Calling Fish and Wildlife to make sure you're legal

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
A few years ago I moved here from California. The complexity of the regulations in WA were rather overwhelming. I realize this is a necessity due to... well.. the complexities of fisheries. But I was very impressed with the system that allowed me to call a number and verify I was doing everything legally. Speed dial the number , talk to a real person and have confidence that I'm not "misreading" the regulations. Very cool!... But since Covid that "system" is a flat out dud. I call that number and get a recording saying that due to "Covid" they can't be bothered. If ever there was a perfect situation for "working from home" this has to be it. So that same person that answered my call at their office is unable to do so from their computer at home? Arggg
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
Yeah...well...it's complicated...call forwarding and all that other techy chit that their IT guy (who's working from home!) can't figure out 'cause...well...stuff is hard...and...well...you know...you're just a recreational angler suckin' hind titty otherwise they'd plant some trout in the lakes of your district and show you some other luv like answering the phone when you call.

Go to Olympia and bring it up with the Commissioners. In six or seven years and two more Directors later and it'll get fixed. Don't forget to buy a license in a couple weeks...unless you live in Snohomish County, they don't prosecute WDFW cases.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
To be clear, I truly appreciated the ability to call a number, talk to a real person and have complete clarity of what was allowed. The few times I called that number left me with a very good feeling of confidence. Today, using the "Washington sport fishing rules" pamphlet along with my "DeLORME atlas and Gazetteer" for Wa state left me with some unanswered questions. To be sure this is a very complicated endeavor. I see no reason why the phone number that I used to use for clarity of the regulations is no longer viable, due to the Covid epidemic. Perhaps the person I used to talk to is laying in a hammock collecting their paycheck.
 

Freestone

WFF Supporter
Jim, my guess it has to do with continued budget cuts/staff reductions. WDFW gets part of their revenue from license sales and the rest from a variety of other sources, many of which were undoubtedly reduced due to the pandemic.

If you have specific questions, feel free to post them as many of us have years and years of deciphering the regs. I always approach the regs with the assumption that where I want to fish is closed; I then try to prove myself wrong.
 

NukeLDO

WFF Supporter
Try using the Fish Washington app. Lets you zoom in to the water you want to fish and lists the regs for that water. Not so good in the field since you need a cell signal for it to work, but used in a know before you go mode, it's pretty good.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
Thanks for the input folks. Perhaps my decades of dealing with CA F&G has left me jaded. Right now I believe that whomever use to answer that phone is still fully employed and receiving a paycheck.
 
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Jiminsandiego

Active Member
I'm a typical fisherman. I want to follow all the rules. . For an example...Crab creek... look at the "Washington sport fishing rules" pamphlet. Get out the Gazetteer. Good grief..can anyone be confident that they are fishing legally? Not likely. So they set up a phone number for us to call and become confident we are fishing legally. That is so cool!! But now Covid, for some reason, has cancelled that number. That chaps my hide.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
Very fair question Paul. Yes there was an option. Due to Covid they would have to get back to me. Truly I am not interested in criticizing the situation. I simply prefer the way that it was before Covid.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
Freestone your input is much appreciated. Your post # 10 shows the value of what I call "local knowledge". Around my home I know what where and when. If I travel ...I'm often clueless. The F&W pamphlet along with every map I can get , often leaves me with questions.
 

Freestone

WFF Supporter
Freestone your input is much appreciated. Your post # 10 shows the value of what I call "local knowledge". Around my home I know what where and when. If I travel ...I'm often clueless. The F&W pamphlet along with every map I can get , often leaves me with questions.

Not really local knowledge as I have never fished it and had no idea where “Morgan Lake Road” was and simply went to Google Maps and typed it in. There was only one such named road in WA and I zoomed in to see where it crossed the creek.

However, after having lived in WA for many years, I was vaguely aware that in years past, some section below Potholes was open part of the year as it has been discussed on WFF. BUT, just because it has been open in other years doesn’t mean it would be open this year and making such assumptions gets people in trouble. Again, I always start with the assumption that all water is closed then use maps (mostly online as they are ‘searchable’) and try to prove myself wrong.

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Paul_

Active Member
Perhaps the person I used to talk to is laying in a hammock collecting their paycheck.
I know several WDFW customer service staff (the people that answer the phone) and I can assure you they are not laying in a hammock collecting a pay check.
I’m fairly certain they want to go back to normal as much as you...
Also, it’s the governors call on them not being in a office, not theirs.
 
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Jiminsandiego

Active Member
My "laying in a hammock" comment may have been out of line. I just don't see the need to terminate the "customer service" phone line due to Covid.
 

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