Possession limits

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hewesbob
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Possession limits

Post by hewesbob » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:16 pm

I posted a Banks Lake Walleye report today and a very wise reader caught some thing that I never considered. We fished Banks Lake Walleye for four days each limiting. Each day we fish we clean, vacuum seal and freeze that days catch. Since retirement we live in our motorhome about nine months a year. We fish most of the summer and enjoy our catch while we are in Arizona during the winter. Our wise reader caught the fact that we had four days limits while at Banks Lake and the law says you can only have two days limits in your possession while in the field or in transit. Are we breaking the law by spending some times a month at a time fishing different areas before heading back to Spokane? We process our fish each day and travel with a chest freezer and a smoker to keep up with the fish we catch. If I am breaking the law by having more than a two day catch of walleye or trout or kokanee or bass frozen in my motorhome at any given time while out on a long trip then it's time for me to stop fishing Washington State. What is the definition of being in the field when your primary home has wheels? ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

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Amx
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Amx » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:22 pm

It says on page 17

'possession limit for game fish is 2 daily limits in any form'


it doesn't say anything about traveling or being at home.

and the definition of 'possession' on page 11 doesn't say anything about 'home'. But I have seen a definition before.
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Larry3215
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Larry3215 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:28 pm

I could have sworn I read that a motor home was considered a residence, but then I just found this in the regs on pg 11:
Ordinary Residence A residential dwelling
where a person normally lives, with associated
features such as address, telephone number,
utility account, etc. A motorhome or camper
parked at a campsite is not considered to be an
ordinary residence.
and this about "in transit" on pg 10
In the Field or In Transit Anywhere other than
at an ordinary residence. Dockside fish cleaning
facilities, boat ramps, and cold storage lockers
are considered in the field.

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Amx
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Amx » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:32 pm

also page 11;

ordinary residence: a residential dwelling where a person normaly lives, with associated features such as address, telephone number, utility account, etc. A motorhome or camper parked at a campsite is not considered to be an ordinary residence.



But then my brother lives full time in a camping trailer. and has none of those 'associated features'.
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Larry3215
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Larry3215 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:34 pm

So that means no more multi-day camping/fishing trips? You have to go home after the second day?

hewesbob
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Re: Possession limits

Post by hewesbob » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:53 pm

My point exactly Larry

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G-Man
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Re: Possession limits

Post by G-Man » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:13 pm

I would venture to say that this particular law is violated quite often, and it isn't all that hard to unintentionally do so. Saving up a few limits of kokes or trout to smoke in a big batch? It can be hard to keep track of what you have in your freezer at home.

Although I suspect that most enforcement officers don't really care what you have in your freezer at home, there are some out there that just live to find a violation and this is one I recall being accused of violating during the last sockeye season. An overly zealous agent threatened me with a search of my home as he saw I had several limits of salmon recorded over a short period of time on my catch record card. (It probably didn't help that I mentioned we'd been checked twice already and he was holding up the line to leave the parking lot) He even went so far as to say he'd insist on seeing receipts if I claimed any of the fish were purchased. I found it hard to believe he didn't know with salmon one can have 40lbs in processed form in addition to 2 catch limits and figured he was just in full on intimidation mode. Point is, they are aware the law exists and if one rubs them the wrong way, can make your life difficult.

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Larry3215
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Larry3215 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:47 pm

The way I read it, you CAN have more than 2 daily limits as long as they are at your "residence" as defined above. Its everywhere else - like at a camp site or your motor home - where the rule is in effect.

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G-Man
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Re: Possession limits

Post by G-Man » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:26 am

That would be my interpretation given the definitions provided in the current regs. I guess now would be the time to start lobbying for a tweak to next year's rules pamphlet.

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Re: Possession limits

Post by hlindsay » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:44 am

I was not trying to start something, I wanted my comment to be a little reminder. You could have been eating the fish and kept to the possession limit. I would say by the law you would have to return to your (I'll call it) "home of record", where you get your mail, to be completely within the law.
It has been a few years ago that the WDFW changed it to a two day possession limit. I don't recall if it was 3 or 4 before but it was a big deal when they changed it. The resorts and other people who wanted to camp for a week and fish said this would shut things down. I don't know how much it is enforced, and I have only been lucky enough to bump in to it once. I too have had over zealous officers that don't know the law. I had one read from the regs to me and add parts he wanted, as tho he were reading it in the regs.
I think you may need to send a note to WDFW and see what they say. If you get an answer in your favor I would keep it in writing. Some other officer could say they were wrong. Just like the IRS they do not stand behind what they say on the phone.

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Larry3215
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Larry3215 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:43 am

After an over night cooling down, I can kind of understand where they are coming from with that rule. They dont want someone catching a limit and going ashore and sticking them in an ice chest in their camper/motor home then going back out again all day long. You could potentially catch an unlimited number of fish that way.

Still seems to penalize people who camp more than two day in a row.

ncwflounderer
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Re: Possession limits

Post by ncwflounderer » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:26 am

By "processing" your catch by cleaning and Vacuum sealing, Dating, and freezing it, I believe you are allowed to have more in your possession, if you had 4 days limit in your cooler you would be violating the law. I am not the law, but pretty sure that is how it works
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hewesfisher
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Re: Possession limits

Post by hewesfisher » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:28 am

Larry3215 wrote:The way I read it, you CAN have more than 2 daily limits as long as they are at your "residence" as defined above. Its everywhere else - like at a camp site or your motor home - where the rule is in effect.
This is correct. The possession limit specifically states, "In transit or in the field" which is also found in the definitions section of the regs pamphlet...
In the Field or In Transit - Anywhere other than at an ordinary residence. Dockside fish cleaning facilities, boat ramps, and cold storage lockers are considered in the field.
Note no mention of campsite or campground in the definition above. That is covered under the Ordinary Residence definition, so if one only reads the definition above, easy to overlook the gotcha part.

