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Washington Hunters And Anglers Find More Secure, But Glitchy New Licensing System

Washington state rolled out a new, more secure online system for hunting and fishing licenses last month, but it hasn't been entirely seamless.
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Washington state rolled out a new, more secure online system for hunting and fishing licenses last month, but it hasn't been entirely seamless.

Last summer, a hacker gained access to personal information tied to hunting and fishing licenses in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. The breach involved 7 million records.

Since then, Washington rolled out a new, more secure online system last month, but it hasn’t been entirely seamless.

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife had already planned to upgrade its online licensing system before the hack. Peter Vernie manages the Department’s Licensing Division. and he admitted there have been a few glitches.

“We had some duplication of licenses,” he said. “We had some problems getting some catch record cards to print.”

Now, hunters and anglers need usernames and passwords, and that’s caught a few off guard.

The agency couldn’t start selling 2017 licenses online December 1, as it usually does, because the system wasn’t quite ready. But Vernie said he doesn’t expect that will impact sales or revenue.

Close to a million people buy nearly 2.5 million hunting and fishing license each year. Vernie said that brings in roughly $55 million in revenue.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.