Category Archives: Headlines

Baker Lake Opening For Sockeye

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

For the first time, anglers will be able to fish for sockeye salmon in Baker Lake, where the fish are returning in significantly higher numbers than expected.

From July 22 until further notice, anglers can retain up to two adult sockeye salmon that exceed 18 inches in length from Baker Dam upstream to the mouth of the Baker River.

All other salmon must be released, and no fishing will be allowed between the dam and the log boom at the lower end of the lake.

More than 10,000 sockeye have returned to hatchery facilities and artificial spawning beaches on the lake, exceeding this year’s 6,300-fish escapement goal, said Brett Barkdull, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“People have been waiting a long time to be able to fish for sockeye salmon in Baker Lake,” Barkdull said.  “This year’s run isn’t huge by historical standards, but we’ve exceeded our goals for both hatchery-reared sockeye and naturally spawning fish needed for production.”

Harvest opportunities for returning fish will be shared by recreational and tribal fisheries, he said.

Barkdull said improving ocean conditions have helped to boost survival rates for young sockeye returning to the watershed.  Meanwhile, the installation of a juvenile-collection facility at the upper Baker Dam has improved the transfer of out-migrating smolts downstream to Puget Sound, he said.

But the biggest boon to area sockeye fishing may be the completion of a new hatchery facility on Baker Lake, Barkdull said.  Starting next year, smolt production in the watershed is expected to increase significantly at the new facility built by Puget Sound Energy as part of a 2008 hydroelectric licensing agreement.

“We hope to eventually produce enough sockeye fry to bring 75,000 adult fish back to the watershed,” Barkdull said. “We’ve been working toward that goal for a long time and we know what it would mean for sockeye fishing in the watershed.”

In addition to the upcoming opening at Baker Lake, anglers can also catch sockeye salmon on the Baker and Skagit rivers today (July 16) through Sunday (July 18) under rules announced earlier this week by WDFW.

The Baker River open to sockeye fishing from the mouth to the Highway 20 bridge.  The Skagit River is open from the Dalles Bridge at Concrete to a point 200 feet above the east bank of the Baker River.

The daily limit in those areas is two sockeye salmon. The anti-snagging rule and night closure are in effect in both areas.

WA Wolves Have Pups, But Lookout’s Alpha Female Missing

A day after Oregon officials revealed that the Imnaha Pack in Wallowa County is raising at least four pups this summer, we’re learning that Northeast Washington/North Idaho’s Diamond Pack is also rearing more pups.

And while the alpha female of the Methow Valley’s Lookout Pack in North-central Washington was pregnant this spring, the radio-collared animal has since gone missing, like the Imnaha’s alpha male earlier this year.

“We’re monitoring pretty carefully, but it’s not looking good right now,” said Harriet Allen, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife’s lead wolf manager this morning. “There’s nothing definitive, but we’re concerned about her status.”

The Lookout was Washington’s first confirmed pack in 70 years. It set up just outside Twisp and produced six pups in 2008, at least four last year and it’s considered “probable” that it also had a litter in 2007, making the female a pretty fecund individual, though survival of its pups has been low for reasons not well understood.

It was last seen May 12, about the time pups in a den would have been four weeks old. Whether the wolf’s VHF collar has failed, the pack has just moved to a location where a signal is difficult to get, or if the breeding animal is dead is unclear.

“It could be a substantial loss,” says Allen. “It could lead to the break-up of the pack. But it’s incredibly difficult to confirm. We’re monitoring closely to assess the situation.”

At least one member of the pack was killed in late 2008. Nobody has been charged in the case.

The agency has hired a contractor who will be attempting to put GPS collars on more members of the Lookout Pack.

Currently, the alpha male and one of the yearling females of the Diamond Pack are wearing satellite devices.

“The Diamond Pack, we’ve been able to confirm, has six pups,” Allen says.

