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#132799 - 12/30/01 12:49 AM Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
In the state of Wash, do the game wardens have the right to search your boat? I was told that only the Coast Guard can legally board your boat while it's still in the water. What about at the boat launch? I have never kept a Nate, even when legal to do so, but I would get real tense to have someone going through my boat, personal stuff, boxes, ect.
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"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132800 - 12/30/01 01:11 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
RICH G Offline
I believe in a lot of stupid schit

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 3326
Loc: Land of the Lost
Yup,

How else are they gonna catch poachers. Do you think a poacher is gonna just confess when the game warden asked him if he kept any fish he shouldnt have? How else is a game warden gonna catch people if he dosent check out all the hideing places for those extra brats or nates that wernt supposed to be kept?
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#132801 - 12/30/01 01:23 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Anonymous
Unregistered


When you buy a license you pretty much give wardens the right to search. You can try to stand on your rights on search and seizure but it will only cost you a lot of time.

Gooose

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#132802 - 12/30/01 01:26 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Fish and game inspections are a little different than driving you car down the roadway, at least from what I have heard, and seen, but here is what I know.

Refusal to stop or cooperate with a game agent for a game check can result in some unforeseen consequenses. Basically forfeiting your license. I am a little hazy as to the depth of the search, but if you have blood on your boat, for example, but none in the box, the agent has PC, probable cause, to take a closer look at your boat. This is a legal standard.

If you have done nothing wrong, then there shouldn't be an issue, and if you consent to a search, and a game agent finds something minor (not game related), they will most likely let you know, and move on. If you don't consent, or cop an attitude, you could end up "writing yourself a ticket" because of your actions. They have a tough job, indeed, so if you're a good guy, greet them with a smile. laugh laugh laugh

Two agents up at Sekiu had obviously had a rough day, and greeted us with scowls. I inquired about their day, and got the lowdown. They had spent 4 hours in a 12 foot Zodiac in 4 foot seas and had run into a-hole after a-hole. We were legal in very way, pleasant to them, and thanked them for being out there. You can bet the next person was better off because of it. Be a good human.

I have been checked 7 times this year, 6 at Sekiu, once on Hood Canal. I always greeted them with a smile, asked how others were doing, and my interactions never lasted more than 5 minutes. Do your part and cooperate, because you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.

Andy
_________________________
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They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132803 - 12/30/01 01:32 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
RICH G Offline
I believe in a lot of stupid schit

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 3326
Loc: Land of the Lost
Well said Dog, the game warden is not out there to ruin your day he is just protecting the resource.
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www.olympicproject.com

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#132804 - 12/30/01 03:09 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Robert Allen3 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/23/00
Posts: 762
Loc: vancouver WA USA
I believe that being in the field is probable cause.. They can search boats and cars (I think). I am sure you have nothing to hide anyway. if you did you'd have been offended by people on this site a long time ago and wouldn't be posting here shocked )
Just my feeling I'd like to see our game enforcment guys get more power especially as related to give more weight to their testimony about intent in snagging cases. When a warden tells a judge that a guy was attempting to snag the judge should be able to use that as strong evidence. not just his opinion.

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#132805 - 12/30/01 03:30 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Easy Limits Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 05/06/01
Posts: 2991
Loc: Nisqually
Game wardens are commisioned police officers by the state of WA. As far as I know they have the same powers as a State Patrol officer.
We can all do our part in making their lives a little easier by cooperating with them and playing by the rules. smile If you play by the rules you will have nothing to worry about.
_________________________
Carl C.

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#132806 - 12/30/01 04:26 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Metalhead Mojo Offline
Spawner

Registered: 11/26/01
Posts: 555
Loc: Browns Point
it shouldnt even be an issue...if they want to look, then let them look, you shouldnt have anything to hide anyway...that is if you ever see one out there...the last time i saw a warden was this summer at alki, the time before that was a few years ago at a small lake near olympia. it seems like they are never out there.
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#132807 - 12/30/01 11:35 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Doubletake Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 265
Loc: Duvall, Wa.
I was at the launch cleaning a couple of fish last year while two fishing partners were by my boat in the parking lot. When I came up the game warden asked to see my license and checked my fish out. She was a little stiff at first but turned out relatively pleasant. After she had left my partners tell me she walked up and climbed right into the boat and started searching.... I didn't mind the search so much as the fact she didn't ask, or that I (the owner) was not present.

But as stated in the above posts they deal with a lot of rude people all day long and I don't envy their jobs. I agree that they should have more power than what they have. Gamies are few and far between it seems, I have read a lot of posts on this and other boards of members seeing illegal activities going on on the water. They can search my boat any time, but I would sure like to see some of the more blatant "breaking of the rules" (snagging for one)get hit fast and hard once and a while.

I did put a poll up on boat searches on this and one other board, came up with about half saying yes they can with out asking or cause, and half saying no they can't without cause. I e-mailed the WDFW and got no response. But like I said, they have enough problems to deal with without me hassling them. Good luck.

Doubletake

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#132808 - 12/30/01 12:43 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
WesH Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 20
Loc: Vancouver, WA

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#132809 - 12/30/01 02:09 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
StorminN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/30/01
Posts: 448
Loc: Blyn, WA
Yep, "equipment" in this case includes your boat. Anyone who has been stopped on the water or off knows that they can check for PFD's, flares, all the required stuff. If you're nervous about them going through your stuff, you've probably got something to hide... but remember, they're looking for hidden fish, not hidden pot pipes, so just be smart, calm, courteous and legal, and it all will go smoothly.

-N.
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#132810 - 12/30/01 02:09 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
WesH, RCW 77.15.080 states inspect "equiptment" Is my boat is a "vehicle", or equiptment? I pay for motor vehicle licensing on it. So is it a motor vehicle? DoubleTake was alittle upset the game warden just got into his boat without his consent or knowledge. I would be also.What if she had broken something? "His LAMIGLASS!!" They do the best job that they can and I wish there was more of them out there, I have done nothing wrong, but do not violate my rights in the process of enforcing the law. We have "Vehicle Search And Seizure" laws to protect us from officers stepping out of bounds and violating our rights, I do not know if these laws pertain to game wardens and our boats. And would they tell us if the did, probley not I would't either if I was a game warden. Wait a minute! what do I do for a living? Ops!
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#132811 - 12/30/01 05:33 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 26256
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
First off, there are two factors that make a boat search "legal" in Washington, one being the above-mentioned RCW, and the other being the little waiver of rights that we all sign on the bottom of our licenses (at least we used to, can't remember if it's still there).

That said, just because the state law says it's ok does not make it constitutional. Luckily, the standards for making a search under the state law and under federal and state constitutional law are pretty well spelled out in case law, and it's a pretty simple concept.

1. If you are standing near the river with a rod in your hand, those are "articulable" facts that you are fishing. Probably good enough if someone else told the gamie that you were fishing, too.

2. If you are fishing, they can ask to see your licenses and gear to see if you are in compliance.
This does include your boat, and could include your rig if there are articulable facts showing that your gear/equipment/game may have been stowed already.

Say you are steelhead fishing in a selective gear rules area, single, barbless, no bait, open for brats, closed for nates. You're out in your boat with a couple of buddies, pulled up on a bar, and the gamie shows up. You're fishing, so out comes the license. Also, let's see the hooks on your rods, make sure there're no barbs there. When they see your licenses, they see that one of you has punched a hatchery fish for the day. Pull it out, check for clipped fin.

That's probably it.

Unless, say, there's blood on your boat, and no punches on the punchcards. Or a fisherman upstream told them that you guys boated and kept a fish, and now he sees no punches. Time to search the boat.

What are they searching for? Either an illegally harvested wild fish, or an unreported hatchery fish. Where can they search? Wherever such a fish could be. That means under the seats, in the cooler, in the gear locker.

It does not mean in your vest pocket, or in your tacklebox, or in the little film canister that may or may not have film in it sitting in the tackle tray. The potential illegal fish could not be in those places, so there is no legal reason to search them.

All in all, it's a pretty lax standard, and it makes sense intuitively. As noted above, we should definitely welcome the intrusion, hoping that a few other folks are getting intruded upon, too. Too few game wardens out on patrol is a major problem for the fish and game of this state. If you've got nothing to hide, then what's the problem?

Last, but definitely not least, who spends a lot of time taking to fishermen almost every day? The game warden. Who's a good source of accurate and current information on what and where they're hitting? The game warden. Who's going to get that information, the jerk or the nice guy?

Fish on...

Todd.

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#132812 - 12/30/01 07:02 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
R Ridgeway Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 288
Loc: Seattle
Scenario #1 I'm a game agent and you give me a bad time...so I'm thinking I check you very thoroughly.....this time and every time I see you. I'm probably thinking what does this aho have to hide and boy I would sure like to nail him with a fat ticket (and maybe you're illegal and I get my wish).

Scenario #2 I'm a game agent that meets up with a fully cooperative lawabiding angler that appreciates and welcomes my presence and makes it easy for me to do my job and check for appropriate compliance. I betcha this angler is on his way in less than five minutes and maybe I have some extra time to drive up river and catch a couple guys on a snag-fest with a few extra fish in their posession. And maybe I know some angling info that I pass on to you just because you're a nice guy.


Which scenario do you want to help playout?
I suppose there are other variations but not as far as I'm concerned.

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#132813 - 12/30/01 09:54 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Doubletake Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 265
Loc: Duvall, Wa.
Right on guys, I didn' get a real clear answer the last time this happened, but it appears to me after looking at the RCW again and the comments here they do have the right. I know I didn't start this thread, but thanks for the input. Good fishing to all.

