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Old 05-15-2014, 12:19 PM
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Thumbs up So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

Well usually you've left the darned thing in your car or truck. Now what when "The Man" walks up?


"Smart phone fishing license?


May 15, 2014

I recently went fishing at Howard Prairie and didn't realize until we were already on the water a few hours that I forgot my fishing license in my truck. I know I'm supposed to carry it when I fish, but let me pose you a 21st Century back-up plan: Take a picture on my smart phone of my license, just in case I have to prove to a state trooper that I'm legal. Will that hold up?

— T.D., email submission

This is an interesting question, T.D., that has both a legal and a practical answer.

Oregon law requires anglers to carry a fishing license when they fish. At least it's not like California, where you have to wear it so it can be seen from afar by a binoculared game warden.

So we asked Lt. David Gifford from the Oregon State Police's Fish and Wildlife Division about your little plan. They'll hear from time to time the "I left my license in my truck" excuse and producing a picture on your smart phone showing the legal license could only help your case.

"That backs them up," Gifford says. "It shows they have a license."

While at Howard Prairie it may get you off the hook with a warning to start showing as much attention to your license as you do your phone when fishing, it likely won't fly elsewhere.

Don't try to pull that when salmon fishing in the Rogue River or halibut fishing at sea. Those activities require extra tags that must be filled out immediately after an angler keeps a salmon or halibut before fishing again.

"So the picture won't help if they're fishing for something they need a tag for," Gifford says.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them."
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

I'd rather carry my wallet than my phone near the water... ID... Credit/Debit cards are a lot cheaper to replace than a cellphone.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

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I'd rather carry my wallet than my phone near the water... ID... Credit/Debit cards are a lot cheaper to replace than a cellphone.
Hear you IM. I usually carry my phone is a small freezer grade zip lock bag. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea if I did the same with my wallet?

fae
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

My vest contains a selection of valid and expired fishing licenses in a zip-lok bag. Sometimes I add my driver's license to the bag where required.
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

This does bring up an interesting question now that a lot of states are selling fishing licenses online. I made a trip down to Flaming Gorge a couple weeks back, stopped into Trout Creek Flies and bought a fishing license before heading to the water. I had mentioned to the clerk that I was thinking about just buying the license online with my cell phone and using that as the receipt since I don't have a printer at the house. He told me that the game wardens there would accept that as a license, but I haven't tested it so that is just one person's opinion. I guess I should stop at the Wyoming Game and Fish office here in town and get an official reading from them in regards to how Wyoming views this situation. I wonder how other states view this, especially since a lot of states are selling fishing licenses online.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

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Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
At least it's not like California, where you have to wear it so it can be seen from afar by a binoculared game warden.
From the California DFG website Q&A:
Q: Do I have to wear my fishing license?
A: No. As of March 1, 2010, anglers no longer have to display their sport fishing license on their outer clothing above the waist. However, their sport fishing license must be in their immediate possession while fishing, except when diving as provided in Fish and Game Code Section 7145.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sport Fishing Licenses - California Department of Fish and Wildlife
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

With the new "receipt" style of CA fishing license it would be nigh impossible for a warden to tell if a license were valid. The old ones were color coded by year so it was relatively easy to tell from a distance. They were also kind of cool to collect, now they really don't have any "soul". milt BTW, e-card works for the Geico piglet for proof of insurance!
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

I still see no reason why California got rid of the "your license needs to be visible" portion of the law.

Doesn't that make life easier for wardens who can spot a license from binoculars from a further distance and not require walking up to each person?

Then again, when the requirement to wear your license was still in affect, 50% of the anglers I saw never even had it visible...so I guess what's the point if you don't have resources to even patrol efficiently.

But I digress....
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

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Originally Posted by darkshadow View Post
I still see no reason why California got rid of the "your license needs to be visible" portion of the law.

Doesn't that make life easier for wardens who can spot a license from binoculars from a further distance and not require walking up to each person?

Then again, when the requirement to wear your license was still in affect, 50% of the anglers I saw never even had it visible...so I guess what's the point if you don't have resources to even patrol efficiently.

But I digress....
Total agreement with your last comment; actually seeing a license was damned rare. As for the 'walking up to each person' there's a real reason for that: Creel Checks. That can only be done 'face to face.' Not just (for the few times I've been asked) not just did you keep any, did you catch any, did you see other folks fishing and how did they do?

End game of that is a chat with a single person can expand to 'six.'

Edit: Just thought about one 'scary' check (no problem with me) and young lady is in official shirt and pant so easy to spot. Do the bit and a nice chat. Saw her again the next week and this time there were two of them .... and both were packing pistols! Apparently my first Gal had a problem on the beach with a couple of guys and it scared the hell out of her (who could blame her????). From that point on they went in pairs, one stood back while the other did the paper work.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: So you forgot your wallet and want to go fishing in Oregon.

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Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
Total agreement with your last comment; actually seeing a license was damned rare. As for the 'walking up to each person' there's a real reason for that: Creel Checks. That can only be done 'face to face.' Not just (for the few times I've been asked) not just did you keep any, did you catch any, did you see other folks fishing and how did they do?

End game of that is a chat with a single person can expand to 'six.'

Edit: Just thought about one 'scary' check (no problem with me) and young lady is in official shirt and pant so easy to spot. Do the bit and a nice chat. Saw her again the next week and this time there were two of them .... and both were packing pistols! Apparently my first Gal had a problem on the beach with a couple of guys and it scared the hell out of her (who could blame her????). From that point on they went in pairs, one stood back while the other did the paper work.
I wish we had enforcement in SoCal. :-\

I've been paying for my fishing license since I was 16 and have had 3, yes count them, THREE wardens actually approach me to ask me for my license during those, oh, 15 years.

Sign of the times, though....
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