They were spotted on the Idaho side of their home range in early July, she says. Last year, the pack had at least four pups.

“We’re fairly confident there’s a third (pack) in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness,” on the north side of the Washington-Oregon border but tucked way back in the woods, Allen adds. A biologist has set up trail cams to capture photographs.

Just south of the border is Oregon’s Wenaha Pack, though not much is known about it.

“It’s possible Oregon and Washington could be sharing some wolves, but we don’t have any conclusive data saying that is the case,” says Michelle Dennehy, an ODFW spokeswoman in Salem.

As WDFW continues to address roughly 60,000 or so public comments as well as a blind scientific peer review into its draft wolf management plan in anticipation of getting the document to its Wolf Working Group and Fish & Wildlife Commission later this year, work will continue on tracking down more information on other sightings in Northeast Washington and the North Cascades.

“We did have some indication of scat and tracks in the Hozomeen area,” says Allen. “It’s an area you might expect wolves coming in from Canada.”

Hozomeen is on the eastern shore of Ross Lake, just south of the Canadian border. It’s an area of wolf sightings over several summers in the early 1990s, though it’s now believed someone’s released pet wolf may have been responsible for some of the activity.

Appendix H of WDFW’s draft plan contains 2 1/4 pages of sightings throughout counties ringing the edge of Eastern Washington in the 2000s.

Meanwhile, as Idaho and Montana pursue higher wolf quotas for this fall, the region remains on hold for U.S. District Court Judge Molloy to make his ruling from Missoula on whether wolves in the Northern Rockies (which includes the Diamond, Wenaha and Imnaha packs) should go back on the endangered species list.

Montana has approved the culling of 186 wolves, but put tag sales on hold until Aug. 23. Idaho has folded a wolf tag into nonresident deer and elk tags, and will decide in August on the use of electronic calls and trapping as well as hunting quotas.

Kill orders on two livestock-killing wolves in Wallowa County, where Forest Service offices burned in a mysterious fire on Sunday, have also been on hold since early July after a lawsuit by Oregon Wild, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Cascadia Wildlands and Center for Biological Diversity against USDA Wildlife Services.

Dennehy adds that ODFW has also been sued by the groups for authorizing the kill order.

The lawsuit, filed July 12 in State Circuit Court in Multnomah County, alleges that the agency violated the state Endangered Species Act, Oregon Administrative Rules and Administrative Procedures Act when it authorized lethal removal of wolves, according to a statement on ODFW’s Web site.

In other predator news, pictures purporting to show a grizzly bear strolling through a man’s yard in northern Pend Oreille County popped up on Hunting Washington yesterday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: BASED ON NOTES FROM THIS MORNING’S CONVERSATION WITH ALLEN, AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE STATED THAT THE LOOKOUT ALPHA FEMALE HAD HAD PUPS THIS YEAR. HOWEVER, ALLEN CALLED BACK TO CORRECT THAT, SAYING WDFW KNEW THE WOLF HAD BEEN PREGNANT IN APRIL, BUT NOT WHETHER IT HAD BORNE A LITTER.

Baker Lake Sockeye Fishery Likely Next Week

It’s not official, but it sounds like there will be a sockeye fishery on Baker Lake in Whatcom County.

The season was hinted at in an emergency rule-change notice sent out today and which opened the Baker River and parts of the Skagit for the salmon.

Fishing would begin later next week.

Since it would be the first-ever fishery there, it’s hard to say what would work, but the same gear that would work on Lake Wenatchee or Lake Washington — bare red hooks 9 inches or so behind a chrome dodger — would probably get bit.

And if the sockeye are anything like those on Wenatchee, one of the places to target would be off the Baker River below Mt. Shuksan.

Just don’t get any closer than 500 to 1,000 yards from the mouth. The waters there, though they look deep, are described as “a stump garden.”

WDFW Holding 2 Meetings On Future Of Sound Blackmouth Program

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled two public meetings to discuss the future direction of the Puget Sound Recreational Fishery Enhancement program, which includes the production of blackmouth chinook salmon.