Doubletake

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#132814 - 12/30/01 11:30 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Todd, Thank you, that was the answer I wanted to see printed. "Visiable, Probale Cause" As stated in the "Search And Seizure" laws. A game warden does not have the right to search your boat just because he's curious. He needs probale cause just as a police officer does, whether 1st hand evidence or "Hear Say". Yes I agree, "Be Polite!" They are just trying to do a job that will benifit us all. This has been one good topic that has educated many. Thanks. G-MAN {could that be Gov't Man?}

[ 12-30-2001: Message edited by: G-MAN ]
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"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132815 - 12/31/01 12:23 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
RobertAllen3, I'm afraid that I must take issue with your statement that you'd like to see the opinion of the Game Warden hold more weight with the courts.....Why? Why should the opinion of the Game Warden hold more weight than the opinion of anyone else? The Game Warden, State Patrol Officer, Police officer, etc. is nothing more than an ordinary dude like you or me. Fortunately, our legal system operates off of proof, not opinion. Game Wardens, just like the rest of us are prone to mistakes, and errors in judgment, and to allow their opinions to become "strong evidence" would seriously flaw our legal system. Case in point: About five years ago my father and younger brother were arrested for poaching a trophy Bull elk in a closed area.... A very serious accusation to say the least. When the Game Warden and a county sherrif searched my Father's truck (with his full cooperation) they found no weapons. When the Game warden asked what they were doing in the area, my father got mad and said "none of your damn business". Next thing you know, they were under arrest. When the case finally made it to court, the Game Warden and the sherrif both testified that even though they found no weapons in my father's truck, they still believed that he had poached the elk in question, because my father's truck matched a description of a truck that was seen fleeing the area of the kill at a high rate of speed. The Game Warden then went on to state that the only reason my father and brother could have been in the woods was to go kill something..... Why else would they have any business being up there? Needless to say, my father and brother were both aquitted, but it still cost them both a boat load of money in lawyer fees, missed work, etc. What would have happened if we lived in a society where a law enforcment officers' opinion were considered "proof"?
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If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

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#132816 - 12/31/01 02:23 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
WesH Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 20
Loc: Vancouver, WA

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#132817 - 12/31/01 10:42 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
WOW! That was a mouthfull!
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If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

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#132818 - 12/31/01 12:39 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
WesH, why not let them search your film canister? #1, You are giving up your Constitional Rights. #2 Your allowing a law officer, which you pay to enforce the law, to step out of thoses bounds, which as citizens, we have voted to be in place to protect us from "NAZI" tatics. If we don't stop "Illegal Search and Seizures" How far would it go? I'm sorry to say but, that "Ignorant" fellow that bonks a Nate is also under the same laws that protect us law abiding citizens. I'm sorry, I will not give up my Constitional Rights because of a few law breakers. Let's do our part, instead of a river side fight. Tell them you'll turn them in, that will make them think next time, if they don't think, TURN THEM IN!! Go to court, testify, but don't give up your rights or allow a law officers to step out of their bounds. LittleZoZo You are right, You can't rely on just one man's opinion, without evidence to stand in a court of law. About 30 years ago my father, a strict Law and Rules abiding man {my butt can contest to that} was duck hunting with my brother. They stopped shooting just before the time to stop. The guy on the other side of the lake did not, he kept shooting a few minutes past. They picked up their stuff and when they finally got to the road they were met by a game warden who wrote them Both! for shooting after hours even after they explained there is another guy on the other side. He didn't even go check. My father hasn't hunted since. That's alot of licenses, deer tags, stamp fees, ect, ect, lost over the last 30 years because the warden did not have any evidence. If you allow this to happen it will ony deter law abiding people, not criminals, from this great sport we take for granted. Some of you are saying GREAT! More fish. No, less fish. We need the revenue to pay for river and stream enhancements, game wardens to stop poaching, which is killing our Wild runs, education programs, Ect. See the bigger picture instead of just seeing ourselves.
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"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132819 - 12/31/01 01:24 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
pathfinder Offline
Alevin

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Whatcom County
Dang WesH, for a dude that didn't do any reseach, you posted alot of research! Great info, I'm copy/pasting for future reference.

G-Man, great point. I am a very staunch believer in the US Constitution and I've worked within the law enforcement comunity. I saw and heard lots of stuff that goes beyond the scope of the law, all because the copper felt it would make his job (tossing crooks in jail) easier, making the streets safer for old ladies and little children, bla, bla, bla...

Problem is that more coppers/wardens/etc...forget that law enforcement isn't black and white and it's about more than criminal law. The laws of this country were never intended to be enforced by the letter. Rather it is supposed to be enforced to the spirit of the law. This is some thing that has stuck with me since my first class on criminal law.

It is up to us, the citizen, to make sure that our rights, whether US Constitutional, State Constitutional/etc... are not stepped on.

Anytime I have to deal with lawmen, I always cooperate and stay friendly. But I also question them anytime I feel they wish to overstep their authority. I don't recomend this to everyone but being a former copper myself, I have a hard time staying quiet when I know I'm being dumped on.

Just another guy's .02 cents worth. cool
_________________________
"Only God can forgive Osama Bin-Ladin"
"It's our job to arrange the meeting"
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

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#132821 - 12/31/01 03:55 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Hey Yall Watch This Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 452
Loc: Olympia....beeyotch
WesH-
Quote:
I ask why not? Why not inspect the film canister or the fishing vest or the tackle box or whatever? Picking on the aforementioned film canister, while it certainly won't contain a fish, perhaps it may contain - eggs? After all by the scenario you set forth we are fishing in a selective gear rules area, no bait allowed.


WesH, this may not be the norm, but I know to be considered hunting, the gun does not have to be loaded, but rather bullets in possession and a firearm (unloaded) is still considered hunting. I understand this because "hunting" is final. Not too many shoot and release hunters out there that carry loaded firearms.

Now, like or unlike most people, I carry with me many different types of lures, hooks, baits, etc. with me while I am out fishing. Am I breaking the law by having a container of eggs on my boat just because I didn't clean out the boat from the last trip? If that's the case, if I'm fishing with barbless hooks, but possess barbed hooks that have not been clipped, am I breaking the law?

[You] are a fish and game cop. Concentrate on fish and game related offenses. I have several good stories of illegal search and seizures that have happened to me in the past. They will probably happen in the future. I have worked for 2 different police depts. in one form or fashion and I know firsthand as a victim and as an enforcer, COPS CAN DO DAMN WELL WHAT THEY PLEASE.

Think I'm joking? Get smart with one when you are in the confines of the law and you are without witness or video camera. Then we'll talk.

Cops deal with criminals on a daily basis so I can understand some of the frustration, but to treat everyone like a criminal until proven innocent is wrong. Not all are like this, granted.

The last time I heard, a game and fish officer has the same authority as a U.S. Marshal, but with state boundaries being more of the gray area. That means they can kick down your door or search whatever they want, AAAAAAAAAAAAND seize what they want, whenever they want.

For anyone to NOT think a police officer's testimony holds more weight in front of a judge than that of the defendant's should really sit in on some courtroom drama.

I personally would like to see at least 2 officers at the scene of any license check, search, etc. It raises the level of accountability and accuracy. Plus, it's hard to fight 2 witnesses in a court of law that have been given authority by the law to enforce the law.

They shouldn't be given MORE power. They should be given MORE people.
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#132822 - 12/31/01 06:52 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Another good point, the eggs. It's not illegal to have eggs in your boat, it would be illegal to use them. And how would they know you had eggs unless they violated your Constitional Rights by performing an illegal search? So you don't stand up for your Constitional Rights and you get a ticket. Sure you would have to take time off work to go to court explain to the judge you were not using eggs, the game warden would admit he did'nt actually see you use eggs, {because he does'nt want to mention the "Illegal Search" part} the judge would throw it out. Just like what happened to LittleZoZo. In the meantime you lost a days wages proving your innocent and wasted the courts time all because he has a badge and stepped over the line.
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132823 - 12/31/01 06:56 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
pathfinder Offline
Alevin

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Whatcom County
Hey HYWT!

That's just what I was gonna add to my post 'till I forgot it...well said.

Keep it going, this is a very good thread! laugh laugh
_________________________
"Only God can forgive Osama Bin-Ladin"
"It's our job to arrange the meeting"
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

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#132824 - 12/31/01 07:44 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 26256
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Good points, guys.

Here's some more, Wes...

Game warden sees, or hears of, you using eggs in a closed area. He'd probably ask, and assuming you'd say you weren't using eggs, then he'd likely search you, your gear, and your boat, looking anywhere you could hide eggs. Finding them would not be proof that you were fishing illegally (not illegal to have eggs, just incredibly stupid), but combined with his other evidence that you were using eggs, and that you lied about having them, you'd be popped.

Also, anything illegal found during this search would be admissible to prosecute you for that additional crime, i.e., searching a small plastic box for eggs and finding pot.

If the only infraction that he has any evidence about is keeping a fish, then he can only look where a fish could be. Opening the film canister would lead to an arrest and hassle if it had pot in it, but the pot itself would probably be rendered inadmissible and the prosecutor would either not charge you or would drop the charges when it became clear that the warden was searching a film canister for a fish.

