IFish Fishing Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,792 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wish they'ed watch the gillnetters this close.
Got this of steelheader.net.
Bob


OLYMPIA – Three Cowlitz County fishing guides are facing criminal charges and forfeiture of their boats after taking undercover officers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on a Columbia River fishing trip without the proper licenses.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which took part in the sting operation, is also investigation the three men for multiple safety violations, ranging from a lack of life jackets for passengers to, in one case, no of documentation of required drug tests. Names of the three men are being withheld until formal charges are filed in South District Court in Pacific County.

Capt. Mike Cenci, who leads WDFW’s marine enforcement division, said the three men were arrested Aug. 19 in the town of Chinook when they could not produce valid charter boat licenses after guiding a fishing trip to the popular “Buoy 10” fishing area at the mouth of the Columbia River. Although all three men are licensed fishing guides, only licensed charter boats can take paying customers salmon fishing below the Longview Bridge.

“There’s a big difference between a fishing guide license and a charter boat license, and these guys ought to know that,” Cenci said.

The primary difference between the two types of licenses is that the total number of charter boat licenses in Washington state has been capped since 1977 under a limited-entry law to protect against overfishing, Cenci said. Existing charter licenses can, however, be transferred, often fetching tens of thousands of dollars on the open market, and require a yearly renewal fee of $480 for state residents.

By contrast, there is no limitation on professional guide licenses, which can be purchased by state residents for $150 per year.

Under state law, conducting an illegal charter boat operation is a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. At the time the three men were arrested, WDFW seized their boats – valued at $25,000 to $40,000 – and has since began forfeiture proceedings, Cenci said.

WDFW enforcement officers are currently examining logbooks from the boats for possible evidence of other illegal charter trips, which could result in additional charges, Cenci said.

“We’ve been watching these guys for a while,” said Cenci, noting that the arrests followed weeks of surveillance by members of WDFW’s Statewide Investigations Unit. “Operating a charter service without a valid license is a serious crime, and people should know that we’re taking sure action.”
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
119,612 Posts
Interesting. I spoke with Censi a couple years back about a guide that he was watching.
I wonder who they are.
This really bugs me, cuz the guides that paid and studied for the six pack deserve that part of the market.

Jen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
That really stinks that they'd come down with that big a hammer on these guys. And what did they do earlier in the year when the netters took way over their allotment of fish? :hoboy:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
119,612 Posts
Yeah, I've been doing some thinking on the whole thing.

Although what they did was illegal, and I'm all for being against that, there are some things that bother me about how things are run over there.

I've heard that it is very difficult to get charter license.

I guess I won't be so opinionated until or unless I hear the whole story and understand it a bit better. So, for now, I am officially withholding judgement.

Still, I have to say, breaking the law is not the way to go if you want to win respect and gain a good reputation.

...and if they didn't have the proper safety equipment, that really isn't good.

But, like I said... withholding judgement... for now.

Jen
 

·
Qualified Sturgeon Hugger
Joined
·
38,260 Posts
The reason that they need to crack down on ALL illegal behaviors is it steals from everyone. All those people that followed the rules are losing family wages to illegal charters. They spent the time and money to get the things they need to be legal. Why is okay for somebody to cut corners? If you are a guide you know the rules. If you choose to do business on the other side of the law, you deserve to suffer for your choice.
I have no idea if these three guides are guilty or not. I'm speaking of law-breakers in general.
It doesn't matter what you do for a living, if you choose to do it illegally, you deserve the penalty. That is only fair to those that gamble their living doing it the right way.

[ 08-23-2003, 07:38 PM: Message edited by: STGRule ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,760 Posts
Good news for the guides who pay their dues, and fees.

Ouch on loosing the boats, hope word spreads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,139 Posts
I heard the charter boat captains on the radio at Depoe Bay mentioning that the SAME thing was happening with OSP and river guides on the Ocean out of Newport during the coho season. A couple weeks ago, boats and rigs confiscated and big fines.

UG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
We were down thier that day puting a hurting on the big tulies :grin: :sick: and when we took out I saw the guide boats surrounded by WDFW vehicles . We just thought they had too many fish or a native :shrug: :hoboy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I find myself wondering if they aren't taking a page from the IRS, and since they can't prosecute them all they use the media as a deterrent and make the cases highly visible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,330 Posts
So when is Oregon going to wise up and quit "giving" their charter licenses away to Washington guides for $100? I can't buy a Washington Charter license but they can buy an Oregon one and if they had they would not have been busted. It really ticks me off to see all the Washington guides down here with Oregon Charter tags on. Where is the reciprocity?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,514 Posts
Seems to me like this was kind of an intelligence test. As I understand it, anyone can go to Oregon, get the required license, and fish clients legally in the Columbia. I know several guides from Washington who have gotten the Oregon license specifically to be able to do this, so it doesn't seem like a big secret. The guides on the river all know each other, I've got to think these guys would have known about the reg.

Perhaps they knew, chose not to incur the difficulty and expense, and some of the folks who had gone to that work resented that and dropped a dime on them.

I don't have much respect for the crazy quilt of laws that set this mess up. The restriction on new charter licenses in Washington is a restriction of trade designed to favor those already in business at the expense of consumers and new entrants. But you'd have to be an idiot to flagrantly violate the law and expect to get away with it. Not smart, especially when it's so easy to get legal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
capt hook, Why should one state have different guide lines then others? washington guides have to find someone that wants to sell a charter license and then pay 10,000 or more...Oregon guide can apply pay and get it!!! I believe both states should be the same..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,079 Posts
The penalties are stiff considering how simple it can be to procure a charter tag in Oregon and fish the same waters.

