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.
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.
- Saltwater licenses that include the full Puget Sound enhancement fee and
freshwater licenses that include the full warmwater enhancement fee and
individual species fees.
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
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