The important aspect of how these types of laws get interpreted is that the final word on interpretation comes from the Supreme Court. The case gets there when someone who has been searched, and busted, appeals it up. The court will always try to find a way to protect us from unreasonable searches, while allowing the cops to do their job effectively. I think the above rule does so very well.

To accept otherwise would lead to having your entire car searched when you are pulled over for running a stop sign, or having your pockets turned out for jaywalking. There just has to be a reasonable connection between the search and the reason for the search. The standard is quite lax, with a fellow fisherman's statement that you were fishing bait being sufficient evidence to search you for it.

It's not really a matter of what interpretation we choose to accept, or whether we choose to accept this kind of search while fishing, but not this kind of search while driving, or whatever.
It's a matter of what the legal doctrine truly is.

In your post above you noted that the warden must have "reason to believe" that the search will turn up evidence of a crime. That reason to believe is the evidence he has about a specific infraction you may have committed. That is the reasonable connection between the search and the reason for it.

Also, none of this has any impact on what the warden may ask you permission to do, and if you say yes, then anything can be searched. If you're legal, then I'd encourage everyone to be as cooperative as possible.

I promise, Wes, that you haven't done anything to offend me in the least. These types of conversations is why we should be on these BB's.

Fish on...

Todd

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#132825 - 12/31/01 11:50 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
"if you just bend over and spread your cheeks for us sir, this will all go a lot easier". When they ask permission to search, I tell them no. Why should I give them permission to search? Why? What makes them so important that I should just roll over and present myself for them to have their way with. Ya know, just because an individual doesn't feel like submitting to an illegal search doesn't automatically mean he's guilty of some crime. We'll take the Film canister scenario, it seems to be the most popular one to use. How could a fish cop, in a million years think that you'd store a spare bait of eggs in a film canister? I wouldn't think that the fish cop could use "probable cause" as a valid reason for searching the film canister. Also, If the fish cop got an "Annonymos tip" that I was usuing eggs in a no bait area, but it wasn't against the law to have eggs in the boat, well then what's wrong with lying to him? What's If its not illegal to have the eggs in the first place, then what business is it of his weather or not you have eggs on board..... Look, I 'm not saying that we should hassle law enforcment officers, I'm just trying to remind everybody out there that they're just human beings like us, and as such, they deserve no kind of special treatment. Just because they have the badge doesn't somehow make them better or any more special then you or me
_________________________
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#132826 - 01/01/02 03:17 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
WesH Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 20
Loc: Vancouver, WA
Ok Guys (and Gals),

I hope this comes across as an intelligent and non-aggressive discussion of some of the points being brought up here. I am not targeting any individual, only responding to comments in this thread.

Preface - along with all the other things that I stated I'm not, some one made the statement - 'You are a game cop' or something like that. I'm not sure if that statement was tendered in the impersonal or personal sense. Just to clarify, I'm not a game enforcement officer, I don't work for any government agency, even by contract. I'm just a tired old hacker who likes to fish.

I don't know, I guess I'm getting old enough that I'm a little slow. It took me a while to make the connections on some of responses.

I'll also admit that some of you have me at a disadvantage.

The two most important ones are -

(1) I only fly fish.

I don't share this to say that my way is better than your way, or that I'm superior or anything of the like. In my opinion you can fish any way you like as long as it's legal. I just (perhaps) fish using a different technique and that's it.

I share it because I don't understand the fishing techniques for using bait, or gear, etc. The last time I had a gear rod in my hand was a 51/2 ft. ultralight rig for trout about 9 years ago. So I don't know how many eggs it takes to adequately fish for steelhead using them. You would have to educate me on this, perhaps a film canister or canisters wouldn't hold enough eggs to make it worth while to attempt to circumvent the rules by storing eggs there.

Because I only fly fish, it's very seldom that I would in the course of an ordinary days fishing for me, cross into an area where its different regulations would affect me. Such as a guy bait fishing moving into an area where bait is not permitted. I wasn't being cognitive of this while I was writing my last post here. So while it would be extremely difficult for me to be searched, (ie. vest, fly boxes, raft, pontoon boat, etc.) and have a fish and wildlife officer find anything out of order, my example about finding eggs in a film canister was quite narrow in making the assumption that just because you had eggs on you in a no bait area, necessarily meant that you were guilty of a wrongdoing. This covers all the other aspects of gear and different regulations as well.

2) I don't use drugs. (or smoke, or drink excessively or chase other women or party or ... , shucks, looking at this way I have a pretty boring life.)

So I'll admit that I didn't understand the significance of using a film canister analogy. Todd really threw me for a while with his reference to pot until I did a search and found way back in the archives the story of the search, the film canister and the pot.


That being said, I still stick to my assertation I made in my last response on this thread -

Most of the various complaints that I see concerning searches seem to distill into one of two basics groupings, equipment damage and loss of privacy.

Equipment damage, during an inspection, in my opinion is pretty much a moot point. It would be really bad to have it happen. It is quite rare for it to happen, and in the event it did happen there are mechanisms in place to deal with it, and most of us don't seem to be as worried about it as we are about the loss of privacy.

Now this is where I think we are into the crux of this whole issue. Our (perceived?) loss of privacy in being searched while fishing.

As I stated above, I don't do a lot of things, so it never occured to me that I should be sensitive about having someone inspect/search myself or my equipment while fishing with concern for what they might discover.

I'll probably draw a lot of heat for this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Guys and Gals, if it isn't legal, notice I didn't say right, you shouldn't be doing it, whether it snagging fish or smoking pot or whatever. And no I'm not lilly white either, I done my share of boneheaded things in the past.

I don't want to abrogate anyones right against unlawful search and seizure.

I don't advocate legally prescribing greater power to our fish and wildlife officers.

I don't want to get involved in what you do in the privacy of your home, it's none of my business and generally what you do at home really doesn't have the opportunity to affect me directly.

But, what you do on the water can.

So, turning this whole thing back to the issue of fish and wildlife officers searching for violations and how far they can go.

I can't get inside the head of any fish and wildlife officer so I can't say with a certainty what is motivating them. I know that they are only human with all the faults and shortcomings and aspirations as the rest of us. And I know that some of them will abuse their authority and leave us with a bad memory or even worse. But, I have to assume that some of them at least, are out there because they care about the resource.

However, from the context of ensuring the protection of a sport that I and my family dearly love, and from all indications most of you hold dear, I challenge you to consider -

Using just one focal point for the sake of discussion, If we are true sportsmen (and women) then why not leave the item, that we don't want found, home when we go fishing.

I've never tried pot, and I'm not likely to, but I've known some people who used it. I don't see where you are going to become a better angler because you are using pot, and I don't understand how fishing could make using pot better, so just do one or the other.

Now if we have left the item home, and we are on the water, and we have the dubious pleasure of being inspected or searched and we have been fishing by the rules, then there is nothing to become excited about, we can help the fish and wildlife officers conclude their business with us in as rapid manner as possible and get on with our lives.

The fish and wildlife officers on the other hand are working with someone who is making their life a little easier, they can get done with us faster, and get on to the next guy (or gals) and just maybe they can catch some of the people who aren't playing by the rules and therefore decrease the number of people who are harming our sport.

As I stated a long time ago now, I personally don't have a lot of trouble with allowing a broad interpreation of the authority of fish and wildlife officers with regards to searching myself and my equipment while I am fishing. Because of the way I fish, (not gear or technique) I don't have to look over my shoulder to see who might be watching.

If voluntarily conceeding some of my constitutional right against search and siezure while in the field will help to remove some of the unlawful sportmen and women out there then I for one am all for it.

How about you, which is more important, the pot (or whatever) or the sport?

If we remove the element of discovery of whatever we don't want found, don't we remove the reluctance to co-operate with a search?

Cordially and respectfully,

Wes

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#132827 - 01/01/02 07:32 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
LittleZoZo, and
Hey Yall Watch This

You guys are right on!

It's real simple; if a Fish & Game officer wants to come aboard my boat, or check my vehicle or whatever, he owes it to me or you or to anyone else to "FIRST" state his reason for his search. Is he searching for "wild fish", or is he searching for drugs? Is he searching for anything that's illegal or jush searching?

Most of these guys earn their money! But it is the way of life that they have chosen! So why not tell us why we are being put through such a search? They know that if we are told what they are searching for, and something else is found, then it will most likely not be allowed in any court of law. Fair is fair, for both the game warden and the suspect. That way, if we ask them what they expect to fine in the "film container" and they tell us "wild fish" or whatever, then we now know that we are being screwed! Game violations searches should not be an "open opportunity" for searches, even those every game "rookie" wants to make his future position better. If I have nothing to hide, then its only fair that the officer hides nothing either!

Wes,

You need to go fishing more, or give up your badge (jk) smile and become a prosecutor!(Nk)

What are we becoming? What's next? Do they start cutting our boots looking for barbless hook? When is enough enough?

The entire key to this thread is "what's your reason" for your search? It must past mustard first, and then become part of the searching officer's record before he can search! Fair is fair!!

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

[ 01-01-2002: Message edited by: cowlitzfisherman ]

[ 01-01-2002: Message edited by: cowlitzfisherman ]
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132828 - 01/01/02 08:28 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
pathfinder Offline
Alevin

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Whatcom County
Wes, I been writin' a novel for the last year or so and I can't spit out near as many words as you can in this current thread! I could be done and published by now!! rolleyes

Your posts are very articulate and well written and make a good point. Though...giving up any Constitutional right just to rid our sport of some dirtbags is just not a good idea. It's like the elephant and the tent. Once the tip of the trunk gets under the tent flap, it's impossible to stop the rest of him from entering.

