Smolt Poachers

Hey all,
Just got back from a drive that took me through the town of Steilacoom,a favorite "longcut" because of its scenery and its importance in our state's history.
Driving along side Chambers Creek and her estuary holds a special interest to me,(for obvious reasons) but every spring it boils my blood to see kids and grown men alike throwing barbed baited and treble hooks to those hapless hatchery(I'm assuming they're of hatchery origin) Steelhead who have no idea they're about to be disembowled. The creek doesn't open 'till June with the others, and there used to be signs informing anglers of that fact, but the signs faded and disappeared into the brush, and an orgy of "fishing in a fish barrel" style of poaching has insued months before it opens for the last half decade or so, without any visible enforcement from University Place or Steilacoom Police.
Every year I contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife who in turn tell me to call the State Patrol, who do nothing except humor me by taking a report and telling me they're much too busy to send an officer at the moment.
The poaching is blatant, unlicensed, rather carefree. And informing individuals(who can number a half dozen or more a day) of the rules gets you that typical "I ain't hurtin' nuthin'....'sides the rules suck." or the "Ya wanna do sumthin' about it?" attitude.
What would ya'll recommend I (or we )do about a situation like this?
One of my favorite out-of-the way spots gets a lot of poachers on it as well. Some years fish and game is better at policing it than others. I once asked a warden what to do in the instance that I find someone poaching and he told me to take a picture of them. Sounds like a great idea. I'm always carrying a disposal camera in a ziplock bag in the "fish pouch" of my vest. So you may want to follow his advice and try snapping a shot of them as you tell them they are poaching. They really don't know who you are. Plus if you have the date stamp on the photo with a picture of their car/truck as well enforcenment could maybe do something with it.
Fish till ya drop.
Then suck it up
and fish the evening hatch.

You have just discovered the truth about Washingtons' enforcement of Fish Laws. F&G claim they don't have any money for enforcement and have turned it over to the Washington State Patrol. I have yet to meet ANYONE who has filed a poaching complaint for which the State Patrol has responded.
Net result: THERE IS NO ENFORCEMENT of fish laws in Washington and only minor enforcement of Game Laws. It's a joke that it's about time the sportsmen of this state did something about.
Its funny but sad. I have been fishing for about 32 years here in Washington. Only once have I ever seen a fish and game person, and that was durring a salmon derby at the weight in. I though one was checking up on me while fishing the salmon run on the Green last year but it was only the fish catch counters. You would think that with all of the fishing I do. I might see one once in awhile. But alas, with all of the budget cuts it get less likely I ever will. Will it take all of the fish being gone for Olympia to wake up. You would also think that the people checking catch counts could at least check for licence and catch records then write tickets for those who are not recording on catch records. I started to pull out my licence and was told not to bother they could do nothing about even if I was a poacher.
Battle Ground Lake is the worst place I have ever seen about poachers. EVERY time I go there, there are people catching over their limit. I'm not a racist, but these people are always Russians. When I try to confront them, they either wave me off, or won't speak english. Not only this, but I also see people trying to snag fish off of the dock. One time when I was there, a guy had his kids watching for the warden and police.
When I tell the warden about these things, he either says he'll get right on it or shrugs and says I know, I know. :MAD
Something needs to be done about this, but I don't what else can.


I know how you feel. I've been fishing here about 45 years and I've been asked to see my license only about 3 times. If people are from out of the country and can't speak English. Then how do they get a license. These people seem to get drivers licenses even if they can't read or write or speak english.
Thank goodness for our government. They give out licenses to any one above the age of 16 if they can walk.
you guys should try and hit the skookomish river salmon run this year. youll see plenty of white kids with indian rights and treble hooks the size of your hand. and of course they only keep the eggs and throw the fish on the bank. it just wouldnt be fishing if they didnt. one time i seen where a truck had pulled up on the bank there and dumped atleast 500 to a 1000 fish off the side of the road. (all missing there eggs of course)