OR Guide Sentenced To Pay $50,000 After Pleading Guilty To Failure To Register As One


A tip to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line alerted Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife troopers to a Columbia County business illegally providing guide services. The tip led to the arrest and conviction of Eric Swanson, 31, operator of Eric Swanson Outdoors, who advertised guided fishing trips on the Columbia River and guided waterfowl hunts on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. 

The Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) confirmed that Swanson failed to renew his guide license. The investigation revealed Swanson had been illegally guiding fishing and hunting trips in 2022 and into 2023, receiving a substantial income from the illegally guided trips. In addition, Swanson had forged the outfitter guide sticker attached to his boat with the identification number of another legally registered guide.

On January 13, 2023, Oregon State Police executed a search warrant. During the search warrant, forged stickers were seized from Swanson’s boat.

On April 24, 2024, Swanson pled guilty in Columbia County to two counts of Fail to Register Outfitter/Guide. In addition to 24 months of probation, Swanson was ordered to pay $30,000 to the Oregon State Marine Board, $15,000 to the Oregon Outfitters and Guides, and $5,000 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, bringing the total restitution amount to $50,000.

The guide licensing process is a public safety measure, according to Cyndi Bolduc, OSMB Outfitter Guide program coordinator for the boating safety program. Licensing establishes that operators meet safety standards, including operating certification, first aid and CPR certification, and insurance coverage. OSMB is tasked with maintaining those standards.

“Unlicensed guides undercut all aspects of guiding, not only fees,” Bolduc said. “Enforcement is a priority with the marine board, and we’ve worked hard to have guiding infractions included in the TIP program and eligible for rewards.”

People who call the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line to report poaching, habitat destruction, and other crimes against fish and wildlife are eligible to receive either cash rewards or, in some instances, hunter preference points if their tip leads to an arrest or citation. The reporting party, in this case, received a $200 cash reward. Oregon Outfitters & Guides Association (OOGA) cash rewards apply to anyone acting as an outfitter guide for illegally killing wildlife, illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling licenses, or illegally offering to act as an outfitter guide.

“We need people to do the right thing and contact the TIP Line if they know of illegal activity,” Bolduc said. “In this case, we are pleased to give a TIP reward to the reporting party who suspected Swanson was cheating the system and knowingly ignoring the legal requirements.”

If you know of or suspect other crimes against fish wildlife or habitat, please report to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line by calling 1-800-452-7888, dialing *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone or emailing TIP@osp.oregon.gov.