Your (our) Constitutional Rights are WAY more important than ANY sport or any one person. Guard them with passion, 'cause the moment you don't, someone will try and take them away. It's in the history and history will repeat itself if we failed to learn from it.
_________________________
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#132829 - 01/01/02 08:51 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
Pathfinder: Very well put, I couldn't have said it better myself..... It has nothing to do with what the fish cop may or may not find..... It has everything to do with ethics and not allowing those in positions of authority to abuse a constitution that so many men have given their lives trying to defend.... It is simply a matter of principle.
_________________________
If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

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#132830 - 01/01/02 09:03 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Exactly right Pathfinder, If I allow a game warden to violate my Constitional Rights what is he going to do to the guy behind me coming off the water? Then the next, ect. ect? WesH, this topic is about "Search And Seizures" You being the Fish Cop was just an example that's all. At your age, I bet you don't even know what pot is? laugh
_________________________
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#132831 - 01/01/02 10:23 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dan S. Offline
It all boils down to this - I'm right, everyone else is wrong, and anyone who disputes this is clearly a dumbfuck.

Registered: 03/07/99
Posts: 16238
Loc: SE Olympia, WA
pathfinder said it very well. We have a Constitution that specifically prohibits illegal search and seizure for a reason. The reasoning that if you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't worry is goofy. So what if we put a "governmaent agent" in your house and your business and your car to watch your every move because after all, "if you're not doing anything wrong........."

We all want to protect fish, but I don't want that protection to come at the expense of my rights. I don't want a State Trooper looking through my trunk without probable cause, I don't want the Lacey Police looking through my house without probable cause, and I don't want a Game Warden looking through every nook and cranny in my boat without probable cause. Want to check my hooks and license.......fine, but look in my tackle box?..........why? It has nothing to do with whether or not I have anything to hide in my trunk, house, or boat/tackle box. It has everything to do with my rights not to be searched unless I give somebody a reason for doing so.

It's not like there aren't a zillion game violations that could be written up out there every season that would require no search whatsoever.
_________________________
She was standin' alone over by the juke box, like she'd something to sell.
I said "baby, what's the goin' price?" She told me to go to hell.

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#132832 - 01/02/02 08:33 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Really interesting subject and posts! It's a matter of keeping both the police and citizens within the law. That will never be easy; likely impossible.

I want there to be stronger enforcement afield to help deter snagging, litering, poaching, private property abuse, etc. etc. But I want it done properly and ethically. I think most law officers abide. But there are many who do not.

I know from personal experience. Back in my young twenties I was bank fishing the Kalama River, alone. I was working my way up high on the river. At one point I unknowingly passed into either a no bait zone or flyfishing only zone - I can't remember which. Of course it's my responsibility to know the regs. However, the first place I stopped I got out and went down to the river with my corky and a partial egg cluster still on my hook from the previous hole down river. A fisherman near river side there told me it was a no bait (or fly only) zone, so I immediately went back to the car to go back down river - it was definitley not my intention to break the rules! And I didn't because of the luck of running into the other informative fisherman. When I got back to my car there was a WA game officer, by himself, awaiting my return. He asked me if I knew this was a no bait zone. I said yes, that I had just found out from another fisherman before I fished down there. This was the truth. I hadn't fished. The officer promptly told me he had wittnessed me fishing in the no bait zone. I repeated that I hadn't - knowing he just tried a bluff lie on me because I didn't fish there; and he hadn't even had the time to get out and watch me. But I didn't reveal that because I didn't want to piss him off and possibly incure worse rath. He ticketed me for fishing bait in a no bait zone despite my protest. I pleaded not guilty by mail, and showed up for trial in the Longview Courthouse. I explained my version to the judge. When the officer took his oath, the judge asked the officer if he had wittnessed me fish in that zone. Well, to my suprise, he admitted to the judge that he did not. I did notice he gave the courtroom a once over look before he approached the stand. Was he looking for a prospective wittness I might have brought? The guy that informed me I was in a no bait zone? I don't know. But I am sure more than a few times the cops will lie in court to get a conviction on someone they either think is guilty or just didn't like their attitude (challenged their authority). In this case it was the former, he thought I was guilty - but I was not! He contended that my moist 'schmegg' on my hook was indication to him that I had fished illegally. Not enough for the judge. He dismissed the case on lack of evidence. If I had been a little older and less intimidated by this scenario in court, I would have informed the judge, AFTER his ruling, that the officer lied to me afield, bearing false wittness and thus possible false citation. I don't know if that would have gotten the cop a lecture from the judge or not. But it opened my eyes to how the "system" can work sometimes; and sometimes not.

RT

[ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: RT ]

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#132833 - 01/02/02 10:44 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
bobbersdown Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 102
Loc: Bellevue Washington
Wow! This has been an informative post. I have to admit that I have had my good and bad experiences with the law. Mostly good. As an example:

This year fishing for chum on Hood Canal near the hatchery - on the day that the snow hit really hard - I was standing in snow on the bank of the canal with a fish that I had forgotten to mark on my catch record. The fishing was really great and I did forget. Along comes the game warden and his partner. They checked my license ( which I promptly gave him) looked at my gear and told me that I had not marked my catch. He asked me if I knew that. I informed him that I was sorry and that I had forgotten to mark the card and that I did know the regulations. I don't know if it was that I looked honest, that he saw the other salmon that I had marked on my card or that he took pity on a stupid fisherman who would come out in 12 inches of snow just to catch some chums. He told me to mark it, not do it again and have a nice day. I was polite to them, they were polite to me.

Now I realize that I was guilty of an infraction. I would have rightfully received a fine. I didn't. I got lucky I guess. But one thing I know for sure is that I would have deserved whatever I got because I got caught breaking a law. Wes and others have it right, it you are not doing anything wrong - then you have nothing to fear by a search of any kind. If you are doing something wrong - suck it up and take your punishment.

Does this mean that my constitutional rights should be walked on? No. But I will tell you that if I am standing there with no one else around and no camera and an officer comes up with a gun on his belt and asks me to do something, or submit to a search that I don't want, I will do it and then ***** about it later to the right people.

Certainly I would be upset if anyone were to search my boat/car, house etc without my permission. This is a basic crossing of personal boundaries. Does this mean that the Warden should not be able to search without permission? I don't think so. They have a very unpleasant job to do. Their job is not about walking around and smiling and making sure that everyone has a nice day. It is about catching people that are taking unfair advantage of others by breaking the laws. If there is probable cause to believe that I was fishing - it does not have to be illegal - and I am not standing near my boat, it is not reasonable for me to expect that the Warden just hang around and wait for me to come back to search it. However, if I come back and see him/her in my boat then I would expect some kind of explanation.

What this topic really boils down to is not the legal rights of an officer to do their job but how we feel about them doing it. A lot of this will be colored by past experience. If I had a bad run in as my only experience, I would not look too kindly on an officer no matter what they were doing.


In the mean time, I will do my best to abide by the law, and if I get caught doing something stupid then so be it.

Just my 2 cents worth.
_________________________
If I'm not fishing-I'm dreaming of fishing. If I'm not doing either I must be ...distracted.

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#132834 - 01/02/02 11:11 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
Bobbersdown: I think you are entirely missing the point here. Sure, We want the poachers to get caught. Sure the Game Wardens, cops etc. have a very unpleasent job to do. A job, I might add, that they signed up to do, so let's not feel too sorry for them. I work in construction, in just a few short days I'll be working on a bridge job, in the cold, in the rain, getting my @ss soaked.... It will be very unpleasent, but I dont expect anyone to roll over and let me have my way with them just because my job is "unpleasent". Bottom line: there are a set of rules that Law enforcment officers must abide by. Law enforcement officers are no different than you or me, and the majority of them will try like hell to find the loophole in those rules so that they can accomplish their goals with a minimal amount of obsticals to overcome. That's fine.... Find the loophole, it's human nature to do so. But when they just flat out break the rules and violate my constitutional rights, that's where I draw the line. Personally, I feel that their is way too much authority given to law enforcment officers as it is, without allowing them to start searching people personal property whenever they want. "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide" is a statement that was generated by weak willed people who would rather let their rights be violated, than to take a stand and risk having to endure a little hardship. The cops got badges and guns....So what? That doesn't somehow make them superior to the rest of us.... The same laws apply to them that apply to us. If I wanted to take a look in your boat, would I just have the right tojump on in and start snooping? Niether do they.
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If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

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#132835 - 01/02/02 12:03 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
bobbersdown Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 102
Loc: Bellevue Washington
Littlezozo - reread my post. I said that it was a basic violation of boundaries. This means that I do not just let people search my things. I also stated that I would be upset and expect an explanation - not lie down and whimper. I also stated that I would do what an armed person wanted - officer or not - when I am the only person around and make a stink late to the right sources. Only a fool will argue with an armed person.

On your point that this is their job and they do not deserve any pity. I would not call it pity, only compassion. I would think that if someone offered you a hot drink after spending a day out in the rain and wind in the winter working on that bridge you would appreciate it. Or would you appreciate it if someone just looked at you and basically had the attitude of 'tough luck, that it his problem because he chose to work construction'? I was only trying to get accross that we should think outside our little box once in a while. I was NOT referring to rolling over for anyone.

