Agency is hiring, not cutting agents

This is in response to the Wednesday letter regarding illegal fishing on the South Fork Stillaguamish River (“Target poachers to help fish, budget”).

I appreciate the writer’s comments, but I would like to make a few corrections. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife does not have one officer for all of Snohomish County, we have five. We are not “cutting agents,” in fact, we are hiring. Like all law enforcement agencies, we are still short-handed.

As the enforcement officer who works in Snohomish County, I rely on and appreciate whenever someone calls in any type of poaching complaint. If someone sees any illegal or suspicious activity, including the Snohomish County Park Ranger, they should call the information in. The best way to do so is by calling 911 and advising dispatchers you have a fish or wildlife violation to report. We are not always able to respond, but we do our best.

The public plays a huge role in helping enforcement officers make good cases. Also, catching poachers does not increase WDFW’s budget. Most of the money collected from violations goes to the county where the violation occurred.

Jennifer Maurstad

WDFW Enforcement Officer

Snohomish County

Mill Creek

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