I have visited this site off and on for the past year and have consistantly noticed the concern over official enforcement of selective gear regulations not to mention poaching.
The biggest problem in enforcement is the limited staff fish and game has but also the territories that they have to cover. In these days of "governmental bugetary restrictions blah, blah, blah" we can hardly expect anything but limited, at best, enforcement. There are hundred of lakes and hundred of miles of rivers and streams just in western Wa. Not to mention the entire state. I don't think that we will ever see enough game wardens about to effectively enforce even a fraction of the "rule breakers".
It is also difficult for the "citizen" to help enforce the rules for fear of putting themselves in peril. Imagine sitting in you float tube in the middle of a flyfishing only lake and you see a bait chucker on the shore. You, as a good citizen, respecfully inform the offender of his misdeads and consider whipping out your cell phone to call an officer. The offender picks up and leaves with a few censored words directed at you, you feel vindicated until you hear a crashing sound. When you finally get to shore and reach your car, you find that sound was your windshield smashed.
That was me. This is also why the fish and game officers carry side arms.
I think the solution, perhaps, is finding a way to work with the game wardens in an official capacity. or a way to help fund an expanded enforcement staff. I would cheerfully pay an additional $100 per year for my fishing license for this privledge. Or I would pay additional dues to my flyfishing club. I think that the clubs could also play a role in survailence if, you will. There are a lot of brilliant minds out there and collectively I think that we could come up with some creative ways to help curb a huge amount of the infractors.
Perhaps the clubs or added license fees could help fund "clear and conspicuios" signs. (In all the times I've fished Pass Lake, if you don't read the reg book or look at the covered billboard next to the bathroom trail, you don't see the flyfish only sign). These signs, in hard metal, like raod signs, would be in english, spanish, asian and russian and in clear view of the fishing access.
We could also find a way to fund "citizen patrols" who know whom to call, where they are and have a protocol for at least reporting violators without putting themselves in harms way.
I know that I'm preaching to the choir here, but we know that if we don't eventually do something to help curb a growing problem that we will find ourselves without a viable fishery. Forever.
I find myself as frustrated as you trying to find that perfect world. those of us who appreciate a quality fishery and practice catch and release, can tell a hen from a buck, a native from a hatchery, etc...know what it's like. I have fly fished for over 45 years and usually have four or five different state fishing licenses in my pocket each year. I have to look harder and harder, and hike further and further to find that perfect world. I really don't expect it to be perfect, I just want it fair. I can appreciate the spin and bait fisherpeople. They haven't found the pleasure or the dexterity to fly fish. I know that some of them resent(are ignorant of) flyfishing only regulations. But they are there for a reason.
Maybe, someday, before it's too late we, as a flyfishing community, can come up with a credible plan to help our friends in tan and green to monitor our tremendous resource.
Sorry to stand on a soap box here, but just had to vent. I want to do something and am willing to participate however I can. It's going to be interesting to see the replies or if this gets deleted.
If you got this far, thank you.
Don-on the fly