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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


August 19, 1997
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360)902-2407

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Streamlining, automation propopsed for fishing and hunting licenses

OLYMPIA -- Buying a state hunting or fishing license could be a simpler process by 1999 under proposals being considered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and now up for public review.

The department is considering two ways of streamlining license buying simplifying the license structure and eventually automating the license system.

Three alternative fishing license simplification packages are being considered:

  • A basic license package with enhancement fees for premium species such as salmon and steelhead.
  • Flat rate licenses for freshwater and saltwater fishing with pro-rated enhancement fees incorporated into the license.
  • Saltwater licenses that include the full Puget Sound enhancement fee and freshwater licenses that include the full warmwater enhancement fee and individual species fees.
Currently, fish licenses are divided into food fish or game fish categories with an additional system of catch record cards and enhancement fees which vary by fish species and location. The current system requires fishers to know and declare in advance the species they will catch in order to purchase the appropriate documents.

A similar effort is being made to repackage hunting licenses into a streamlined format. The alternative hunting packages include a separation between big game and small game species and also allow for more bear and cougar hunting opportunities.

The automation proposal, dubbed Washington Integrated License Database (WILD), could result in a computerized licensing system with credit card-size licenses. The WILD card would bear basic identification information and provide a recreational user number that could access a data base with a cardholder's current license information.

Catch record cards and transport tags also are being reviewed for simplification.

The department is seeking public comment on the automation and license structure simplification proposals. Members of the public who wish to review and participate in these surveys should send a request in writing by Sept. 15 to Maria Hug, Automated Sportsmen's Database System (ASDS) Project Leader, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091 or call (360) 902-2433.