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enforcement of regs

834 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  neofight
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
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I might be old---but I'm good.

I understand your venting. But why would you want a increase in license fees. Not everyone could afford a extra 100.00 bucks. I know that I couldn't and I fly fish(Is there any other way).

I know it's hard to educate people on the correct way to fish. But why don't they have a test to see if you qualify for a license.

And one more thing before I leave. If you are going to come to AMERICA and live then you should learn our language. Why should we have to write it in different language's. When you buy your license you have to sign in English don't you. Most of them that come here can,but they act dumb in front of you/me and everyone believes them.

We can beat this to death,but it seems that no one can come up with a solution to end it all. So I guess that we all have to grin and bare it. Jim S. :MAD
I can appreciate your frustrations. I've been shrugged off and told to 'f' off after politely informing ignorant poachers of their misdeeds.

Out of frustration I have called DFW asking for patrols ,etc. They made a good recommendation to me that I'll pass on. It was to carry a camera at all times. When a poacher or infractor is discovered simply snap a photo of them and their license plate AS THEY WATCH YOU. It's a bit bold, especially if dealing with some ignorant person that may want to clobber you. I will say that I have done this a few times with apparahent success in my local favorite spots.

as a person recently robbed at a fishing spot, i agree with having more patrols, but i feel that our police and game patrols need to do it. i like the idea of snapping pictures, but i feel that you are taking your life into your hands doing this. i wish our tax/liscense paid athorities would step up to the plate and show a presence for all the ******** and uneducated to see. i feel though, that as was stated above, we just have to suck it up. and that really sucks. jer

That stands for "protect your ass". Is a poachers actions worth your vehicle or your personal safety?

Sure, it's maddening to see someone abuse a fishery, but in the end you need to PYA, because no one else will.

Now comes the hard part. How willing are fishermen to patrol the areas themselves? I've often considered staking out an area with camo or cover and my video camera. Along comes Joe Smash and Grab and hits a vehicle parked at a trailhead or parking lot. Take the video, don't let them know you're there, and call 911 for a 211 in progress. Make your actions known through the local newspaper (anonymously of course) and maybe after a few convictions, the local perps will start getting the message.

The same is true for poachers, take your photo or video and don't make a big deal out of it. Don't tip your hand, just turn them in.

Here's a real fun one. Take a tire valve remover, available at all tire stores. When you are ABSOLUTELY certain someone is poaching and you know what vehicle is theirs, quietly remove the valves from the stems of both tires. On your way out, call 911 and turn in the poachers. No permenant damage is done, but the bad guys are stuck till Smokey gets there... :THUMBSUP
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Removing the valve stems can be noisy and attract attention. I would recommend a small BB or pellet screwed down into the valve. Enough pressure to let all the air out of their tires while they "enjoy their poach".

I was quite mischeivious as a youth. :WINK

Just my 2 pennies...........I have to agree with the PYA philosophy.

Unfortunately, there is really nothing that the ethical flyfishing community can really do to make an impact other than that which we already do. Call in license plate numbers etc. We are ultimately dealing with the politics - its all about the all mighty dollar as we all know. Our legislatures, and not only Washington, only make enough effort to give the appearance that they are concerned with dwindling fisheries and the enforcement of the regs. The state agencies cannot and will not put forth the extra funding that it would take to actually put the conservation officer/game wardens on the water in great numbers. It is a shame, but in the big picture all of our hands are tied to an extent.

Moving on to individuals ethics - we cant do to much for all the boneheads out there that just dont care. stiffer penalties for violations is effective. I have a very good friend that is a senior conservation officer in the state of Idaho. I spent countless summers as a teenager riding along with him enforcing the regs. He had alot less water to cover in his district, but he does one hell of a job. his daily appearances were really all it took. I must add that he was quite tactful in his ways. He'd write someone a ticket and drive back there 2 hours later to find lines in the water again - most of these ppl lost thier licenses for great lengths of time. Some of which got to go to jail.

It would be great if people had to go through some sort of screening process to get a license, but those who didnt would only still go out and deplete our fisheries that WE respect and and fight to conserve.

The poachers, as well, frequent the same water that we do - they want to get away from the crowds and break the law in solitude - less likely to get caught that way. This puts more of a responisbilty on us to take action, but, we always need to keep our selves out of harms way while we do it. No one watches out for Ol #1 but #1.

Too bad our state fish and game commissions were not comprised of those of us that are the epitamy of the sports - Ethical Flyfisherman and Bowhunters.

Just my 2 pennies. Jason :CONFUSED
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The enforcement issue is a real problem. Unfortunately the lawmakers don't give much money to F&W for enforcement, and then when the laws are enforced, the judges usually only slap the wrist of the offender. The place to start, though it takes a long time to realize progress, is to educate the kids on ethical fishing and hunting practices. This is currently being done for the hunters through hunter ed. classes. For fishing, one way to do it is to participate at hunting and fishing shows through fishing clubs and provide educational material and activities for kids on ethical fishing practices (i.e. get involved).

By the way, not all fly fishermen and bow hunters are ethical. Recently, the owner of a bow hunting specialty store in the Tri-Cities was was charged and convicted of poaching in Oregon (using modern firearms in a bow season, then telling his customers that he got the animal using a bow), and is currently up on charges in Washington.

I agree that we can't lump certain user groups, like flyfishermen and bow hunters, into the category of ethical. The majority of gear fishermen and modern firearm hunters are also ethical. But it is true that the few slobs who ruin it usually pick up a bait rod or a rifle. We don't just need more flyfishermen or bow hunters, we need more ethical sportsmen/women.
I fished lake lenice two times this spring and both times there was obvious poaching being done by people I was told are migrant farm workers. These were the only two times I have ever fished this lake but the regulars told me the lake is poached on a constant basis and the fish and game officers are aware of it.

The next time i see this I'd like to call someone to come out to stop it- who do I call and will they come out?
The number for the poaching hotline is in the regs pamphlet.

I don't agree with the previous comment about only writing signs in English, for many reasons, but the best is just like someone said before that there are migrant workers who poach.

How about instead of paying $100 more for a license, go out and buy a clear sign of your choice that states the rules and regulations for your favorite fishing hole, you can put it in as many languages as you want. I'd also make sure it had the number for the poaching hotline, for other good citizens to report the poachers.
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