The meetings are scheduled for:

* July 21 – From 7-9 p.m. in Room 175 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.

* July 22 – From 7-9 p.m. at the WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek.

Key responsibilities of the fishery enhancement program include production of delayed-release chinook salmon, known as blackmouth, and research on factors that limit marine bottomfish populations and methods to raise marine bottomfish in hatcheries.

Blackmouth are hatchery-reared chinook salmon that are held in freshwater longer than they naturally would remain, reducing their tendency to migrate out of Puget Sound. Their name comes from the black gum line of the fish.

Production of blackmouth and other fishery-enhancement initiatives within the program, which was mandated by the state Legislature in 1993, are intended to improve fishing opportunities in Puget Sound, said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW’s Puget Sound salmon manager. A citizen oversight committee was established in 2003 to advise the department on the program.

Earlier this year, the state auditor’s office released a performance audit that recommended revising the annual production goal for blackmouth.

“We have started the process of developing recommendations to lawmakers on how to improve the fishery enhancement program,” Thiesfeld said. “We’ve had discussions with the program’s citizen oversight committee, and now we would also like to discuss with the public potential changes to the program, particularly blackmouth production goals and the general scope of the program.”

The program is funded through a portion of revenue generated by the sale of recreational fishing licenses. The annual funding level is based on the number of licensed anglers fishing in Puget Sound and for salmon in Lake Washington.

4 Pups Pictured In NE OR Wolf Pack

If it’s July in the Northwest, it’s time for wolf pups to start showing up in the news.

Today, ODFW announced that the Imnaha pack has had at least four pups, based on trail cam images from their Northeast Oregon roaming grounds.

IMNAHA PACK PUPS. (ODFW)

Cameras also picked up six adults; at least 10 wolves were captured on video by a local biologist last November.

The past two Julys, WDFW has produced images and news releases about pups belonging to packs in North-central and Northeast Washington. We’ve got a call in to Olympia to learn if litters were produced this spring.

Meanwhile, as Idaho and Montana pursue higher wolf quotas for this fall, the region remains on hold for U.S. District Court Judge Molloy to make his ruling from Missoula on whether wolves in the Northern Rockies should go back on the endangered species list. Montana has approved the culling of 186 wolves, but put tag sales on hold until Aug. 23.

Kill orders on two livestock-killing wolves in Wallowa County, where Forest Service offices burned in a mysterious fire on Sunday, have also been on hold since early July.

Diamond Lake Fishing Report

(DIAMOND LAKE RESORT PRESS RELEASE)

The lake’s water temperature is just over 66 degrees with almost 10 feet of underwater of visibility. Afternoon air temperature are reaching the 70+ degree mark in the afternoons but by then the daily breeze has come up and keeps things very comfortable.

(DIAMOND LAKE RESORT)

The trout fishing remains very good even with warming water temperatures. The Diamond Lake Charter Boat has regularly returned back at the docks early with limits for all the guests.

13 to 19 inch average fish are biting just about anything anglers put in front of them. Rainbow, Chartruse, and Orange Power Bait, Velveeta Cheese, and night crawlers continue to be best offerings in the deeper waters (30 feet) of “The Cheese Hole and “The Shrimp Beds.”

Larger than average fish are being found in 10 to 20 feet of water at both the south and north ends of the lake.

Trollers are using pulling flashers followed by a red or green wedding rings tipped with chunks of night crawler, Needle Fish, or a size F-4 frog colored FlatFish. Late evening trollers pulling dark-colored flies 75 feet behind their boats are drawing heavy, rod slapping strikes.

Be prepared, the infamous Diamond Lake mosquitoes are out and hungry.

You can call our marina (800-733-7593 x 238) for up to the minute reports or check out our website at www.diamondlake.net.

