Yakima River Poachers...or were they?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Derek Young, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,673
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +853 / 1
    Looking back at it now, I would have done it differently. Allow me describe the scene and let you decide - would you report this behavior as poaching or not?


    Approached the Lmuma BLM access area today with a client, to use the facilities. Between the launch and the basalt wall on river left below, I spotted two guys cleaning fish. I got close and asked them what they were doing. They said they caught the fish in Matoon Lake and brought them down to the river to clean them. I immediately got on the phone with the WSP to report poaching activity. I didn't get a license plate, but I could describe them both clearly and their vehicle. I couldn't risk putting my client in a bad situation, so we waited until they left - in a hurry once they heard me on the phone with WDFW.

    What I would have done differently - approach with my camera, small talk them, get the license plate and them on video, and then call WDFW.

    What would you have done?
  2. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,040
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +740 / 1
    Your "if I had to do it over option"...but only after I asked what they caught them on :). Those situations are always a little uneasy and you never know how people will react or what might appear to be one scenario but honestly be another.
    Lugan likes this.
  3. Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Posts: 811
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +342 / 5
    Either method is probably equally effective. In both cases, the best result is likely to have been instilling a fear of being caught in the future.

    If the Law enforcement officers can't catch them with the fish in hand and clearly from the river, they'd likely just give the violator a warning. What you did was as effective as anything as it clearly made them aware that people -- not just cops and wardens -- are watching for poaching activity. Might be enough to make them change their behavior (or at least change their poaching area).

    Thanks for taking action.
    Lugan likes this.
  4. ribka Active Member

    Posts: 1,419
    E WA
    Ratings: +164 / 0
    I would have looked at the trout to see if recent stockers and felt the hood of their vehicle to see if the engine was still warm. If they did indeed catch at Matoon and drive down to Lmuma to clean fish engine would have still been warm. Let the game officer know these facts when you report it.

    good on you for paying attention.

    I see a few guides who ignore poaching on the waters in WA.
  5. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,284
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    If some dude started asking me 20 Questions and checking my vehicles hood I'd have my hand inside my coat on the grip of my 1911.
    Blake Harmon and Derek Young like this.
  6. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,673
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +853 / 1
    That's exactly what I was thinking, and why I did what I did.
  7. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,444
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +517 / 0
    Let it ride, if guilty it will usually catch up to them, have to be careful. What you did seemed to be a reasonable approach, what more can you do than what you did? I think most people know when they are being lied to, but with that in mind.. most walk away from these type of encounters with many saying in their head 'you fucking lying jerk'...and do little. You did something, and that matters. :)
  8. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,284
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    There is a lot to be said for calling the officials with a license plate number and moving on, I'm not nearly as confrontational as I was in my younger years
  9. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 335
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +86 / 1

    LOL riiiiiiiiiight
    Lugan likes this.
  10. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,406
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,359 / 9
    I like your method. A plate would have added to the report, but you balanced a lot of things well.
  11. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,969
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +731 / 0
    I would have slowly walked up to them with a hair brush and combed their hair - thereby giving me a DNA sample. If they would have refused I would have offered them a loaded toothbrush. No one can refuse a good riverside cleaning. That would have given me a good enough of a cheek sample to cross check the FBI database... After confirmation I would have called in the CIA drones.
    bhudda, jlar, bigdood and 4 others like this.
  12. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,342
    Ratings: +1,178 / 0
    Derek, good on you for calling it in! It does seem mighty suspicious and as others have said, at least they know people are watching.

    In my mind, I have a plan similar to what you suggested but I am usually so upset when I see a poacher, that I forget all about the plan! My plan is to play the fishless, clueless dumb blonde to get as much info as I can, including pics of their 'fishy' and offer to email it to them. Hopefully, they buy my act - if I ever maintain my cool long enough to pull it off!
  13. nomlasder Active Member

    Posts: 1,321
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    My plan is to play the fishless, clueless dumb blonde

    If you had a Barbie pole that story might work, but your semi-pro gear wold likely give you away.
  14. Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Posts: 1,528
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +319 / 0
    Looking at the deformed head of that trout, I'd say it probably was a Matoon fish.
    McNasty likes this.
  15. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    I wonder if they got nabbed? There's not to many places to hide along that road, and only two ways to leave the canyon.
    Derek Young likes this.
  16. ribka Active Member

    Posts: 1,419
    E WA
    Ratings: +164 / 0
    I expected snarky responses like DNA, drones from people who do not turn in fish and game violators. Big surprise. Same guys I see at Lenice Lake, Methow, Lenore, Klick who ignore the bait fishers And poachers

    If I walked up and asked you how was fishing, and looked at your fish while you were cleaning them near a selective fishery you would draw your gun on me?

    Here is the WA RCW Rgarding lethal force may want to review it before you strap on your gat.

    RCW 9A 16. 020

    And You can walk by a vehicle and feel the heat without putting your hands all over it or can hear the cooling of an engine.

    Just basic info to pass on when you report suspected poaching. Or you can just ignore poaching like most people do on here and post a snarky response.

    I turn in a lot of poachers fishing and hunting illegally every year. If you do it correctly no problems.I'll keep calling in fish and game violations.
  17. dflett68 Active Member

    Posts: 597
    Ratings: +189 / 0
    i'm sure no one here knows what a yak rainbow's head looks like better than derek, but i also thought from the photo that it looked like a lake fish.
  18. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,906
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +648 / 0
    In this day and age of digital information and smart phones, citizens turning in poachers has never been easier.
    Keep you wardens cell number on your phone.
    Take pictures with your phone...including the license plate.
    Send these pictures to the warden's cell phone asap.
    The exif data of the picture should contain the date, time, and geographical coordinates of the picture.
  19. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,969
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +731 / 0
    Sorry I hurt your feelings. It was just a joke. Will you accept my apology? And please don't move so much while I comb your hair.
  20. Rooster7 Member

    Posts: 30
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    IMO Derek did the right thing. I feel (in this particular case) that it's only our responsbliy to inform the authorities. It's their job to determine if something illegal was done. So yes, if you can take some pics and licene plate numbers thats great. I wouldn't approch the accused and try to trick them into giving out incriminating info. Thats just my two cents.