Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Evan Virnoche, Sep 23, 2013.
Good on you 'turds.. seems folks forget that doing the right thing is more difficult.
In the first 10 days after the section of the Samish River where I live (I-5 bridge to the hatchery) closed to all fishing, each day I saw people fishing it out my living room window for the kings that were in it. So I walked out my back yard and down to the river to remind them that the river was closed to all fishing in this section. 8 of those days, the folks fishing responded that they were "just fooling around trying to hook trout", or "a guy who works at Holiday Sports told me it is open for trout", or "I'm just fooling around to see if I can get something to bite". Each time these folks were fishing with sandshrimp, buzz bombs, roe, or large spinners. I didn't say anything about the gear and lures/bait they were using, I simply told them that the river was closed in that section to all fishing and that I'd hate to see them have a warden see them and give them a ticket.
The net result, was each of them left, some mumbling about it not being fair that someone knows the regs, or that WDFW ought to let them fish. But each one left, none of them yelled at or cussed me, and after that initial first 10 days of the river being closed, no other fisherman have been around. My guess is they told others that myself and some neighbors further upstream were out reminding folks the river was closed.
If I would have seen any of them back again, I would have called them in and reported them. I would have done so as well if any of them would have ignored my friendly reminder and kept fishing. I just wanted them to quit fishing in a closed section of river and tell the folks they knew not to do so. because some folks who lived there were keeping an eye out for people fishing.
Nice job Bass. You can now go by Rat Turds if you prefer. Good for you for sticking it out in a lengthy process.
An appropriate response to an inappropriate (and downright illegal) situation. Well done.
Right on! Glad you didn't look the other way.
Bravo rat_turds, bravo.
I agreed with you, but what if somebody was fly fishing with small flies. Would you of told them the same thing. It was closed for the taking of Salmon but it's still open for Trout
I think you did the right thing. To add to this, just because we call doesn't mean there is an enforcement officer just waiting at the office to beam right out to everybody's call. They have to prioritize things and have a bunch of stuff to respond to. Also bear in mind that it's hunting season right now so that puts a ton of additional work on them. Good job to the OP.
Good point. As a field enforcer I suppose the priority follows the involvement of firearms!?! No one has ever been shot with a fishing pole. This assumes that human life is more important than the lives of poached fish. Which is something I only take issue with in the right company
Sorry about the delay in responding to you response to my post, but I couldn't log on to the site due to the problems Chris listed in a different thread.
Anyhow, to answer your question about would I feel differently or act differently if someone were fishing with small flies and a fly rod on the Samish River between the I-5 Bridge and the Hyy 99 Bridge, the answer is Yes. The reason for this is simple:
The 2013/2014 Washington Sportfishing Regulations clearly state the in the section on the Samish River that it is CLOSED TO FISHING from the I-5 Bridge to the Hwy 99 Bridge from 9/1 to 11/30. It also says that it is CLOSED TO FISHING from the Hwy 99 Bridge to the Hatchery Rack for the entire season of 1st Saturday in June until 11/30.
And as you know from the 40+ years you fished in Washington State, when the regs say CLOSED TO FISHING it means closed to all fishing for all species unless it says for instance closed to fishing for Chum Salmon. Since the regs for the Samish River don't specify closed to a specific fish, it is closed to fishing for everything period. Thus, anyone fishing between the I-5 Bridge and the Hwy 99 Bridge after 9/1 is fishing illegally regardless of what he is supposedly fishing for.
Many years ago that same section was open to fishing. But I only fished the Samish a few times in the summer time. I think I also fished Friday creek once. I just never seemed to make it up in that neck of the woods to fish. And yes when someplace was closed, I never fished there. I respect all fishing rules no matter where I'm fishing at.
i've always thought the same thing but too many stories (by people i know and trust) of wardens being told of poaching and practically needing their hands held to respond makes me think that the current wdfw enforcement is seriously broken, and it isn't just about priorities and being understaffed.
i used to work as a 911 dispatcher and for a good chunk of time the sheriff's office was seriously understaffed. they still responded to calls, made traffic stops, wrote tickets with the associated paperwork and did their fucking jobs. when most long-time anglers never see wardens on the river they are just not doing their jobs.
they show up to the big name fisheries that allow the use of expensive toys (saltwater fisheries) but don't get mud on their boots along the rivers. the reason poaching is rampant isn't from being understaffed but not showing up to well-known poaching fisheries and areas. we all fall over ourselves when there's a news report of a big-time poacher busted when it could be a weekly, not 1-2 times a year, occurrence.
most government agencies country wide are facing hard financial times. wdfw cannot play that card when all other agencies are facing the same, if not worse, problems. they need to stop acting like park rangers and act like law enforcement. being nice is great but when nice supersedes writing tickets there's a problem.
I agree with most of what you said here, though I don't think we need new taxes to do it. My approach would be to cut the hatchery budget in half, and divert that money to enforcement.
Enforcement spends a lot of time now on wildlife complaints. If you don't see them on the river, maybe they're out dealing with elk that are damaging fences or cougars that are killing livestock.
Yep, it indeed used to be open to fishing in years gone by. When I first moved to Skagit County in the summer of 1994, the Samish was opened from June 1st through March 15th. Quite honestly, I miss being able to fish it for coho, chum, searuns, and steelhead. It has been closed in this section for at least 10 years now between September 1st and October 30th. And the whole river closes to fishing on January 1st for at least 6 years. A major bummer to me, especially in light of the fact that its chum run is good and its steelhead run exceeds escapement.
But alas, the feds took the easy way out when the Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and Straight's winter steelhead were listed as threatened and simply lumped every steelhead river east of Naah Bay as comprising a single biologically significant unit. Thus preventing fishing for wild fish in any of the rivers regardless of whether they meet or exceed escapement since the rivers with good escapement are lumped with those that are in trouble. It sucks.