As far as the amount of authority given to officers - They should be held to a higher accountability of their actions. This applies to breaking constitutional rights and laws. In fact anyone in a position of authority over other people should be held to a higher standard. I don't think I missed the point at all.
_________________________
If I'm not fishing-I'm dreaming of fishing. If I'm not doing either I must be ...distracted.

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#132836 - 01/02/02 03:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dave Jackson Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/18/01
Posts: 861
Loc: Milwaukie, OR
Constitutional freedom fighters have a tough time of it when trying to explain to others why it is so important to stand up for what others may deem to be rediculous causes. In the technical sector such hot topics such as file sharing (a la "Napster" and others) and encryption cracking (DVD's, e-books, etc) often times meet with the same questions of validity and relevance.

What it comes down to is this: if you are not willing to fight for your rights, then you are not worthy of such rights. Intrusions into the privacy of private citizens without just cause cannot and should never be acceptable. This should not get in the way of enforcement agencies locating and arresting those who break the law. It should only require their doing a thorough and accurate investigation before searches are done. To me "thorough and accurate" investigations into game violations mean the game officer witnessing the violation first hand, or a witness willing to make a signed statement that they witnessed the violation take place, or enough visual evidence (carcass in whole or parts, blood, etc) to warrant a search.

Personally, I've written enough emails to Ron Wyden that his staff probably cringes everytime my email address comes up in the From field. I take my rights very seriously.
_________________________
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#132837 - 01/02/02 05:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Hey Yall Watch This Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 452
Loc: Olympia....beeyotch
When I said [you], that was just an insert name here scenario.

Quote:
Only a fool will argue with an armed person.


And what makes these people fools? I have done it twice in my lifetime and I will do it again if I have to. It's called standing up for what I believe in, plus the fact that death is not to be feared. I will not die a chump. I will just die. Big deal. Life goes on with or without you.

I guess I find greater satisfaction than most in what goes around comes around. And, when it's your time to die, you can't hide from God.

This is about rights and accountability. You want to search give me the reason why, first, or tell me your "probable cause" or show me your warrant. I don't give 2 johnnys if I'm legal or not, but the person searching better be legal.

Littlezozo, I'd offer you coffee not because you work construction, but just because that's the kind of guy I am. Like you said, It is a job and you knew what to expect before you signed up!

But pretty much everyone here knows, you refuse a search, you raise a red flag to an officer and all your innocense is depleted. Because you are hiding something you are automatically guilty. I don't care if that's not how it is down on paper, that is how it is in real life.

Probable Cause is the loosest thing in the world, and I've seen some loose things in my lifetime. wink
A cop can make up probable cause, just give him 10 seconds to think.

If you think I am cop bashing, I am not. Hello, I have worked in that field, my brother is going into that field, a cousin is a judge, and a couple more are lawyers. I've seen it from all viewpoints.

I just commend those who do their jobs, right. When I say 'right' that does not necessarily mean by the book. And from me, they always get Yes Sir'd and No Sir'd. It comes down to respect of the law on both sides of the coin. It's just their side is up when you flip that coin.

I would love to continue on, but why beat a dead horse when you can make kung poi chicken?
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#132838 - 01/02/02 07:04 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
Hey Yall Watch

You and I both agree! laugh

Like I said earlier, "It's real simple; if a Fish & Game officer wants to come aboard my boat, or check my vehicle or whatever, he owes it to me or you or to anyone else to "FIRST" state his reason for his search. Is he searching for "wild fish", or is he searching for drugs? Is he searching for anything that's illegal or just searching?"

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132839 - 01/02/02 07:58 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Hey Yall Watch This Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 452
Loc: Olympia....beeyotch
Ed Zachary.

I wasn't debating with ya bro, I was right on'n ya. cool

anything new on the access problem you had earlier last year down on the Cow(01`)?

email me if ya like.
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thefishinggoddess.com fan club

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#132840 - 01/02/02 08:35 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
Ya just gotta love Hey Yall!
_________________________
If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

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#132841 - 01/02/02 08:49 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
WesH Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 20
Loc: Vancouver, WA
I guess I shouldn't complain about getting my toes stepped on, after all I was the one who threw my dance card on the floor.

Hey all, let clarify what I said and suggested.

I never said lets give up our rights. In fact I said just the opposite.

I said I don't want to abrogate anyones right against unlawful search and seizure.

I don't advocate legally prescribing greater power to our fish and wildlife officers.

I don't want to get involved in what you do in the privacy of your home.

I expressed that I didn't have much trouble voluntarily conceeding some of my rights while fishing if that would help protect the resource. AND I suggested that if you had nothing to fear discovery of, then you had nothing to fear from voluntarily complying with a search.

***Individualized Responses ***

Cowlitzfisherman
If I have only fishing paraphernalia on me, then the obvious reason to search me is for game violations. I said I was OK with being searched. I didn't say you had to be OK with being searched.

The entire key to this thread was 'is it OK to search a particular boat.' I don't have the answer to that, because as they say, "it assumes facts not yet in evidence"

The entire key to this thread for me was to express a manner in which we may lessen some of the apparent fear and hostility towards our fish and wildlife officers and make the whole process work towards the good of our sport.

I would like to go fishing more, but no matter how hard I try, over the years I have only been able to average about 150 days on the water a year. This last year wasn't quite up to snuff in that regards, but having 4 kids, 8 to 1 (for an old fart I guess I'm not shooting too many blanks smile ) and a wife that wasn't up to par, made it a little difficult to shuck the whole thing and grab a rod.

In that vein, if you feel like sharing,if any of that Cowlitz River water is any good for fly fishing maybe we can hook up on the water sometime.


Pathfinder
I haven't advocated giving up any of our rights, only voluntarily conceeding on one of them while fishing.

Concerning the elephant illustration. Two big game guides are looking at a guy smashed flat in a tent. The first one says, 'What happened?', The second one replied. 'He thought by keeping the trunk out he could keep the elephant out. What he didn't realize is that closing the tent flap wouldn't necessarily keep him from getting squished.'

At what point do we balance the protection of our rights against the loss of our privileges?

Are we going to see a catch and release fishery on any of the S-rivers this spring?

LittleZoZo
You mention ethics and making sure those in authority don't abuse our constitutional rights that many have given their lives to defend. I agree 100%. I spent my time in the service, and was medically discharged with a bum leg for it. I know what men have given up to protect our freedoms, and I have given so little as compared to some.

But as a matter of principal how can you say the above about ethics and principal and yet a couple of posts up you suggest lying about the situation you find yourself in. It doesn't wash to me. Ethics is like a chain, it doesn't matter which link is broken, the chain is still broken.


G-MAN
I didn't say we should let someone violate our rights, I suggested voluntarily conceeding one for a while, like while on the water.

I was pretty sure it was just an example, I just wanted everyone to know where I'm NOT coming from.

Hey at my age I do so know what pot is, it's what I don't have to piss in. smile


DanS
I think the statement 'to reason that if I'm not doing anything wrong, I shouldn't worry' is goofy, is what's goofy. Tell me if I'm not doing anything wrong what have I to fear?

Also nowhere did I suggest we put a government agent your house, your business, your car, well yes your car but only long enough to ensure that you aren't cheating the rest of us by fishing unethically.

Yes, I get just as frustrated by the zillion game violations I have witness that aren't written up. But what do we do about that? It's not always possible to just whip out the ol' cell phone and touch them Ma Bell style.


RT
I certainly would be the last to condone perjury. Especially by an officer of the court. However, by your own admission you were in the fix you were in because you didn't take the time to make sure before you went fishing. The way to avoid this situation, and it goes for all of us, it to make sure we know the regs for the water we are going to fish, before we get there.

I am always amazed at the posts on this and other boards where someone will ask, Is it OK to fish for this fish, in this water, in this way right now and by the way how many can I keep. (not directed at you RT) why not get the regs and make sure that someone isn't giving us incorrect information.


LittleZoZo
I don't want to see anybody break the rules to facilitate accomplishing their agenda, certainly not to the point where they violate your rights.

I can guarantee you that I am not too weak willed to take a stand. And seeing as how I was the first one in this thread to pretty much state directly that 'if you don't do anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide' I take a little umbrage that you make the generalization you do without knowing me.

No, having a badge and a gun does not make cops superior to us. But having duly constituted law behind them should make us at least repect their postion.

No you don't have the reason to look in my boat just because you want to. You don't have the authority to enforce anything. But if a game officer asks to inspect my equipment, I can say with a certainty, because I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to fear and will let them inspect to their hearts content.


Dave Jackson
I agree intrusions into your privacy as a private citizen without just cause is not acceptable.

The only problem with a 'thorough and accurate' investigation into game violations is that by the time they get started the fish is 'HOME' in the freezer. The same 'HOME' that I don't want to see subjected to unlawful search and seizure.

What I think we all ought to work towards is ensuring that the abusive behavior is stopped on the water or bank before it has a chance to get 'HOME'.

***End Individualized Responses***

Anyway I'm tired, I won't convert anyone, and I'm not really trying too.

I will continue to fish and be pretty relaxed about it.

Thanks for the discourse, it was enlightning.

Good Luck to all on the water this year.


Cordially and Respectfully

Wes

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#132842 - 01/02/02 08:59 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Diana Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 12/24/01
Posts: 146
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
First of all, I've never met a Fish cop that was a jerk without being provoked into becoming one.

Someone, back in the 60's, got on this "civil rights" kick, and presses it just because he can. Yes, you can forbid a cop from performing a search. But why? Just because you can? So you can show your strength sans the badge?

If you've got nothing to hide, let him search. Big deal.

