First it was pandemic-related printing material shortages and now wildfires are leading to further delays of the arrival of WDFW’s 2021-22 fishing pamphlet at license vendors and other outlets across the state.
While online versions of the current rules have been available via wdfw.wa.gov since before this regulation year began on July 1, the first hard copies – often preferred by anglers and those who don’t have or want them on their smartphones – won’t arrive at tackle shacks, etc., until next week at the earliest.
“Fingers crossed that’s the case and that there aren’t additional delays,” said Ben Anderson, an agency spokesman this afternoon.
In a June 29 news release, WDFW alerted anglers to the printing delay and said the regs book would be available the week of July 12, as well as offered links to other formats of it.
But as delivery questions began to arise online this week, a trip to Outdoor Emporium in Seattle this morning turned up a hole in the magazine rack where the pamphlet might have stood, with two copies of the out-of-date 2020-21 regs on a nearby counter.
(Said trip also led to a $218 hole in this reporter’s wallet.)
The problem is twofold, according to WDFW, with the first related to initial “supply-chain issues” because of Covid-19.
“The printing got started later than originally estimated by the vendor while they continued waiting for materials,” Anderson explained. “The latest update I received earlier today was that the pamphlets have been printed and are out for delivery to vendors via UPS, but because they’re coming from California, they’re apparently currently experiencing additional delays related to wildfires.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what part of the Golden State the regs were shipping from, but the Tamarack Fire is burning across US 395, a major inland north-south route, near the Nevada border, and the Dixie Fire near a confluence of several state routes near Mt. Lassen.
A service alert on UPS’s website states “Wild fires are impacting service in areas of California, Oregon and Washington. While all UPS facilities are providing pickup and delivery services as conditions permit, some delays are possible. We will work to ensure the safety of our employees while minimizing effects on service. Contingency plans are in place to help ensure that shipments arrive at their final destinations as quickly as possible.”
Given that uncertainty, Anderson said it’s tough to say when exactly pamphlets will arrive at license vendors, but next week is possible based on UPS tracking number info.
Meanwhile, WDFW is expecting a “large shipment” of the regs at its warehouse in Olympia when a freight carrier delivers them on Monday, unless it too is delayed.
Unlike other states where fishing rules pamphlets are for a calendar year, Washington’s cover July through June of the following year. The change was made in 2015 to “improve the Department’s ability to complete the rule making process for salmon regulations,” which are set annually in spring.