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  #1  
Old 10-06-2002, 07:38 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Angry Wash. Dept. Fish & Wildlife listen up!

I continually find gear and bait fishers fishing for salmon in waters closed to such fishing on the Skagit River above Marblemount. I'll stroll amongst them asking how they are doing and what they are fishing for and invariably I'm told that they are fishing for salmon with varying degrees of success. When I inform them that the area is closed to such fishing they argue that their buddy fished it just the other day and told them that the fishing was good so it must be okay. Then they say they'll stop fishing for the chinook and try for chum. Retards! Chum are salmon and chinook are strictly off-limits anywhere in this river system at all times.

WDFW, I know these times test to the limit your abilities to manage our fisheries but please write those rules with more clarity and start posting METAL signs explaining the closed nature of these areas. These folks are killing these fish on their spawning grounds with no law enforcement anywhere to curtail such activity. And I tire of p*ssing these people off, alone. Quit putting me in the position of having to do your job!

ws
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2002, 08:29 PM
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watersprite-

Doesn't the great State of Washington have a poaching hotline to report such violations?
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2002, 09:59 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Yes, there is a poaching hotline, but without a freshly caught salmon at their feet I am unable to act further - my word against their's. And evidentiary material can quickly be erased. The area of which I speak is a long ways from enforcement further complicating the matter. Besides, I'm not talking about the diehard poacher, they're going to find a spot no matter what, no matter where. I'm talking about the average Joe from suburbia who uses an out-of-the-way public access spot to fish unaware. The poacher knows these fish are too far gone to be of value.

Now if there were an agent about the agent would be able to issue a citation simply based on an ill advised answer to "what are you fishing for?" Further, I believe any court in the state would accept an agent's statement that he believed they were targeting salmon.

I understand that this agency is understaffed but doing nothing, which seems the norm, invites lawlessness. At least signage and clear regulations are proactive.

ws

Last edited by watersprite; 10-06-2002 at 10:09 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2002, 11:13 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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WS, going back down an old road here but

why doesn't Washington State empower it's State Police to do game checking. We do it down here and it's darned effective. The fellows/gals are driving around all day anyway .... just one more stop and a peek through a set of binoc's.
fae
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2002, 08:20 AM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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Can I assume that you've sent this message to the Washington Department of Fish and Game? Or did you just vent here?

Might be worth sending to them.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2002, 02:16 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Fred,

As far as my understanding goes, no the state police are not charged with Fish and Game enforcement as in Oregon. Such would be a great aid in reducing such illegal activity especially since there are two troopers living here in Marblemount.

Dble Haul,

Yes to both. I have sent email concerning this (several times in fact) and I am indeed venting. Sorry for the latter.

ws
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2002, 02:29 PM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by watersprite

Dble Haul,

Yes to both. I have sent email concerning this (several times in fact) and I am indeed venting. Sorry for the latter.

ws
No need to apologize.....we're all in need of venting at times, especially when we feel that our concerns are falling on deaf ears. Glad to hear that you sent your feelings on to the right people. FWIW, if enough people do this maybe change can be affected.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2002, 02:37 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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What really set me off was the fisherman and his gal that I confronted yesterday were spin fishing with treble hooks! And upon striking up a conversation he confessed to being a flyfisher who just wanted a change.

ws
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2002, 11:52 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Watersprite,

I have had these same kind of answers given to me on the upper Skagit. And like you, I have sent emails to WDFW about it. I have been seeing this happen more and more often during the last 5 years on the Skagit, Sauk, Samish (right at the Old Highway 99 bridge), and the Stilly. Always get the same answer, "Had a buddy fish here the other day and he did real sell so I thought I;d gie it a try."

Sure wish I knew where our WDFW wardens spent their time. I have only 2 WDFW enforcement agents in the last 8 years on the Noodsack, North Fork Nooksack, South Fork Nooksack, Skagit, Sauk, Cascade, Samish, Norht Fork Stilly, South Fork Stilly, and mainstem Stilly.

The most blatent example of this was on the Cascade last October where I saw a clown targeting spawning Chinook with a fly rod - he was foul hooking them! I told him about the illegality of targeting Chinook, and he told me he was just C&R them. Besides, a 'Buddy told him about the good salmon fishing for large salmon'. I then told him that if a WDFW agent happened by he would be arrested, fined up to $1,000.00, lose his equipment, and then face federal charges with a possible $5,000.00 fine. His response was since the Marblemount hatchery was next door, he doubted he would be "hassled by WDFW"! I damn near jumped for joy and cheered when he broke a nearly new G.Loomis GLX 10 foot 8 weight on a foul-hooked Chinook, which ended his day.

He said he was in the Navy and stationed at Whidbey NAS, as if that should exonerate him for his despicable behavior.

