Tag Archives: Game wardens

‘I Was Fishing Like An ____. You Got Me’–Nemah Salmon Snagger

Washington game wardens report catching a family of blatant salmon snaggers on a Willapa Bay tributary recently.

They allege that two parents and an uncle were teaching a pair of youngsters aged 11 and 13 how to fish the wrong way, and they had half a dozen salmon on the bank of the tiny North Nemah River when Officer Todd Dielman found them on a late evening patrol.

“They were all fishing with a barbed hook tied about 8 inches above a lead weight. No bait or lure could be found on any rod,” WDFW Law Enforcement stated on its Facebook page today.

None of the six salmon had been recorded on a card, the agency alleges, and some family members were still fishing after retaining what would have been their daily limit.

Had they been doing it legally.

“I was fishing like an a**hole. You got me,” one told Dielman.

The North Nemah sees runs of hatchery and natural-origin Chinook this time of year, as well as some coho and chum later in fall. Daily limit is two adult salmon (up to six jacks), release unclipped Chinook.

WDFW reports the three adults were cited for various violations while the salmon were seized and donated.

“Numerous” snaggers were encountered during the patrol, wardens say.

Forks Float Follies: WDFW River Patrol Turns Up Violations, Amusing And Otherwise

When her husband was recently caught fishing illegally, a Forks-area woman took it as an unexpected shopping opportunity and urged game wardens to throw the book at him.

Details come from the WDFW Director’s Report to the Fish and Wildlife Commission, out ahead of this week’s meetings.

According to it, Sgt. Kit Rosenberger and Fish and Wildlife Officer Bryan Davidson were on a float patrol down the Sol Duc when they spotted three lines in the river in front of a riverside house.

Inspecting the business end of the lines, the officers found the fishing gear to be rigged with something a bit more lethal than the allowed single barbless hook as well.

WDFW reports that when the man came out of his garage, he allegedly admitted to being in the wrong and fishing with more than one rod.

Somewhere around here, his wife’s ears perked up.

She “told the officers to write her husband for everything they had, because he made a deal with her that if he got a ticket she could spend the same amount of money on something nice for herself,” according to WDFW.

Here’s hoping the violations aren’t dismissed or reduced by Clallam County District Court!

As it turns out, that wasn’t the only violation that Rosenberger and Davidson found on their float.

A ways down the Duc they spotted a man who hastily cranked in his line, hid his gear in a tree and then tried to claim he hadn’t been fishing.

That was never going to fly with the watchful wardens, and the man did allegedly confess, “telling the officers that he had decided to never buy a fishing license again and that he would just take what was coming to him,” WDFW reports.

That turned out to be citations for fishing without a license as well as fishing with unlawful tackle.

No word if his significant other also won a shopping spree, but those who vow to do similar for various grievances should be on notice.

But Rosenberger’s and Davidson’s day wasn’t done.

Down on the Quillayute they came across two guys and a gal with five rods out, which by our calculations is two too many fish sticks.

Not only that but as officers interviewed the father, son and the father’s girlfriend, they found all sorts of further fun.

The son was allegedly fishing without a license, and when Rosenberger and Davidson interviewed the father and woman, the son took it as an opportunity to run away.

As the officers poked around the trio’s camp, they then found two dead wild steelhead, which are illegal to retain, as well as an undersized cutthroat.

According to WDFW, the father and girlfriend would not admit to possessing let alone catching any steelhead.

They might have been able to make a better argument if there wasn’t also “a large amount of fish blood on [the father’s] pants.”

The guy tried to claim it was from a hand wound, but when the sergeant reminded him about DNA testing, he allegedly finally admitted he’d caught one of the wild steelhead and his son had caught the other.

And just to make it three for three, WDFW reports, “All five rods being fished were equipped with unlawful fishing gear.”

They were seized, tickets were written, no shopping sprees were awarded.

New Top Game Warden Takes Reins At WDFW

Alaska’s recently retired top game warden now heads up Washington’s fish and wildlife police.

Chief Steve Bear took the reins Sept. 1 and will be given his oath of office at tomorrow’s Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Port Angeles.


Bear served for 27 years with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, spending the last 10 years as first the deputy director and then the director of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers division before his retirement as a colonel this past July.

In 2015 he oversaw 84 full-time wildlife troopers and 47 civilian employees.

Before joining law enforcement Bear served in the U.S. Army between 1985 and 1989.

At his new post in Olympia, Bear will oversee a staff of 156 WDFW employees, including 130 commissioned officers.

In a brief message to Northwest Sportsman, he said he has a lot to learn about Washington, its natural resources and hunters and anglers, loves to work to protect the resources, and hoped to work with as many folks from across the spectrum to that end.

“Growing up hunting, fishing, and trapping, I developed a strong sense of just how important natural resources are to everyone,” Bear said in a WDFW press release officially announcing his hire. “What draws me to this line of work is the idea of protecting those resources for this generation and future generations.”

“We look forward to Chief Bear’s leadership and experience being put to work in order to be the premiere natural resource law enforcement entity in the nation,” reads a statement in Director Jim Unsworth’s report to the commission ahead of the commission meeting.

Capt. Chris Anderson had been serving as the acting chief since the departure of former Chief Steve Crown to the Wenatchee Police Department. Before Crown, Bruce Bjork — who like Bear came from the state patrol — was Chief.

The director’s report also notes several promotions within the state’s game warden ranks:

“Lieutenants (Eric) Anderson, (Paul) Golden,  (Phil)Johnson, and Sergeant (Mike) Jewell were all promoted to the rank of Captain. Officers (Ken) Balazs, (Carlo) Pace, and (Shawnn) Vincent were all promoted to the rank of Sergeant,” it says.