I see no good reason (yet) to make a valiant effort to sieze the boats from these people. Of course this opinion is subject to change as the details do. Its just too much if you ask me, fine them, yank thier guides license, but to take a mans boat is extreme on the first offense.

I am interested in what prompted the "sting" operation. Was there an inquiry or confrontation? If a law is being broken, is it not customary for law enforcement to investigate and curb the actions of those breaking the law BEFORE it either continues , or happens again?
I think the "sting" was simply encouragement to continue ignoring the regs from those who are supposed to prevent the regs from being broken in the first place isnt it?
Its ok for the WDFW to be present and participate in a violation in an effort to bust these guys (or simply make a big, expensive deal out of it leaving no humiliating stone unturned) and violate the regs themselves doing so? When is it OK for a cop to break a law?

All over a simple piece of paper?

I say if these guys were just playing stupid, or thier knowledge of the regs in Washington were in-fact a little less than clear, fine them, take thier guides license for the rest of the season, and promise them if it happens again the boats will be gone.

This is a heck of a price to pay for something that $100 +/- dollars (paid in Oregon) could have prevented.

The logistics and feasbility of Oregons standards of issuing charter licenses is irrelevant to the issue here if you ask me...it is one valid method that could have saved these guys some headaches, another could have been for a WDFW officer to tell them they were suspected of the violations and to do something about it before thier lives are very negatively effected.
Isnt that what "Law enforcement" really means?

[ 08-24-2003, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Row Vs. Wade ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,388 Posts
Is this like a guy who gets caught speeding and says I was only doing 70 in a 55. Is that ok? I think that would be like having 3 ileagal pole in the water.

[ 08-25-2003, 03:37 AM: Message edited by: trap50 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,079 Posts
Well, sort of Trap......like if a cop is on the side of the road holding up a 70 MPH sign to see if anyone will go that fast...or the 3rd pole being a cops pole but its on your boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
There seems to be some sentiment that guiding or outfitting without a license is OK or does not warrant sever actions. I do not know if the three guides cited in this sting operation are guilty or not-but if they are found guilty on these citations they definitely need to pay the price, first time or not. When they applied for the license and received it they agreed to follow the rules and laws of the state. That license is a privilege not a right and it holds a lot of responsibility.
As for it not being fair to Washington guides not to be able to utilize this fishery- that feeling is misplaced because they know the rules, agreed to the rules.
They can fish this area by obtaining a non resident license if they have the qualifications. Proper Coast Guard License, proof of insurance, business licenses, bonds, proof of drug testing and whatever else is required and pay the fees. Perhaps they did not do this because they didn’t or couldn’t provide the necessary information. Washington is easy, documentation is simple…send money. If you don’t like the laws, rules and regulations then go about changing them and until that happens do the legal, moral, ethical thing and obey the law.
As far as I am concerned this guys are not victims. I feel fairly sure they were not paying state or federal taxes on the money they were stealing from legally licensed charters.
They also appeared to disregard the ‘clients’ safety and well being by not having proper safety equipment as well as disregarding other Coast Guard Requirements…..
Unlicensed guiding goes on all the time in all areas. This activity takes money from those who follow the rules and spend the money to be legal and safe…taxes are paid and the resource is guarded.

J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
Originally posted by Capt. Hook:
It really ticks me off to see all the Washington guides down here with Oregon Charter tags on. Where is the reciprocity?
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Many years ago Congress established the Columbia River Compact to regulate fishing on the Columbia River. The Compact is made up by the directors of ODFW and WDFW. Congress' idea was for Oregon & Washington to have identical rules for fishing boundary waters for all the obvious reasons. For the most part (night fishing in WA being a glaring exception), the rules are similar. Apparently guide and charter licensing rules are outside the Compact's area of authority? :whazzup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
These "Guides" that got busted deserved what they got... they knew the rules. With the increased popularity of sports angling... anyone that thinks they can make a buck taking people out to angle has done so. Often, they don't have the proper licensing (CG and state) and have no idea about proper saftey items. Take a look at what happened to the Taki Too... and he was a "Licensed charter."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
What I don't understand is how these agents got to go on an all day fishing trip, and then only busted the Guides upon their return to port. They reportedly got into fish also, what happened to these "Illegally" caught fish. My guess is that they did not wind up as evidence. What were they doing while out fishing all day, gathering evidence? Sounds like a sweet deal to me, go fishing all day, then make a bust right at quitting time!

capt hook, Why should one state have different guide lines then others? washington guides have to find someone that wants to sell a charter license and then pay 10,000 or more...Oregon guide can apply pay and get it!!! I believe both states should be the same..
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">This would be great! Oregon would have a sales tax, and Washingtonians wouldn't have to pay an income tax to Oregon. I'm all for it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
This doesn't make it right or wrong, but the officers very well may have wanted to see just how many different violations these guys would rack up during the day. That will probably have an effect on how severe the penaly is. I am glad they observed them for more than the initial infraction to determine if the licensing was on oversite, or if their true character was to cheat wherever possible. This makes a difference in my book.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top