I've walked into the Mixer with my wife and sons and had people purposely using heavy gear rods with large bell sinkers and equally large treble hooks targeting Chinook for fould hooking at the head of the run. One of my sons, he was 9 at the time, now he's 11, told these folks that the river was closed to Chinook and the 2 guys told him if they didn't get them, the Indians would. This despite the fact that the tribe's don't fish that far upriver because they want to avoid the Chinook and there are more silvers in good shape further down river.

Watersprite, I sure would like to see some of these folks get a fishing violation ticket. Fred, our State Patrol is not allowed to make fishing violaton arrests. And our Skagit County Sheriff's Dept. doesn't seem to think it is worth doing anything about it.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2002, 02:40 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Aside from the automatically generated "we received your lame complaint and we will get back to you before hell freezes over", I have yet to receive an answer from this state agency to my email on this problem. I'm thinking it will take at least ten (10) days.

Anybody want to guess how long it will take?

And what will be their message -

Sorry, all our staff are out fishing the Grand Ronde, we will get back to you soon.

Sorry but our staff is out catching those individuals who take one too many razor clams. Call your representatives and tell them to increase our funding.

Skagit River? What county is that in?

Gee, Steve, can't you get along with anyone?

Try the tribes, after all, they are federally funded.

Metal sign? Our suppliers are currently pressing out license plates and are unable to assist. Please try again.

__________(insert your favorite)__________


ws
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2002, 03:42 PM
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Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife

Watersprite why don't you call Captain Bill Hebner head of the region 4 enforcement office 425-775-1311. Then when you get the we're to busy or we will check it out and get back to you answer and nothing happens you'll have a name of someone that should be accountable when you raise your concerns higher up. I'm sure you already have this web address. http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/enf/enforce.htm
If you feel they aren't acting on your complaint I would contact these people: Chief Bruce Bjork,Assistant Director
Deputy Chief Don Gatlin,Field Operations
Assistant Chief Lembit Ratassepp,Administration and keep a little HEAT on them which I know you are capable of doing. :hehe:
I don't think they want to really do anything about this as I feel this has been going on for a long time. As flytyer says the High Sherriff doesn't care. Do you know the name of your local warden? If I thought something like this was going on over here I would be setting on my local wardens door step and if he wouldn't take action I would be raising hell down in Boise. Does Washington have a fish and game commission?
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2002, 04:28 PM
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Sounds like you need to consider a River Watch program like they have started in the major Michigan salmon river locations where illegal fishing methods tends to be performed. It is a volunteer program of anglers who are organized by the DNR to watch certain parts of the rivers. If they see illegal fishing methods being pursued they call the DNR officers to make the arrests.

Per current reports they are making arrests and having impact.

They started these a couple of years ago.

It makes me sick seeing this going on, that is why I stopped fishing during the peak periods of the salmon runs probably 15 years ago, just so I do not have to see and put up with these types of people on the river.

I heard a doozy from my local fly shop owner last week. Listen to this, the DNR (Wisconsin they said) caught a couple of intoxicated fellows stretching a tennis court net across the stream to trap the salmon. A local high school was near the river where they stole the net from. Never heard of this one before.

Good luck with your efforts to resolve or less lessen this on your waters.

Hal
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2002, 09:37 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Watersprite,

The last email I sent to WDFW in Olympia, which I also cc'd to Chief Bjork, never even got an acknowledgement that it was received! This was in early August about the snagging of Chinnok with fly rods and large lead head jigs that was going on in the Stilly. This sure gets a person a bit miffed. I also spoke with representative Morris's office about it, and was told the representative was concerned about natural resource management as well. Got this same kind of answer from Senator Haugan's office.

Curt is aware of the problem, but he is not an enforcement officer, he is only a biologist and the only thing he can do is shut the river down for all fishing.

If you get a reply of any kind, I'll be surprised. And if you get a meaningful reply, it would bowl me over.

MJC,

What is a local warden: :hehe: they seem to be few and far between when it comes to enforcing fishing regs. When people are fishing for Chinook on a small river like the Samish right off the Old Hwy 99 bridge in full view of anyone who drives over the bridge (and it is a well traveled road) without getting arrrested despite this portion ofthe river being closed too fishing for any salmon, something is wrong.

The tribes have no jurisdiction over non-Indian fishermen. Therefore, they can do nothing except talk to the offenders. In fact, the tribal fish cops are the only ones I have ever seen on the Skagit in over 8 years of fishing it.
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2002, 03:13 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Very sad, it's been 11 days and I have received no response from WDFW. I'm beginning to believe that this is simply a job to them (and poorly executed) and not a calling in the spiritual sense. They just don't care.

Now I'm really pissed! I will be writing letters to any and all which might effect a change in this attitude on their part and the issue which prompted my complaint.

ws
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2002, 09:10 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Watersprite,

I still have yet to get a response from WDFW from the emails I wrote to them about the poaching I saw on the Stilly in mid July. I get very angry at our "fish and wildlife protectors" (what a misnomer for WDFW). It seems that they are far more interested in hunting and game law enforcement than fish enforcement at this time of year. I'm not surpirsed you have not gotten a reply from them yet. I will still be very surprised if you do.
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