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Outfitter guides in Oregon

The Oregon State Marine Board has reviewed Governor Brown's Executive Order No. 20-12 regarding its impact to Outfitter Guides and Charter operators in Oregon.

We believe that EO20-12 effectively limits this type of operation in many circumstances. Here is a summary of our review, plus pertinent parts of the executive order. Note that this is not a legal interpretation and is based only on our review of EO20-12. Business owners will need to make their own decision on how to comply with Governor Brown's order. Here's a link to all COVID19-related executive orders.


Paragraph 1A immediately prohibits non-essential social gatherings outside of a home if distances of six feet between individual cannot be maintained – difficult or impossible to implement in the operation of most of Oregon's six-pack guide boat operations and probably most charters.

Paragraph 10 states when telework and work-from-home options are not available, businesses must designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies. These policies must address how the business will maintain social distancing protocols for business-critical visitors. Be prepared to present your policy and policy enforcer to law enforcement upon request.

Paragraph 18 states that all public and private campgrounds are to be closed immediately, further restricting the ability for the public in general to launch boats on the water. Be aware that you are encouraging more people to use stressed facilities such as public restrooms, if they are even available.

Paragraph 22 specifically directs individuals to minimize travel except for essential travel. While “workplace" is considered within “essential travel," and guides and charter operators work from their boats,  travel by your clients would not be considered essential.

Given this review, we believe that it would be difficult for most if not all guide or charter operations to operate with the public aboard under this executive order. Just as we do not distribute legal advice, we caution you against making legal decisions for or giving legal advice to your clients. During this time of "Stay Home, Save Lives," please be prudent and cautious. Keep yourself and your clients safe.


Providing false information when applying for registration is a Class A Misdemeanor. Guiding without a current Outfitter Guide registration is a Class A Misdemeanor. Conviction may result in a fine, imprisonment, and denial or revocation of an Outfitter Guide registration for up to 60 months.

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