Fifteen years ago, when I was steelheading ALOT, I killed ALOT of fish. In the past ten years, I've had lots of time to reflect on how devastating a good fisherman can be. On one particular river, I caught 105 fish in a year. Now, how about putting 20 other fishermen on that river, who could fish as well or better. A handful of good fishermen can annihilate a river.

Keep the doors open to the game cops. That is what prevents the above scenario from happening again. Nobody needs, or can eat, 20 steelhead a year. If someone gets busted for over-limit, I tip my hat to the game cop.

They aren't jerks. They're keeping the numbers up so we have seasons. We got busted once for over-limit on clams. We were ALL over-limit by double ( butterclam poundage which I wasn't aware of ) and the cop gave one ticket. Not four. Does this sound like a jerk to you?
Open up your boat. What do you have to hide?
diana

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#132843 - 01/02/02 09:12 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
pathfinder Offline
Alevin

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Whatcom County
Wes!

Teach me to write like you! I WANT THIS NOVEL OF MINE DONE! I WANNA GET RICH FROM IT SO I CAN SCREW OFF THE REST OF MY LIFE!

Okay, sorry, I'm outta wind...

Hay Yall Watch This, I was havin' the highist respect for ya 'till ya confessed to havin' kin that are lawyers... laugh
_________________________
"Only God can forgive Osama Bin-Ladin"
"It's our job to arrange the meeting"
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

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#132844 - 01/02/02 09:24 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
See guys, this is what I'm talking about, what happened to RT. RT had to go to court and lose a days wages just because a game warden stepped over the line. How can RT recoup his lost wages? He can't. Should of told the judge the warden LIED! Next time the judge would have to question the warden's story. It could happen to you too if you don't know your Constitional Rights and stand up for them. Bobberdown, what are you afraied of??? Do you think he's gonna kick the stuffing out of you or shoot you if you don't let him search without "Probable Cause?" No he won't. What he will do is think twice about trying an Illegal Search. Remember if they "ASK TO SEARCH" You can let them or you can tell them "NO, because you don't have any reason to search do you???"
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132845 - 01/03/02 01:40 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
What happened to RT and LittleZoZO happens more than you think. They know most people won't question their authority or go to court to dispute the charges. The judges are there to protect our Rights, not to get our money. If a warden is found operating outside of the law and proceedures, he will be replaced by another who will not step over those lines that WE voted in place to protect everyone's Rights.

[ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: G-MAN ]
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132846 - 01/03/02 01:48 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
R Ridgeway Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 288
Loc: Seattle
RT's post had nothing to do with illegal search and seisure. It had to do with a law enforcement officer writing a ticket with inadequate evidence. By not knowing the rules of the river RT put himself in a position to get the ticket even though in the end he didn't deserve it. The more you know and abide by the rules the less you have to fear law enforcement officers. We don't have the resources for game agents to actually witness every possible infraction. They should board boats to look for stashed over limits, wild fish in C&R areas, barbed hooks in barbless zones, bait in no-bait zones. This level of search is necessary to assure that everyone is following the rules. Otherwise many would not follow the rules....on the otherhand I see many not following the rules already. I for one am willing to accept a liberal search intepretation to maintain our fishing resource.

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#132847 - 01/03/02 02:33 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
R Ridgeway, RT's post was about whether or not wardens should have more power/authority. They should not. Properly use what "WE" have given them, don't abuse it. He didn't warrant a ticket just because he had bait. He almost broke the law but didn't. Yes, he should of known the regs but the point was, "The warden LIED!" Wouldn't check his story. Same with LittleZoZo. You think they should be able to search our boats anytime they want? How about our cars? Our homes? Our personal bodies? Where do you say stop to Violating your Constitional Rights which you voted for? When it becomes personal to you or to someone close to you? When it happens to someone we don't know it isn't a big deal is it? You truly believe it's ok to Violate everyone's rights just to catch a few that break the law? I'm not knocking your beliefs because it's your right to believe that. All I ask is where do you want to say stop. I've been to alot of countries that search whenever they want to, it's not where I want to live.

[ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: G-MAN ]
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132848 - 01/03/02 11:18 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
bobbersdown Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 102
Loc: Bellevue Washington
g-man and others, PLEASE reread my initial post before making an assumption that I agree to my rights being violated. I do not want my or any other person's rights violated. What I belive I said was that if I wasn't around my boat when the game warden was there that I did not expect him to wait for me to get back to start looking. I did say that I expected an explanation.

I did say that if someone with a gun asked me to do something, submit to a search for instance, I would comply. (Because I have done nothing wrong.) I went on to say that I would take the matter up later with the proper authorities if I did not think he was in the right. - Does not make much sense to argue with an officer bent on giving you a ticket because will only make them more determined to give you one. Take your case to the judge. Same for game wardens.

I did say that they have an unpleasant job. Yes they did choose their profession. But keep in mind that the majority of the people they approach will be armed - either with gun or knife - and are by nature more independant and self reliant than the general pupulace. (People who just lie down and 'take it' tend not to be adventuresome enough to head out to the wilderness for hunting or fishing.) This means that there will be more of a perception of resistance to them doing their job. That job does not entail harassing, lying, or taking advantage of people. I do not in any way condone that. It does entail following up on leads where circumstantial evidence is going to be the preponderance of the evidence to go on. They should be prepared to back it up though or suffer consequences. This is why I believe that they should be held to a higher standard of accountability than someone not in their position.
_________________________
If I'm not fishing-I'm dreaming of fishing. If I'm not doing either I must be ...distracted.

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#132849 - 01/03/02 11:34 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Predator Dawg Offline
Spawner

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 560
Loc: land of sun
Hey 'yall,

You mention your brother and your cousins. I didn't realize 'yall could differentiate between the two... laugh

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#132850 - 01/03/02 11:47 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dave Jackson Offline
Spawner

Registered: 04/18/01
Posts: 861
Loc: Milwaukie, OR
Saltine:

It's quite easy really. His brothers are guys and his cousins are their wives.
_________________________
Get Bent Tackle whōre. Just added spinner section, where you can special order to your hearts content!

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#132851 - 01/03/02 12:34 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Hey Yall Watch This Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 452
Loc: Olympia....beeyotch
laugh

Whether or not I want someone searching my "stuff" because I am hiding something is totally irrelevant. I have the right to refuse. It's not giving anyone a hard time. It's a right that has had blood spilled over centuries to protect.

Until the laws change, they need to just follow the protocol before them. A guy says "no", then you deal with it and move on, or you get a warrant. Or you damn quickly think up some bogus probable cause. (in the shoes of the enforcer)

I have consented to searches when I wasn't hiding anything, and I have also not given consent when I wasn't hiding anything. Annnnnnnnnnnnd everytime I have given a "no" a flag was immediately raised and harassment followed suit.

I commend them for the jobs they do. They are the ones we call when we've been wronged and they give their lives for a job that doesn't pay that well. cool

Ask DanS, a gamie up in Hoodsport was my best friend for about 5 minutes after he made his busts courtesy of "this" reliable and credible witness. And that's only after I approached the violators myself and asked them to stop. They didn't so gamie got called. Easy as that.

When both sides make a conscious effort, everything works smoothly.
_________________________
N.W.O.

thefishinggoddess.com fan club

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#132852 - 01/03/02 03:03 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Bugleman Offline
Parr

Registered: 10/28/01
Posts: 51
Loc: Beaverton, OR
I always am curtious to game officials when they stop me and yes I too find them to be an excellent source of information. It is the game, I be nice to you, you be nice to me and we all have a happy day. I too have found most game cops appreciate some friendly banter and it makes them feel you are on thier side.

I am torn though and sometimes align myself more closely with Hey y'all's last post. We should keep the game cops honest and keep our rights. As a matter of principle I tend to want to say no to all searches. It is the cops game to get pissy and try to intimidate those who say no to illegal searches. What would happen if "we" asked for them to consider this - and "you" called them on thier attempt to break your rights. Then just reasure them that you are only protecting the constitition. I guess you should make sure you are really legal before doing this as to ensure you don't have a bad apple write you up.

Good topic and I have learned alot. I think in Oregon, the Licence you sign, says land owners and cops can check your game. I guess that probable cause would apply also as far as searching farthur in your car, boat, etc. I see now that the little statement you sign isn't an open door but I still have my eyes open and am looking for more info.

Thanks all for your input.
_________________________
Fish....Plankton....Sea Greens....and Protein from the Sea!

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#132853 - 01/03/02 06:24 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
WesH Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 20
Loc: Vancouver, WA

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#132854 - 01/03/02 07:01 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
Wes

The courts know the difference between the word "inspect" and the word "search". Believe it or not, there is a world of difference between the too. If a game officer wanted to "inspect" my rod and reel, it doe's not give him (or her) the authority to take my reel apart and see what's in it. That's what search warrants are for. They need to explain to the judge, and convince him, that additional searches are warranted

When was the last time that a game officer asked you if he could "inspect" your boat?
I'll bet you that theirs lots of case law concerning this issue.

A cop has the right to inspect your divers license, but he doesn't have the right to inspect your entire wallet without "Probable cause".

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132855 - 01/03/02 07:22 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
I can't believe you folks are still debating this. These are all laws that we must abide by when we choose to fish or hunt. Don't like it, then choose another hobby or be like that fool Tim Eyeman. Maybe you can come up with an even worse initiative than the cougar/bear one or the body gripping trap one.