Baker, Skagit Opening For 3-day Sockeye Season

Thanks to a good run, fishing for sockeye will open for three days on the Baker River and part of the Skagit starting this Friday, July 16, WDFW announced this morning.

“You want to fish it early in the morning with Spin-N-Glos and sand shrimp,” says Stuart Forst at Holiday Sports (360-757-4361) in Burlington. “Ninety percent are caught that way.”

Use either a size 6 or 8 drift bobber in peach or other light colors.

Though it can be a bit of a combat fishery, the open areas include the Baker from its mouth up to the Highway 20 bridge, and the Skagit from the Dalles Bridge at Concrete to a point 200 feet above the east bank of the Baker.

“There’s a lot of room to fish,” says Forst. “You could fish 20 at the mouth, if they’re congenial and like each other.”

WDFW says that the Baker’s run is above egg-take needs; a tribal fishery will be opened as well. Daily limit for sport anglers is two sockeye.

Forst adds that he’s had luck with a 1/4-ounce red-feathered jig too.

“Clank it along the bottom away from the plunkers,” he says.

Season opens at 12:01 a.m. on the 16th and closes at 11:59 p.m. on the 18th. Anti-snagging and night closure rules are in effect.

When dam operators start spilling water on the Baker at mid-day, it’s time to pack up because the surge flushes the salmon back to the Skagit, says Forst.

WDFW also says that there is a possibility of further openings, including on Baker Lake; they would be announced after meetings with local tribes.

In other sockeye news, Columbia River managers upped this year’s forecast to just under 400,000. So far, nearly 380,000 have gone over Bonneville Dam.

Over a quarter million have passed Rock Island Dam below the mouth of the Wenatchee River and 204,000 over the next dam above the river, Rocky Reach. We’ve got a call in to the regional fisheries manager about Lake Wenatchee sockeye, but through July 6, none of the salmon had gone over the dam in the Wenatchee River’s Tumwater Canyon below the lake.

The Lake Washington sockeye count also exceeded 100,000 on Monday, the first time it’s done so since 2006.

What’s Fishin’ In Oregon

UPDATE JULY 15, 2010, 3 P.M.: ODFW ANNOUNCES THE NEARSHORE HALIBUT FISHERY WILL CLOSE SAT., JULY 17 AT 11:59 AS THE QUOTA WILL HAVE BEEN REACHED.

Tuna within 30 to 40 miles of shore and walleye to 10 pounds in the John Day Pool are among the highlights for Oregon fishermen.

But Chinook fishing is beginning to ramp up in Rogue Bay, bass and walleye fishing is improving in the Multnomah Channel and trout fishing in Central and Northeast Oregon rivers and lakes is good.

BETCHA THE WALLEYE GUYS WILL BE JEALOUS OF CYBIL VAN ARSDALE'S CATCH. THE YAMHILL TEEN LANDED THIS 32-INCH-LONG, 17-INCH-AROUND COLUMBIA RIVER BUGEYE ON 6-POUND TEST. (LAZER SHARP PHOTO CONTEST)

Here are more highlights and ideas from ODFW’s weekly Recreation Report:

SOUTHWEST ZONE

  • Chinook fishing is picking up in the Rogue River estuary with most fish being caught 1 or 2 hours on either side of high tide.
  • Bass fishing has been improving throughout the mainstem of the Umpqua River.
  • With the onset of warmer temperatures trout fishing is slowing down in many area lakes and ponds. However, fishing will continue to be good for bass and warmwater fish.

WILLAMETTE ZONE

  • A few spring chinook are still being caught in the lower Willamette and in Eagle Creek.
  • Now is a good time to target bass and walleye fishing on the Multnomah Channel.
  • Summer steelhead and spring chinook have moved into the North Santiam River around Stayton.
  • Good catches of kokanee have been reported recently on Green Peter Reservoir.
  • Summer steelhead are showing up in the Willamette River town run between Springfield and Eugene.
  • Trout stocking of most local valley lakes and ponds has come to an end for the summer due to warm water conditions. Lower and mid-elevation Cascade lakes are still being stocked and provide a good opportunity for trout fishing.

