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Outfitter guides in Oregon


​The Oregon State Marine Board registers those individuals who provide outdoor recreational activities for compensation on land or water they do not own or control.  These individuals, called Outfitter Guides, are required to provide the state with proof they are adequately insured and bonded, have basic First Aid and CPR skills, carry the required minimum safety equipment, and if using a boat, carry either a US Coast Guard license or OSMB Motorized Passenger Boat Operator’s Certification, depending upon the waterbody. Outfitter Guides also agree to conduct themselves according to a set of Ethical and Professional Standards, and are held responsible to them as well.​

Use our “Online Lookup" feature or "Guides & Charters Lists" on our online store to see who's registered to conduct guiding business in Oregon. Ask to see your Outfitter Guide's registration card or look for the decal on the boat or vehicle. If the Outfitter Guide is an employee, they should be carrying a copy of the owner’s guide registration. When planning your adventure, use the resources at Travel Oregon to find ideas and registered Outfitter Guides to maximize your experience. You can verify Outfitter Guide registrations by calling us at (503) 378-2633. ​​

If you’re thinking of becoming a guide, and you’d like to accept some sort of payment or benefit for assisting or instructing people on fishing, hunting, rafting, biking, hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, photographing or other similar outdoor activity on land or water you do not own or control, you first must be registered through the Marine Board. An Oregon Outfitter Guide registration allows you to guide in Oregon. It does not take the place of local, state or federal use permits, and is required to be issued a permit from federal agencies such as the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or National Parks.  Make sure to check with other agencies to determine if any local, state or federal permits are required to provide guided activities on those lands/water. Links to our applications and forms are to the right, or you can apply online at our Boat Oregon Store .  Please call the Outfitter Guide desk for additional assistance or e-mail us at 

  • ​A completed application
  • Certificate of liability insurance stating coverage for the activity you will provide
  • First Aid / CPR Red Cross or equivalent card (no online CPR certifications)
  • $5000 Surety Bond (if taking deposits over $100/person)
  • United States Coast Guard Operator License (if operating in navigable or non-navigable waters) or Motorized Passenger Boat Operator's Certification (if operating only on non-navigable water)
  • Annual non-refundable fee (Oregon Residents, $150; non-residents, see schedule)
Requirements are based on Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 704​ and Oregon Administrative Rules, OAR Chapter 250 Division 16.​

A Certificate of Liability Insurance not less than $500,000 combined single limit per occurrence covering the Outfitter Guide and their employees which result in bodily injury or property damage must be current and on file at the Marine Board. The certificate must match the name and/or business name on the application; list the Marine Board as the certificate holder; list the operations (activities) covered and if applicable, the types and number of boats used.

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 (Internet courses with no hands-on testing of CPR skills are not acceptable). Contact our office for a list of acceptable providers if you are unsure. A copy of the certificate for the Outfitter Guide must be submitted. The Outfitter Guide is responsible to make sure all employees carry valid First Aid /CPR certification.

The Outfitter Guide must provide the names, addresses, dates of birth, and First Aid/CPR certification expiration dates of all employees, agents, and parties of interest who physically provide or who directly assist in physically providing outfitting and guiding services. Those employees of fishing guides who conduct, lead or assist in angling activities, or operate or assist in the operation of a watercraft used for angling activities must be individually registered as Outfitter Guides. Prior to providing services, the Outfitter Guide must notify the Marine Board by submitting the information by mail, email, or "Account Update" link in the sidebar, noting any additions or deletions of employees.

A valid USCG Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) must be carried by all Outfitter Guides or employees who operate a motorized boat in federally navigable waters of the United States. If operating a motorized boat on non-federally navigable waters, the operator must have either a MMC or an OSMB Motorized Passenger Boat Operator's Certification (MPBOC). Copies of these certifications must be submitted or already on file.  See our "Guide Oregon" manual for the information regarding applying for the MPBOC.

​A $5,000 Surety Bond in the amount of $5,000 naming the Oregon State Marine Board must be submitted for any Outfitter Guide or their agent who accepts deposits more than $100 per person. An agent may be a broker, representative or booking company or website that may accept money on your behalf. A deposit is any money accepted in advance in anticipation of services to be provided. ​

If you are conducting your guiding service under a business name, all business corporations and Assumed Business Names MUST be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State's Business Registry. For more information or to register, go to:

In Oregon, an AIS Permit is required for each non-motorized watercraft in use over 10' in length. Oregon registered motorized boats with current registration do not need an additional permit. The AIS Permit fee must be purchased separately from the Outfitter Guide Registration. Out-of-State motorized boats must pay a $20 AIS Permit fee per boat. 

AIS permits can be ordered through our online store at​

If you have questions about the AIS program, please contact Glenn Dolphin at​ or call 503-378-2625.

  • Arizona: $​​300, Hunting and Fishing
  • California: $511 Hunting & Fishing; $150 other services
  • Colorado: $200 Any Service
  • Nevada: $250, Hunting, Fishing,  $150 other services
  • Other states not listed: $150 any service
  • Washington: Fishing: Below Longview Bridge: $2575, Above Longview Bridge: $1490, Sole State Waters: $760; All Other Services: $150

Check this chart for a quick reference to the safety equipment required for the type of guided activity or guide decal issued.

Equipment Requirement Rack Card 04132018.jpg
For the complete list, please refer to Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 250-016-0075 - 0077 (for whitewater, inland, and non-boating guides) and OAR 250-015-0010 (for charter guides.)

All Outfitter Guides are required to report incidents that occur while guiding​ to the Marine Board within 48 hours of the incident.  Notwithstanding the requirements for reporting boating incidents, Outfitter Guide incidents are defined as an act which results in:

  • death or disappearance of any person;
  • injury or illness of any person requiring medical attention beyond minor first aid; 
  • damage exceeding $500 to public, private or guide property, excluding personal use items, or
  • emergency response from a ocal, state or federal agency.
​Use the Incident Reporting Form on the right side of this page to submit an online report to the Marine Board.  

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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