Equipment is equipment. Boat, truck, rods, tackle box, etc. If you get caught in a flagrant violation of game laws, like a co-worker of mine did many years ago, they can confiscate all of the "equipment" used to commit the violation, including your vehicle. (This guy had been snagging silvers and kings out at Shilshole, and had poached about 20 fish that day to sell to a restaurant he worked at. Lost his fishing gear, but should have lost the truck and boat, too.)

Say "Hi!", stay right there to move rods out of the way so nothing gets broken, and let them get on with it. Thank them for protecting our resource. Pump them for info on what they have seen. Say "Bye".

They are not out there to be dicks. So don't you be one, either. You can definitely reap what you sow when dealing with law enforcement officers. I've seen it happen many times.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132856 - 01/03/02 07:34 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
LittleZoZo Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Rochester, WA USA
Andy, I'll give you this much....... I also think Tim Eyeman is an idiot. As for search and siezure laws and the way we choose to interperet them, lets just say that I have my views and you have yours. I'm done flogging this horse. Now go get in that helicopter and catch some more fish!
_________________________
If you get home and I'm not there, don't eat it.

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#132857 - 01/03/02 07:35 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Hey Yall Watch This Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 452
Loc: Olympia....beeyotch
_________________________
N.W.O.

thefishinggoddess.com fan club

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#132858 - 01/03/02 07:44 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
pathfinder Offline
Alevin

Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Whatcom County
Cowlitzfisherman has a very good point that I failed to notice. That being the differance between inspect and search.

An inspection is a totally different animal indeed and though it could be argued that there is a fine line, if you really put it to thought, the vast differences jump right out at you.

Point well made! cool
_________________________
"Only God can forgive Osama Bin-Ladin"
"It's our job to arrange the meeting"
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

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#132859 - 01/03/02 08:28 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
WesH Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/31/00
Posts: 20
Loc: Vancouver, WA
Hey Yall Watch This,

No I didn't confuse you with someone else because I really wasn't singling out comments made by you.

I was refering to the collective whole that seemed more or less to be getting their backs up about having to endure the indignity of having themselves and their equipment inspected.

I'm not much of a poster here. That puts us all at a disadvantage because the collective 'you' who are regulars of this board, don't have any history with me or my comments and therefor don't know where exactly I'm coming from.

For future reference, to avoid confusion about what I'm posting and who it might be directed at -

When I direct a comment at an individual, I'll preface my comment(s)as an individualized response and address my comments at the individual as I did in one of my posts earlier in this thread.

Also, in all fairness, I have been trying to avoid focusing on or picking on any one individual here in a personal manner. The one exception to that might have been to pick on LittleZoZo's comments when he painted himself into a little bit of a corner when he made the comment about ethics.

Not knowing LittleZoZo, I was picking on his comment rather than on him personally. I tend to want to meet someone face to face before making a judgement call as to whether they are someone I can get along with.

If I have offended anyone else on a personal level I appologize.

And I haven't been trying to just keep this issue inflamed for the sake of stirring it up. It has been an interesting discussion and forced me to review and think about my opinions on the subject. I haven't changed my stance for myself, but I will concede that I now understand that what I see as being totally harmless to myself might be violating someone elses sense of what fair. And that is OK because I'm not trying to force my values on anyone else.

Aside from my personal opinions, which only really impact me, all of us should make our decisions based on true information rather than emotion.

Again thanks for the discourse, if I have caused it to outstay its welcome, then my apologies.

Cordially

Wes

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#132860 - 01/03/02 09:04 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 26256
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Wes,

As I pointed out above, just because a state law gives the wardens "authority" to do anything does not make it legal or constitutional. Washington State still has a law on the books that makes it illegal for anyone on the basis of race (read that as "Indian") to not follow the exact same fishing regulations as members of another race (read that as non-Indian). The fact that it's there does not make it legal or enforceable.

To be constitutional, there must be some nexus between the search and the reason for it. Also, I did not intend anything above to state that "pot" (or anything else) would be suppressed because it's not fishing gear. I said it would be supressed if it was found in a film canister when the cop was searching for a fish. If a bag of pot was in the cooler, which is where a fish could be found, then you're busted.

Also, I still think this is a worthwhile topic that hasn't necessarily oustayed its welcome. Thanks for getting it started and keeping it going. smile

Fish on...

Todd.

P.S. I'm an attorney now, and I used to be an Assistant Attorney General, and represented the WDFW. Enforcement was one of my primary clients, and I wrote legal opinions on this very subject for our enforcement officers.

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#132861 - 01/03/02 10:53 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
R Ridgeway Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 288
Loc: Seattle
When your rights are pushed so far as they take advantage my rights to participate equally in a fishery then I expect that our game enforcement will keep the playing field even to provide equal opportunity. I expect that your/my fishing gear,ice chest, boat, and whatever got us there will be "inspected" subject to the circumstances presented to the game cop. If that inspection is met with non-cooperation, attitude or paranoia then I would expect the inspection to deepen to the fullest interpretation of the law. I choose to cooperate fully and get back to fishing. That does not make me un-American or unappreciative of "our" constitutional rights. If you don't want to abide by game regs which include inspection....don't fish or hunt.

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#132862 - 01/04/02 01:50 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
DOG FISH, You made the statement "These are all laws we must abide by, {if you don't like it find another hobby"} This is what this topic is about. Which laws, and WHO must abide by them. We, as TAX paying sportsmen must and also the game wardens who work for Us, {we pay their salaries} must also abide by them. The on going subject is about "when do they over step the law and violate your Constitional Rights in searching your boat? TODD, I'm am so glad you are on this forum, you know the law very well and have continued to answer our many questions. Myself, even after going through the academy and 6 years of law enforcement I admit it, I don't know everything about the law, I'm still learning, so how can game wardens know it all? So why would some of you take for granted they do? Remember, there is a polite, but firm way to say no to an "Illegal Search" {If you have nothing to hide, and I hope you all don't} You say, "No, you don't have any probable cause to search my boat because I have nothing suspicious to make you believe I've done anything wrong, so you would only be wasting both of our time." I would not be offended by this statement nor should another human being. He will not "Make UP" any "Probable Cause" It's not worth losing his job over just to look through people's personal things. I have seen fellow officers "Let Go" because of too many complaints about them over stepping the law, by Tax Paying Citizens, which you are. You do what you want but I'm not going to give up my Constitional Rights for no one, not even for a few minutes. I'll give up my hunting and fishing rights before I'll give up my Constitional Rights.
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132863 - 01/05/02 03:15 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
kickmeter Offline
Egg

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Eugene

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#132864 - 01/05/02 03:58 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Chuckn'Duck Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/10/00
Posts: 356
Loc: West of Eden
Kent we 'jus settle 'dis ova a pint?!!! rolleyes
_________________________
Chasing old rags 500 miles from home.

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#132865 - 01/05/02 08:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey Kickmeter, I kick 'em too when they eat my quarter and don't give me the clock. And thanks for the printed info - I have printed a copy of it for my wallet. I knew that info, but now I don't have to waist my breath, I can just hand a copy of that one paragraph (without your moniker on it of course).

Hey C&D, let's share a pint while nate fishing in a few weeks up your way! And we can argue about the constitution too - not. laugh

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#132866 - 01/05/02 09:11 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Hi G-man,

Did the LE gig myself for a while, Whatcom SO. Yeah, I know enough of the law to get in trouble. Do you have to consent to a breathalizer or BAC test when pulled over for suspicion of DUI/DWI? No, but when you get your license, you acknowledge that failure to do so has consequences. Basically loss of your license for a specified period of time.

It is exactly the same thing with hunting and fishing. You agree to the inspection of your equipment to make sure you are in compliance. It is called "implied consent". Equipment includes everything you leave home with used in the pursuit of fish or game, everything. People strip eggs from hens and toss the fish, those eggs can fit just about anywhere. "Towel fish" can be stowed any number of places. That is why they can inpect AND search. A third pheasant can be stuffed in anywhere, etc.

There has yet to be a successful challenge as to the constituionality of this RCW, because it is still in place. If you make a stink, they dig further. If you protest and become belligerant, they'll take more of your valuable fishing time.

The basic stop takes the same time as an FIR, you know, detain and stop for "reasonable" period of time. Reasonable can vary depending upon the evasiveness of the subject, furtive movements, lack of cooperativeness, etc.

Again, my suggestion would be to say "hi", stay right there and take care of your gear, get info from them, thank 'em for doing a hard job, and say "bye". I have never had a stop last more than 5 minutes. I have yet to have a bad experience.

I'm not saying that anyone else here "looks like a meth head or a dirt bag", but if you do look like this, you might just draw a little more attention. Folks who don't take care of themselves, their gear, their kids, etc., might not care too much about following all of the rules. It was one constant that we would follow to find someone with an outstanding warrant on a slow night. It worked about 90% of the time.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132867 - 01/05/02 11:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
Dogfish

There has been a lot of misinformation on this subject about what you are legally responsible to do if a game warden wants to search all your equipment, etc.

Some bb members have said that just because you have signed your fishing license, that it makes it legal for the game warden to check everything. Signing your license does not give them the authority to search your boat, gear, etc. The fact is; the only thing that you have agreed to do is clearly stated. This is what we have "agreed too"; "I certify under penalty of law that the information on this license is true and I meet the requirements for these licenses. I agree to show all licenses, transport tags, and catch card, my driver's license and any fish and game to a Department of Fish and Game employee when requested"

Nowhere does it say that we have agreed to allow a search of your personal property! I just wanted to set the record straight because some others have assumed that by signing your game license, you have also signed away your rights of rejecting an illegal search.