CENTRAL ZONE

  • According to recent creel surveys, trout fishing on the Crooked River has been excellent throughout the day.
  • Trout fishing on Crane Prairie Reservoir continues to be very good.

SOUTHEAST ZONE

  • Trout fishing has been good in Balm and Thief Valley reservoirs.
  • Fishing in the high Cascade lakes for brook trout remains excellent.

NORTHEAST ZONE

  • Fishing for both rainbow and brook trout has been good on Grande Ronde Reservoir.
  • Smallmouth bass and channel catfish fishing has been good on the John Day River – though the bite may slow if temperatures remain high.

SNAKE RIVER ZONE

  • Brownlee: Crappie spawning has slowed but good fishing is available. Fish very early morning or late evening. The fish are deep in the middle of the day (25-70 feet) and the bite is very light. Use 4 lb test and an ultra light rod. Use jigs with a crappie nibble (motor oil, red and whites have been good lately). Night fishing with lights is producing good catches.  Bass are biting but are fairly small. Some large catfish are being caught using cutbait, worms or stink bait. Trolling for trout is fair. The reservoir is full. Call Idaho Power Company’s recording at 1-800-422-3143 to get information on access at recreational sites or visit their Web site under the “Rivers and Recreation” heading.

COLUMBIA ZONE

  • Effective June 26 angling is open for adipose fin-clipped summer chinook, adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead, and sockeye from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Oregon/Washington Border.
  • The summer steelhead run is making a strong early showing at Bonneville Dam. Look for summer steelhead near the mouths of cooler tributaries as the water temperature in the Columbia continues to rise.
  • Sturgeon fishing is good near Astoria. Sturgeon retention is open seven days a week from Thursday, July 15 through Sunday, August 1.
  • The walleye fishing has been good in the John Day pool where anglers are finding lots of walleye — many in the 10-pound range. The best lures have been spinner and worm combinations and blade baits.

MARINE ZONE

  • Anglers targeting tuna found the fish between 30 and 40 miles offshore. Tuna catches landed in ports on the central coast averaged between four and five fish.
  • Anglers fishing Cape Falcon to the Oregon/Washington border are now allowed to keep up to two chinook salmon in the bag limit. Daily bag limit is now two salmon per day, and all retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.
  • Fishing for marked coho south of Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border opened Saturday (June 26). Only about one angler in 10 were successful at landing a coho last week. Only marked coho (all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip) may be retained. That season will run through Sept. 6 or until the quota of 26,000 marked coho is met, which ever comes first. The bag limit is two salmon.
  • Fishing for Chinook was slow again last week with fewer than one in seven anglers landing a fish. The “All Salmon Except Coho” salmon season from Cape Falcon to Oregon/California  border opened May 29 and runs through Sept. 6. Bag Limit: Two salmon.
  • The near-shore (inside 40 fathoms) halibut fishery between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain is remains open with more than 30 percent of the quota remaining.
  • Fishing for lingcod remained at about one fish for every two anglers targeting lingcodSuccess in catching lings and most other bottom fish improves as waves moderate.
  • Fishing for rockfish slowed down this week. One possible explanation is that there are many small food fish in the water. Many anglers report that the rockfish they do catch are stuffed with smaller fish.
  • The annual conservation closure north of Tillamook Head to protect newly set razor clams begins July 15 and continues through Sept. 30. Since 1967, ODFW has closed the 18 miles of beaches in Clatsop County to razor clam digging on July 15. The closure is to protect newly-set young clams that are establishing themselves on the beach during this time of the year.
  • The Oregon Department of Agriculture closed all recreational razor clam harvesting from Coos Bay to Bandon last month and extended the closure on July 2 north to Tillamook Head north of Cannon Beach due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Razor clamming remains open north of Coos Bay and south of Bandon.
  • July has two minus tide series in the mornings: July 8-16 and 21-29 for bay clam diggers.
  • Mussel harvesting is open on the entire Oregon coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border. The consumption of whole, recreationally-harvested scallops is not recommended. However, coastal scallops are not affected by toxins when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
  • Most crabbers had average catches between one and three crab. Crabbing in the ocean this time of year can be very productive, but also dangerous because of wind, sea and bar conditions.
  • Crabbing success is often best during the slack tide at high tide or low tide when crabs are looking for food

