New Support for Game Wardens on Washington’s Coastal Rivers

Good news: The Wild Steelhead Coalition just helped out WDFW do a better job of going after poachers.


In 2019, the Wild Steelhead Coalition donated a collection of trail cameras, spotting scopes, and a new raft and oars to the Washington Department of Fish and Game (WDFW) Law Enforcement Detachment responsible for safeguarding the rivers, coastal waters, and forests of the Olympic Peninsula and Hood Canal. These game wardens are responsible for vast amounts of territory and the equipment was immediately, and effectively, put to use by the team.

This summer the new rafts were used to great effect, providing the means to effectively patrol smaller rivers. On a day when a number of citations for violations were written, Officer Patrick Murray holds up a wild chinook an angler had kept after cutting off the adipose fin. Photo courtesy WDFW Police

Over the following two years, the cameras and raft allowed law enforcement officers to greatly expand their reach and led to increased enforcement against illegal fishing, hunting, logging, and other wildlife violations and numerous poaching arrests. Encouraged by this success, the Wild Steelhead Coalition reached out to our colleagues at the Wild Salmon Center and Wild Steelheaders United of Trout Unlimited and our friends at Simms, Outcast Boats, and Sawyer Paddles & Oars to expand the impact of the original donation with a larger, additional gift in 2021.

After working with WDFW Law Enforcement staff to ensure we provided helpful tools to enforce regulations and find poachers, our group of conservation organizations and business partners have donated a new collection of equipment that includes a pair of small one-person rafts, multiple sets of waders and boots for game wardens, new oars for an existing drift boat, almost forty trail and security cameras, and a drone. Combined, the equipment has a retail value over $20,000 and gives WDFW Law Enforcement – especially with the drone – the ability to survey a much wider geographical area, and many more miles of river, than might otherwise be possible.

This larger inventory of gear also means the cameras can be spread further afield. The new cameras will be utilized on the Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal, and throughout the Chehalis River Basin. A few will also go to North Puget Sound where they may be deployed on the Skagit and Sauk Rivers, and other watersheds depending on the need, as well.

As fishery groups, we are particularly interested in this new equipment’s ability to provide important, necessary protections for Washington’s struggling populations of wild steelhead and salmon, but in the off-season it will all also assist WDFW Law Enforcement in their work to protect big and small game animals and non-game wildlife, prevent illegal timber harvest, and discover and document unpermitted hydraulic projects that damage watershed and shoreline habitat.

Read the rest of the story and see additional photos at:

Goodbye to Larry Doyle

My next door neighbor, and friend Larry Doyle, quietly passed away this month. He was a man that was very involved in supporting the protection of our streams for the protection of his beloved steelhead salmon, that he fished for over many years. I liked Larry a lot. I will miss running into him on my daily walks. I wish his wife Darlene good health and all the best to his extended family. Here’s a bit of his obit from the Seattle Times. The link to the rest is below. 


Lawrence Bissell DOYLE, Jr.

Lawrence Bissell Doyle, Jr, “Larry”, of Port Townsend, WA, died peacefully in his sleep February 3, 2014, from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Larry was diagnosed more than ten years ago and given only another five years to live. He amazed his doctors and family by beating the odds of his prognosis with a fierce determination & love of life. 

Larry was born February 24, 1936 in Mount Vernon, New York, to Lawrence Bissell Doyle, Senior and Helen Hansen Doyle. Larry spent his childhood fishing and exploring the waters of New England with his father. He obtained his Mechanical Engineering degree from Tufts University in Massachusetts in 1958. He left New England to start his career with Boeing in Seattle, where he met his wife of 48 years Darlene Adora Driver.

A memorial service is planned for family and friends in Seattle, WA. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that tax-deductible donations be sent to Wild Steelhead Coalition,, or to Project Healing Waters,

Please sign Larry’s online Guestbook at

Full obit at