Possession limits do not apply to an "ordinary residence" (with the exception of salmon). I also thought a motorhome or camper at a campsite qualified until I started digging in the regs about 5yrs ago only to learn it did not. [blush]

Based on the regs, I believe the only way to circumvent the possession limit while in the field or in transit is to process your catch (and this may be stretching it)...
Processed Fish or shellfish that have been subjected to heat (including kippering, smoking, canning, and boiling).
***EDIT TO CORRECT. Page 17, Statewide Freshwater Species Rules, in yellow highlight to the right of Game Fish it states:
Possession limit for Game Fish is 2 daily limits in any form
So, processing by heat doesn't qualify either. [thumbdn]

Vacuum sealing and freezing do not qualify, something I always thought did until the same "lightbulb moment" I had 5yrs ago. I thought I was processing our catch by vacuum sealing and freezing. Now enlightened, if I'm actually in the field or in transit per the definition, I stick to the possession limit.

AMX - As long as your brother doesn't live full time in his camper parked at a campsite or campground it could still legally meet the definition and qualify as his ordinary residence. If he's living in a camper on his own property or in a trailer park, that qualifies as a residence. WDFW cannot require anyone to have a phone, or even utilities, for the purpose of defining an ordinary residence. Just look at how many people live off the grid these days and some don't even have a PO box.
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hewesfisher
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Re: Possession limits

Post by hewesfisher » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:37 am

ncwflounderer wrote:By "processing" your catch by cleaning and Vacuum sealing, Dating, and freezing it, I believe you are allowed to have more in your possession, if you had 4 days limit in your cooler you would be violating the law. I am not the law, but pretty sure that is how it works
No it does not, see my last post. [wink]
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ncwflounderer
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Re: Possession limits

Post by ncwflounderer » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:44 am

So, Hewesfisher, you knew that you can only have 2 day limit from your investigation into this subject 5 years ago, and then went to Banks and did the wrong thing anyway?? im not trying to Troll here, just make sense of this. Im pretty sure I read somewhere that "Processing" includes vacuum seal, date and Freeze.
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Amx
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Re: Possession limits

Post by Amx » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:51 am

hewesfisher wrote:
Larry3215 wrote: AMX - As long as your brother doesn't live full time in his camper parked at a campsite or campground it could still legally meet the definition and qualify as his ordinary residence. If he's living in a camper on his own property or in a trailer park, that qualifies as a residence. WDFW cannot require anyone to have a phone, or even utilities, for the purpose of defining an ordinary residence. Just look at how many people live off the grid these days and some don't even have a PO box.
Nope, he doesn't live in a campground, on private property.
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Re: Possession limits

Post by 4n6fisher » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:18 am

It is only salmon that you can freeze or process and have up to 40 lbs. in the field. Game fish such as trout walleye, etc. 2 daily limit possession in any form. So only if you are fishing for and processing salmon can you have more than 2 daily limits, without special rules. They did allow for 3-4 day limits of fresh spring chinook on the lower Columbia this year to encourage multi-day fishing trips since the catch limit was one fish.

NCWFlounderer, better check on which hewes you are calling out, it was hewesbob that had the question/issue and hewesfisher that figured that out 5 years ago. The processing/freezing you were referring to is just for salmon.

I can see the WDFW logic, but if you are travelling and camping for months at a time it seems you should be able to have more than two days worth if fish, guess we will need catch record cards for all species. That might help clear up when the fish were caught since you could always just back date the vacuum packs (not that you were, but more unscrupulous people could get away with poaching).

ncwflounderer
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Re: Possession limits

Post by ncwflounderer » Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:23 am

my mix-up- got the Hewes mixed up, didn't catch there was 2 different ones. btw i think both you guys put out great reports, and appear to practice excellent ethics when it comes to fishing law and any error therein was truly a mistake
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hewesfisher
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Re: Possession limits

Post by hewesfisher » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:49 am

Amx wrote:
hewesfisher wrote:
Larry3215 wrote: AMX - As long as your brother doesn't live full time in his camper parked at a campsite or campground it could still legally meet the definition and qualify as his ordinary residence. If he's living in a camper on his own property or in a trailer park, that qualifies as a residence. WDFW cannot require anyone to have a phone, or even utilities, for the purpose of defining an ordinary residence. Just look at how many people live off the grid these days and some don't even have a PO box.
Nope, he doesn't live in a campground, on private property.
IMO, that is his ordinary residence and not subject to the possession limit restriction, but I'm no judge. [laugh]
Phil

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Re: Possession limits

Post by Skaha » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:18 pm

--If you are going for weeks at a time and fishing why do you need more than two days catch. Why not eat them fresh.
--Not sure how your law works but in BC you can get someone else to transport your catch home for you by giving them a letter of permission...which includes your license number, where the fish were caught and where they are going.
--The intent is to stop people from basically commercial fishing on a recreational license.

--It can be a bother... this year I fished in a tournament on Lake Chelan. I wanted to pre fish the tournament but as I was visiting the area I could only have two day limit. Some species like kokanee had a no cull rule. I used single barbless hook to allow the fish to get off by giving slack line without bringing them into the boat. I would have had to eat a lot of fish the day before the two day tournament if I had boated any. Free bbq at the lodge we were staying at.

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