SW WA Fishing Report

(COURTESY JOE HYMER, PFMC)

SALMON/STEELHEAD

Cowlitz River – No report on angling success.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 714 summer-run steelhead, 222 spring Chinook adults, 43 jacks and 179 mini-jacks during four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Tacoma Power employees released 58 spring Chinook adults and 44 jacks into the upper Cowlitz River at the Day Use Park in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam during the week.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 5,930 cubic feet per second on Monday July 12. Water visibility is 13 feet.

Drano Lake – 13 boats observed there last Saturday (July 10) morning.  No reports on angling success.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,142 salmonid bank anglers below Bonneville Dam with 42 adult and 2 jack summer Chinook, 227 steelhead, and 12 sockeye. In addition, we sampled 351 salmonid boat anglers (171 boats) with 12 adult and 1 jack summer Chinook, 95 steelhead, and 1 sockeye.   Overall, 46% of the adult Chinook and 54% of the steelhead caught were kept.  Ten of the 13 sockeye (77%) were kept.

Approximately 300 salmonid boats and 700 bank anglers were counted from Bonneville Dam downstream during last Saturday’s (July 10) flight.

At Bonneville Dam, daily steelhead counts reached 7,182 fish on July 11.  It was the highest daily count for the year (at least so far).

Bonneville Pool – Fifteen boats were observed off the mouth of the White Salmon River and 2 outside Drano Lake last Saturday (July 10) morning.  No report on angling success.

The Dalles Pool – Catch has switched over from summer chinook to steelhead though most of the steelhead were wild fish that had to be released.

John Day Pool – Paul Hoffarth, WDFW District 4 Fish Biologist in Pasco, reports very little effort for salmonids last week and no catch was reported.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Wauna powerlines downstream – Sturgeon angling success improved as measured at the Deep River and Knappton ramps.  Boat anglers there averaged 1.3 legals kept per boat.  Bank anglers sampled in the estuary did not catch any fish.   The ports of Chinook and Ilwaco data is being picked up later today.

About 240 private and 9 charter boats were observed fishing for sturgeon below Wauna (though no flight past Chinook) during last Saturday’s flight count.

  • The 2010 catch guideline for this fishery is 9,600 white sturgeon (60% of recent years).
  • Catch estimates through July 5 total 3,500 sturgeon kept from 25,769 angler trips.   Projections through July 11 total 28,300 angler trips with 3,900 sturgeon kept, or 41% of the 2010 adjusted harvest guideline.
  • White sturgeon may be retained daily in the estuary from July 15 through August 1.
  • The estimated kept catch for the July 15-August 1 extension is 1,500-2,700 fish resulting in a season total projected kept catch of 5,400-6,600 fish (56%-69% of 2010 adjusted quota).
  • A Compact hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on July 29 in Cathlamet Washington to consider fall season commercial fishing periods.  Given the date, this hearing will also provide a timely opportunity to review the estuary sturgeon fishery

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Marker 82 – Boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal and Kalama areas kept some legals. About 100 boats from Wauna upstream and a dozen bank rods were counted during last Saturday’s flight.

WALLEYE AND BASS

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Some walleye are being caught by boaters in the Camas/Washougal area.

The Dalles Pool –  Boat anglers averaged a walleye and 4 bass kept/released per rod.

