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Washington wildlife officials install new cameras to help catch poachers

Fish and Wildlife officers now get images and videos of the crimes as they happen thanks to cameras that provide live streaming images once they detect motion.

OLYMPIA, Wash — The state of Washington hopes a new high-tech tool will help protect the state’s natural resources.

Motion-activated cameras have recorded pictures and videos of people illegally fishing and hunting for years, but over the past year Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officers have updated their tools.

Officers now get images and videos of the crimes as they happen. The cameras provide live streaming images once they detect motion.

"I may be in my office an hour away and watch somebody… I’ll hop in my truck and respond," said WDFW Sgt. Kit Rosenberger, who patrols the Olympic Peninsula. 

He said the camouflage cameras, a little bigger than a deck of cards, have helped capture images of several people fishing in prohibited areas.

Rosenberger said some of the cameras are posted in remote areas, making it hard for officers to make it to the location while the poachers are still there.

But he said the more eyes the state has out in remote areas the better to help protect wildlife, and in some cases, endangered salmon. 

"All of us fish and wildlife officers got this job so we can ensure there’s fish for the future," said Rosenberger.

To report a violation to WDFW, click here.