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The Rape of Hood Canal WA

As an avid crabbing enthusiast, I spend a lot of time out on the Hood Canal during the Summer months, motoring around in my trusty C-Dory, in pursuit of the prized Dungeness Crab.

Labor Day weekend normally signals an end to the recreational crabbing season for Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal), so we were out dropping our pots, hoping to finish the season with nice legal limit (5 male dungeness crabs per licensed person).

As we headed into the public boat ramp at Miami Beach in Seabeck WA, we noticed what appeared to be a commercial fishing boat offloading oysters at the ramp. As we got closer, we noted two WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife patrol trucks and several WDFW officers observing the unloading of their harvest.

Evidently, one of the local tribal fisheries had employed some migrant workers (a common practice used to avoid a regulation loophole so that oysters can be harvested from public land). Unfortunately, none of the workers possessed the proper licensing required, and the tally of oysters was well beyond the legal limits.

This prompted me to access the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement website, where I found their Quarterly Enforcement Newsletters.

I never realized that such blatant violations as mentioned above were so commonplace and prevalent in the Puget Sound.

I, for one, am thankful that we have an agency such as the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to enforce and deter such illegal activities. Unfortunately, their reach and effectiveness is limited. For every violator that is caught, dozens go on undetected.

According to the WDFW website, there are currently only 141 commissioned Fish and Wildlife Officers in Washington, approximately 1 for every 43,288 citizens. The State of Washington encompasses 66,582 square miles, 157 miles of coast line, 3,026 miles of shoreline, 8,000 lakes and 40,000 miles of rivers and streams.

As concerned citizens and faithful stewards of the rich bounty afforded to us, we need to support the officers of Fish & Wildlife, and report potential violators immediately.

For instructions on how to report potential poaching violators, GO HERE.

8 thoughts on “The Rape of Hood Canal WA

  1. Must be a protected “Yuppie” type city boy to compare the illegal harvest of a few oysters to the violent act of rape.It does have a familiar ring to it though,sounds like something the Coastal Communists Association(CCA) would post.

  2. Good article!!

    Years ago they would park at the Brownsville Marina and they were always rude, demanding we move as they had a “Right” to be there.

    Where was the INS????

  3. Ronnie:

    directly from the dictionary:

    Rape – To seize and carry off by force; To plunder or pillage.

    We’re not talking about just a few oysters here. Such violations are prevalent throughout the Puget Sound. Of course, perhaps we should just ignore these actions and allow them to strip our shorelines bare for the sake of greed and profit?

  4. Thanks for putting in print what anyone who has spent time on Hood Canal knows:

    1) The tribes are not the environmental stewards their myth-making machine will have us believe.

    2) Immigrants do – in fact – have an impact on our local ecosystems.

    3) The states myriad environmental agencies (and supporting non-profits) work – first and foremost – to self-perpetuate and push political agendas of our state’s Democratic Party.

    4) The myth-making machine referenced previously includes the press who, regularly, praise the work of the government they should be skeptical of, prod the public with cherry-picked alarms about low-oxygen and oysters impacted by the Navy, and ignore the very REAL depredations being perpetrated by indian tribes and others within their political alliance.

  5. Exactly what is happening! Anyone who has a problem of the wording should look just a little farther north to see that is exactly what has happened in British Columbia. All of the shoreline is owned by the public there and anyone with a license can harvest anywhere. This, coupled with a tremendous influx of immigrants from Asia, particularly Hong Kong area, over the past 20 years has resulted in beaches and shorelines totally deplete of any sealife, seafood or seaweed. There is nothing left. Nothing. Our B.C. neighbours describe it as the rape of the beaches. Perfect word!

  6. Unfortunately, Lucy, when you point out stuff like that down here you are called a racist and urged to focus on whether the oxygen is at 2.5 or 3 parts per million (and how additional taxes will make it better).

  7. @BlueLight, I abhor poaching, but the loss and degradation of habitat is much more devastating to animal populations than overharvest, whether legal or illegal, and is much harder to reverse. In healthy, functioning habitat, fish and shellfish populations can quickly rebound in areas where harvest is restricted and can function as source populations for areas where harvest occurs. Populations simply cease to exist where habitat is unsuitable for their survival because of dead zones, toxics, and conversion of estuarine, shoreline, and tidal habitat. Much as you would rather buy into a political conspiracy theory, federal and state environmental agencies, as well as tribal governments, exist to protect public resources that all of us benefit from, whether it is clean air and water, or seafood. Many, many Republicans work for these agencies; these are organizations where people of all backgrounds and political persuasions work together to protect resources for American citizens, not to further political agendas. What they share is education and experience in, and knowledge of, how best to maintain and protect these resources for this and future generations. p.s. I am not a federal or state employee.

    If you are going to blame First Nations people and immigrants for resource depletion, and completely ignore the myriad effects that we white people have had on marine habitat and animal populations, rest assured that you fit the definition of a racist. “If it quacks like a duck…”

  8. Where did I say “ignore” any effects, Percy? I am simply asking for a balanced reporting of all the factors affecting the Canal’s well-being. Your focus on “habitat” is indicative of a party that hopes to divert the public’s attention away from certain depredations and focus on others as set-up for regulatory justification. As for the racial aspect of the debate, your “we white people” comes across as just so much quack, quack.

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