in the conduct of outfitting and guiding.
e. Repeated violations of Outfitter and Guide Ethical and Professional Standards listed in OAR 250-016-0060 may be considered as cause for discipline.
2. Documentation for legal areas of operation.
a. The Board will now begin issuing oval decals to guides who have a US Coast Guard license. Guides not licensed by the US Coast Guard will receive a square decal.
b. Guides must now submit copies of their federal permits at the time of application.
3. “Guide Boatsman Trainee” designation allows whitewater guides to self-certify by operating a ‘baggage boat’ in class III or higher whitewater. This rule makes legal a current and reasonable practice that was technically illegal before adoption.
4. Non-resident Hunt Tag Certification Program clarified.
a. Define “Drop Camp” as a site whose location is chosen either by the Outfitter and Guide or the client but where no guided hunt services are provided to the client. Also outlines other aspects of drop camps. See proposed language in OAR 250-016-0070.
b. Set private land lease minimum to 1,280 contiguous acres for Non-resident Hunt Tag Certification Program eligibility, and require a map and lease agreement at time of application.
5. The requirement to provide notarized copies of federal permits was removed.
1. Guide Advisory Committee Annual Meetings: The GAC will meet annually in conjunction with the Portland Sportsman’s Show. The GAC will be used in an advisory capacity on issues related to guide violations of professional and ethical standards, program management and recommendations.
2. Implementation of an online “Outfitter and Guide Registration Listing” to allow the public and guides easy access to guide data as well as convictions or violations. This is consistent with what is done by the Contractors Board, Board of Nursing, Board of Physical Therapy and many other agencies and boards that manage licensed, registered or certified professionals.
3. Annual Regional Meetings: Marine Board staff will coordinate annual regional meetings involving local guides, federal land managers, and local law enforcement officers. Meeting goals include improving consistency of federal permit requirements, improved communication between the jurisdictions and guides, and strategic enforcement planning to aid in apprehension of poachers and illegal guiding activities.
4. Enforcement Pilot Projects: Enforcement of guide laws was a key issue everywhere but with emphasis on congested coastal rivers .Complaints and problems damage public perception and guide program credibility. Funding from the Outfitter and Guide Program is available on a one-time basis to put toward regional enforcement projects in 2012 and 2013.
5. Guide Card Update: Information will be added to cards denoting Coast Guard License data so law enforcement will know if guides are outside their legal area of operation.
Future Statutory Changes
Several proposals developed during this process require changes to the Outfitter Guide statute as defined in ORS Chapter 704. Fees and the scope of outfitter and guide registration requirements are set here. To change these require full review by legislators during a regular legislative session, probably in 2013. The Guide Advisory Committee has proposed that the Marine Board pursue the following changes to statute.
1) Guide Advisory Committee: The GAC is currently defined in statute. Staff is recommending that language describing the makeup of the GAC be moved to administrative rule so the Board can adapt membership as guide groups come and go. The language defining the function of the GAC should remain in statute, but the appointment process should move to rule.
2) Fee Increase: The GAC recommends an annual increase from $50 per year to $150 per year beginning in 2014. The increase will fund improved program administration, outreach efforts and law enforcement specifically targeting illegal guiding activities. Current program funding does not fund program requirements.
3) Fishing Guide Registration: Require all persons functioning as a fishing guide to be registered as a guide. Currently a Fishing Guide may hire employees to work under his or her registration, creating enforcement and tracking loopholes. Full registration of all individuals who function as fishing guides would provide more accurate use data to the Board, would increase revenues to achieve GAC goals, and would simplify law enforcement by closing the loophole some unlicensed guides use to avoid license requirements.
4) Liability Insurance Increase: The GAC recommends changing the 27-year-old $300,000 minimum to a $500,000 minimum.
5) Motorized Boat Guide License or Certification: The GAC supports a requirement that guides operating motor boats be certified, either by the US Coast Guard or State certification process. Two scenarios for further discussion include.
a. Option 1: All guides operating motorboats at any time during the year are required to carry a minimum of a USCG OUPV (Six Pak) Inland License. The law would phase in over 5 years. All motorboats would thus be issued an oval decal. All guides would have to pass the physical requirements and drug test required within the Coast Guard licensing process.
b. Option 2: Each guide who uses motorboats and does not carry a USCG license must possess an Oregon Guide Motorboat Certification. To obtain the certification, the guide must: have an Oregon Boater Education Card; certify that he or she has at least 50 hours experience operating a motorboat; pass a written exam on operating a passenger vessel for hire; have his or her vessel inspected by a law enforcement officer and, at that time, pass an oral test administered by the officer describing the function and legal use of required safety gear and demonstrate or explain other basic knowledge and skills. The agency would charge a one-time $75 fee to administer the test. 5-year phase-in.
Changes to statute will be discussed at the February 2012 GAC meeting. Comments should be directed to your guide agency organizational leader, or written comments can be provided to the Marine Board for distribution at the meeting.