John Day Pool – Paul Hoffarth reports walleye fishing was excellent with a fish per every 2.7 hours fished.  Boat anglers also caught some bass.

SHAD

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal area are still catching some shad.  Effort and catch is light on the rest of the river.

The Dalles Pool – Bank anglers are still catching a few fish.

John Day Pool – Boat anglers kept nearly 4 shad per rod.  Light effort and catch from the bank.

U Can Now Txt Poaching Tips 2 WDFW

(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

Reporting poaching and other fish and wildlife violations to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) just got easier.

WDFW has added a new text-messaging option for reporting activity that threatens fish, wildlife and critical habitat. Tip411 allows users to send a text message to WDFW’s communications dispatch center.

“We have a limited number of fish and wildlife officers in the field, so the public plays a critical role in protecting our natural resources by reporting violations,” said Chief Bruce Bjork, who heads WDFW’s enforcement program. “Text messaging is a quick and easy way to report violations.”

The text reporting system is powered by Minnesota-based Citizen Observer, a private vendor under contract with WDFW. The system removes the texter’s name and replaces it with an alias before the message arrives at WDFW’s communications center, said WDFW Deputy Chief Mike Cenci. When necessary, the system allows the reporting party and the on-duty fish and wildlife officer to exchange text messages in real time, Cenci said.

WDFW enforcement officials ask anyone who witnesses a potential violation to collect as much information as possible without confronting the individual under suspicion. Bjork said helpful information includes license plate numbers, vehicle color and make, the type of violation, the time it occurred and a description of the individual or individuals involved.

Tips should be sent to 847411 (Tip411). The message must begin with the letters WDFWTIP followed by a space, and then a brief description of the violation and location.

Go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/poaching/ for more information about how to report emergency and non-emergency fish and wildlife violations. The site includes instructions for texting, phone numbers and direct links to the email and online reporting options. The site also contains a link to Crime Observation Reporting Training (CORT) provided by the Eyes In the Woods association and WDFW enforcement officers.

To report Aquatic Invasive Species violations call toll free at 1-888-933-9247. Violations also can be reported to any WDFW regional office, or by calling the Washington State Patrol Communications Center (see local phone directories).

Reporting poaching and other fish and wildlife violations to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) just got easier.

WDFW has added a new text-messaging option for reporting activity that threatens fish, wildlife and critical habitat. Tip411 allows users to send a text message to WDFW’s communications dispatch center.

“We have a limited number of fish and wildlife officers in the field, so the public plays a critical role in protecting our natural resources by reporting violations,” said Chief Bruce Bjork, who heads WDFW’s enforcement program. “Text messaging is a quick and easy way to report violations.”

The text reporting system is powered by Minnesota-based Citizen Observer, a private vendor under contract with WDFW. The system removes the texter’s name and replaces it with an alias before the message arrives at WDFW’s communications center, said WDFW Deputy Chief Mike Cenci. When necessary, the system allows the reporting party and the on-duty fish and wildlife officer to exchange text messages in real time, Cenci said.

WDFW enforcement officials ask anyone who witnesses a potential violation to collect as much information as possible without confronting the individual under suspicion. Bjork said helpful information includes license plate numbers, vehicle color and make, the type of violation, the time it occurred and a description of the individual or individuals involved.

Tips should be sent to 847411 (Tip411). The message must begin with the letters WDFWTIP followed by a space, and then a brief description of the violation and location.

Go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/poaching/   for more information about how to report emergency and non-emergency fish and wildlife violations. The site includes instructions for texting, phone numbers and direct links to the email and online reporting options. The site also contains a link to Crime Observation Reporting Training (CORT) provided by the Eyes In the Woods association and WDFW enforcement officers.

To report Aquatic Invasive Species violations call toll free at 1-888-933-9247. Violations also can be reported to any WDFW regional office, or by calling the Washington State Patrol Communications Center (see local phone directories).