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132868 - 01/06/02 01:38 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
corky23 Offline
Egg

Registered: 11/17/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Eugene,OR
hey kickmeter do you work for the phone co now?
later
kris
Eugene or

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#132869 - 01/06/02 02:13 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Hi Bob,

I like debating with you.

I agree with most of what you say, but you and a lot of others omit the sections that pertain to exactly what everyone is discussing.

RCW 77.15.080 PLAINLY states that officers have the authority to....
(a) Temporarily stop you to inspect licenses, etc.
(b) Inspect any game in your possession.
(c) INSPECT THE EQUIPMET BEING USED, TO INSURE COMPLIANCE WITH GAME LAWS, etc.

Equipment/gear boils down to anything used to get to or from your chosen activity (car/truck), boat, poles, rods, coolers, etc.

RCW 77.15.470 goes on to state
(c) Produce for inspection upon request by a F&W officer:
(i) Hunting or fishing EQUIPMENT (this includes the boat and truck);
(ii) seaweed, fish, shellfish, or wildlife; or
(iii) licences, permits, tags, stamps, or catch record cards .......

FAILURE TO DO SO IS A GROSS MISDEMEANOR with the max penalty of 1 YEAR IN JAIL AND A $5000 FINE!

It does not give them the right to tear up your floorboards to look for dope, or rip out your fuel tank and cut it open.

The wording on your license give them implied consent for the inspection of tags, licenses, and game. The RCW's go on to include equipment. If they had to put EVERY RCW in the license, then your license would be a 5x9" book 3" thick.

To quote my favorite line from Dragnet, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

I am not saying that anyone is ignorant, but people are omitting specific parts of the written RCW's, including you. Just because I don't agree with the speed limt on a given road doesn't mean that I don't have to obey it, or that there aren't penalties if I don't follow it.

These laws are VERY PLAINLY STATED and are available for anyone to read, so before you refuse to submit to an inspection, think VERY CAREFULLY. THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES. THERE IS NO GREY AREA. Unless, of course, you have some spare time and cash.

Say "Hi", move the rods, say "Bye", and you'll have a nice day. Refuse and you will definitely have a bad day. You reap what you sow.

Here endeth the sermon.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132870 - 01/06/02 03:49 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
kickmeter Offline
Egg

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Eugene

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#132871 - 01/06/02 12:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
Andy,

It's been awhile since we had a good debate! It's good that people can openly discuss their different point of views without getting bent out of shape at each other when they don't quite agree. wink

With that being said, I will reinstate what I believe would be the final line if a person took this issue to court. I also believe this issue specifically applies to the RCW's that you have quoted and may not apply to other situations. The RCW's that have been quoted in this thread apply to our fishing rights. Specifically (and for good reason) they have chosen to use the word "inspect". If our legislators had intended otherwise, they would have used the appropriate word. That word would have been "search". That's why our legal system calls it a "search warrant" and not an "inspection warrant" It's a lot more then just an inspection!

The two words have some similar meaning, but also have specific meanings when used in defining law. I am not one of those people that wave my fourth rights every time an officer wants to check or "inspect" my possessions. I have never taken one illegal drug; don't smoke dope, or any other stuff. I do like my cocktails at home, at night (not in my car). I don't even mind it if an officer pulls me over and gives me a sobriety test.

But that's where I draw the line! If he or any other officer wants to start going through my stuff on their "Easter egg hunt", thinking that if he looks hard enough that he will eventually find something, he better damn well know that he will see me in court! I know that some of them take a lot of crap from people, but a lot of that comes from the way they approach people.

I personally think that if a game warden wants to "inspect" my "equipment" it's OK, but when the "inspections" stops and he starts advancing his "inspection" into what now would clearly become a "search mod" the new rules starts and it becomes an all new game (and game rules). My golden rule is a simple one. No reason, No search! The reason may not even have to be a "good one" that he gives. That means that the officers must first make it perfectly clear and plain why is going past the "inspection" stage into the next stage, which is clearly a "searching" stage.

I will be the first one to agree; don't try to physically resist his action. That will get you no where quick (well maybe in jail). That's what our courts are for! Like you and others have already stated, be polite, but be firm. Ask the officer what is his reason is for the "search". He must give you a reason, and he knows it! The reason, if not valid, will come back and bite him in the court home. Build your case by the facts, and those facts will prevail.

Remember, the only thing that we have agreed to do was to allow the Fish and Game "employee" to check our fish, game and equipment. We did not agree to any "searches". Don't you think that it was a little strange that they used the word "employee" instead of the word "officer"? Does that mean that any WDFW "employee" (fish counter, clerk, etc.) has the right to check your "equipment, car, truck etc?


Andy, it's kind of like what happened on the "Wallace Gravel Pit" issue. When the officer overstepped his bounties, I filed a complaint to his superiors and that officer will not make that same mistake a second time. I didn't argue with him at the time, I just got even through our legal system!


That's my opinion on this issue.

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

[ 01-06-2002: Message edited by: cowlitzfisherman ]
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132872 - 01/06/02 12:53 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Kickmeter, Bob,

There is nothing illegal about it. Remember "reasonable suspicion"? This is similar, but a combo of that and implied consent, but with not so stringent requirements. Basically the laws state that WDFW officers have the authority to temporarily stop/detain you. Just as in reasonable suspicion. They do need to have some articuable (sp?) facts, ie; your are fishing/hunting, you have equipment for such, or you may be on your way from such activity, etc. That is all they need for the stop. Plain and simple. There doesn't have to be the belief of an infraction.

The implied consent comes to the inpection of your equipment (includes cooler, truck, and boat), etc. If you refuse, then you just committed a Gross Misdemeanor, and then because of the commission of a crime, the immediate area and equipment becomes SUBJECT TO A SEARCH FOR FURTHER EVIDENCE OF SUCH AN INFRACTION. You are now not free to leave. A five minute conversation becomes an hour break with your hands clasped behind your back while seated on the back of the game agents truck while he or she searches EVERY inch of your truck, your boat, etc.

The issue about the wording on your license is only the tip of the iceberg. Remember the 5"x9" book?

I double dog dare ( wink ) anyone to head on down to their local WDFW hotspot where checks are a given and refuse, verbally. Let us know what happens.

Have a good day.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132873 - 01/06/02 06:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132874 - 01/06/02 07:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
bob b Offline
Smolt

Registered: 06/26/01
Posts: 80
Loc: Eugene,Or.
Cowlitzfisherman has hit the nail on the head. I have reasonable cause to believe we all carry our fishing license with us into our homes,if we follow the reasoning of some of the posts on this subject the police can enter our homes and conduct a search without a warrant. An attorney who represented Washington State,an ex OSP trooper,people whose was job was to interpret and enforce the law have explained very clearly we do not have submit to a search of our vehicles or boats. If a search is forced on an individual without consent or a warrant,the courts will follow the precedents of illegaly obtaining evidence. YES I have refused a safety inspection by a deputy in a parking lot at Odell lake,it was not a pleasant experience,but I knew I was right. The deputy backed off and returned later when we both calmed down,I did allow the inspection after I launched, he inspected from the dock and did not try to board. This may sound like splitting hairs but we both knew proper procedures.

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#132875 - 01/06/02 11:37 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
kickmeter Offline
Egg

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Eugene

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#132876 - 01/07/02 02:31 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Kickmeter is right, there is a big differance between "Inspection" and "Search" When I "Inspect" your driver's license and smell Pot comming out of your window, then I can move onto the next step the "Search" because I now have "Probable Cause". {and I know what what dope smells like because I smoked alot of it in high school before I worked Narcotics. "Only in America"!! } laugh
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132877 - 01/08/02 12:27 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Kickmeter, I didn't realize that gammies and regulars were operating out of the same book. That was one of my questions. Thanks for that infomation.
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132878 - 01/11/02 05:09 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Krome Brite Offline
Spawner

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 683
Loc: Washougal, WA
Are you a pothead, focker? eek laugh

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#132879 - 01/11/02 08:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
There is no legal term "reasonable cause". There is "reasonable suspicion" ,(RS), which pertains to the belief of an officer of the law that a crime may have been committed, is about to be committed, or some other "articuable facts" giving the officer reason for a detain and stop, example being some guy in a dark alley behind a business at night.

Probable cause, (PC), is where there are facts and circumstances that support an arrest, example; eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, etc.

Implied consent is where you agree to something automatically when you get a license.

Kickmeter,

Officers only need RS for a detain and stop, not PC. State a legal precendent to prove me wrong.

The implied consent as it relates to hunting and fishing comes partly from signing your license, and also from RCW 77.15.470. Basically they say that you will submit to an inpection of your equipment. How do you inpect a cooler? Look inside.

Bob,

Regardless if it sounds to "copy", those are the rules. It opens the door for further scrutiny.
Let them look in you cooler, at your boat, check you gear, etc. You might just be sorry if you don't. I don't hide anything, so I have no worries. If I screw up, I take it like a man and that has gotten me out of more infractions (traffic) than excuses, defiance, or beligerence.

G-man,

WDFW are fully commission officers and can enforce all laws enacted in the state or Washington including Titles 9, 9A, 46 (traffic), etc., along with enforcing dept. of health regs relating to aquaculture.

Andy

P.S. Now if they want to inspect the boat that you use as your residence that opens up a whole other can o' worms. smile
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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