Oklahoma Fishing Guides Must Be Licensed by July 31


Mar 11, 2001
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Oklahoma Fishing Guides Must Be Licensed by July 31


Fishing guides who operate on Oklahoma waters will be required to purchase a fishing guide license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation beginning July 31.

At its June meeting, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission approved emergency rules to go into effect July 31 in accordance to Senate Bill 277, which recently was signed by the Governor.

"The new fishing guide license was requested by the fishing guide industry in Oklahoma and will help ensure our state's fishing guides have a strong set of safety and first-aid skills as well as properly functioning equipment and insurance," said Greg Duffy, director of the Wildlife Department.

The annual license will cost $132 for both residents and nonresidents, but Wildlife Department officials are only going to charge $66 for the remainder of 2009 since the requirement will only be in effect for half of the year. The license is required of all persons, resident or nonresident, who charge or accept consideration to take someone fishing. The only exemption is for landowners or lessees who provide such services on their own property and those who assist a licensed guide in the same boat.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, fishing guides applying for a license must provide the Wildlife Department with documentation stating they have completed boat training through the National Association of Safe Boating Administrators, which is available readily online or at locations throughout Oklahoma. They also must provide the Wildlife Department with proof of commercial general liability insurance covering services as a fishing guide with policy limits of at least $500,000 per occurrence. Additionally, fishing guides must maintain current boat inspection by any governmental agency or entity authorized to perform such inspections, and they must be certified by the American Red Cross in CPR and basic first aid.

"Other states, including Texas, have guide license requirements, and I am confident this will benefit our anglers and guides," said Barry Bolton, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department. "We hope to maintain a list of licensed guides to help anglers identify guides and get 'hooked up,' so to speak."

In other business, the Commission recognized 2009 Preston High School graduate Charlie Brown for her efforts in hosting an annual fishing clinic at Okmulgee Lake for kids with disabilities.

According to Nels Rodefeld, information and education chief for the Wildlife Department, the Department's aquatic resource education program is "kind of like that turtle on top of a fencepost; you know he didn't get there without some help."

And Brown is one of those whose help has gone a long way to make fishing clinics across the state so useful for introducing youth to the outdoors and conservation.

"The Department's Aquatic Education program wouldn't be what it is without the assistance of many volunteers all over the state, and that is especially true for this particular clinic that's been held at Okmulgee Lake for youth with disabilities," Rodefeld said.

The Wildlife Department is involved with about 300 fishing clinics annually that reach an estimated 20,000 youth per year. The clinic at Okmulgee Lake has served almost 500 youth since its inception.

"That's really amazing - 500 kids," Rodefeld said. "And that's certainly special in and of itself, but I think what's even more special is somebody that's Ms. Brown's age being that interested and that dedicated that she would want to share with other kids."

Brown will be starting her sports medicine degree program this fall at Cottey College in Missouri. She served as the Northeast District 4-H president this year and has shown lambs and cattle. She will help with this year's fishing clinic at Okmulgee Lake June 13.

The Commission also established new officers to begin serving next month on the Commission.

District 8 Commissioner John Groendyke was unanimously elected Commission chairman. District 8 consists of Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Woods, Major, Alfalfa, Grant, Garfield, Kay and Noble counties.

Groendyke, who has served on the Commission since 1976, was reappointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2004 to serve an additional eight-year term. Groendyke is chairman of the board of Groendyke Transport, Inc. Founded by his father, H.C. Groendyke in 1932, it is one of the nation's largest motor carriers of bulk commodities serving the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. Groendyke graduated from Wentworth Military Academy where he attended high school and junior college. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in business from Oklahoma State University.

Commissioner Mart Tisdal will serve as the Commission vice-chairman. Tisdal represents District 7, including Ellis, Dewey, Roger Mills, Custer, Beckham, Washita, Kiowa, Greer, Jackson, Harmon and Tillman counties.

Tisdal was named by Gov. Brad Henry in 2007 to serve the remainder of the district seven Wildlife Commission term vacated by Wade Brinkman's resignation.

Tisdal, whose current appointment on the Commission runs until 2011, was born and raised in Clinton and founded Tisdal Law Firm, a general practice legal office which has oil and gas, environmental law and complex litigation among its areas of focus. He earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to receiving numerous professional awards, he has served as the president of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. He is also a veteran, having served on active duty in the U.S. Army, field artillery, from 1971-73.

An avid quail hunter, Tisdal says he has many fond memories of growing up in western Oklahoma. Tisdal also enjoys turkey hunting, fishing, golf, running, snow skiing, and just being outdoors. He also has a keen interest in wildlife conservation. He says sharing Oklahoma's outdoor heritage with the next generation is an important part of the future of conservation.

Serving as Commission secretary will be District 3 Commissioner Mike Bloodworth. District 3 consists LeFlore, Latimer, Pittsburg, Atoka, Pushmataha, McCurtain, Choctaw, Bryan, Marshall, Carter and Love counties.

Bloodworth is from Hugo and was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Brad Henry in 2007. Bloodworth's term will run through 2015. A lifelong resident of Hugo, Bloodworth founded an independent insurance agency in that Choctaw County community after serving as a sixth-grade teacher and elementary school principal for 10 years. He earned both a bachelor's and a master's degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. He is also an active duck and goose hunter.

In other business, the Commission recognized Greg Duffy for his 35-year career at the Wildlife Department. Duffy will retire at the end of June. The Commission also recognized Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee Co., for 25 years of service to the Wildlife Department and Jeff Neal, wildlife technician, for 20 years of service. Additionally, the Commission approved its fiscal year 2010 annual budget.

The Commission also recognized Kolt Perkins of Zaneis Elementary School near Wilson, who recently won a national championship at the National Archery in the Schools Tournament. Kolt was the highest scoring elementary student at the tournament, scoring 292 points out of 300 and 23 bullseyes. Perkins outscored 1,006 other elementary students to claim the first place spot and become one of the first two Oklahomans to win a National Archery in the Schools Program national championship. Perkins' score also was the highest ever achieved by an elementary boy in the history of the national tournament. Kolt qualified for the national tournament by participating in the Wildlife Department's Oklahoma Archery in the Schools program, which introduces youth to shooting sports and conservation through hands-on instruction in the classroom.

The Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Wildlife Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

The next scheduled Commission meeting is set for 9 a.m. July 6 at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters (auditorium), located at the southwest corner of 18th and North Lincoln, Oklahoma City.


Michael Bergin or Micah Holmes (405) 521-3856

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