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.
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