To serve Washington’s citizens by achieving compliance
with laws relating to fish and wildlife, providing responsive
public service, promptly resolving conflicts between
humans and wildlife, and by forming partnerships with
the public and with other agencies to benefit fish and
Fish and Wildlife Officers (FWOs) are general authority
peace officers deployed to six regions throughout the
state and a Marine Division. During the 2005-2007 biennium,
the Enforcement Program has employed 156 full-time employees.
Of these, 138 are commissioned FWOs and 16 are non-commissioned
employees; these include four Hunter Education staff,
two aircraft pilots, two vessel/vehicle shop staff and
eight administrative support and professional staff.
Temporary, part-time staff of 2 full-time equivalent
positions provide support for Hunter Education and deer/elk
herding and hazing. Currently, 89% of the Enforcement
Program staff is field deployed.
The primary role of the Enforcement Program is to
preserve, protect, and perpetuate Washington’s
fish and wildlife. However, FWOs also respond to public
safety issues such as dangerous wildlife conflicts,
natural disasters (including floods, fires, and severe
storms), critical incidents, and general law enforcement
calls for service. FWOs are highly mobile and are
frequently deployed temporarily to various areas within
the state to address fish and wildlife law enforcement
Officers provide first response to human/wildlife
conflicts including bear and cougar complaints, deer
and elk damage to crops, problem wildlife incidents,
and other public safety issues. Fish and Wildlife
Officers are often called upon to assist their local
city, county, and other state law enforcement agencies,
tribal authorities, and federal agencies.
On an average, officers currently make more than
225,000 enforcement contacts annually.
The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Program is primarily
responsible for enforcing Title
77 - the Fish and Wildlife Code. FWOs are also
empowered to enforce all criminal laws, including
traffic violations, drugs, and warrants for arrest.
Officers hold county commissions and are charged with
enforcing county ordinances as they relate to trespass,
hunting, fishing, and boating safety.
Officers also hold federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife
and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) commissions,
and have jurisdiction over federal violations, the
most important of which are the Endangered Species
Act and the Lacey Act. Officers work joint patrols
and coordinate with these agencies and the U.S. Coast
For more information, please see our Annual
Age: Applicant must be 21 years old prior
to being employed
Health: Applicant must be able to physically
perform the duties of a Fish and Wildlife Officer,
including passing the Physical Ability Test required
for entry into the Academy. A successful applicant
must also pass a medical examination and a psychological
A Bachelor's degree (natural resource science
or criminal justice preferred)
A two-year college degree, and two years of paid,
full-time, natural resource experience or two years
of paid, full-time, commissioned law enforcement
Must be a United States citizen and have the ability
to read and write the English language.
For more information, visit our Recruitment page.
We are currently Recognized by the Commission on Accreditation
for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA),
and we are working toward achieving full accreditation
in December 2008. This means achieving the highest
recognized standards for a law enforcement agency
and involves training, policy development, and operational
Our goal is to institutionalize community policing,
known as Resource-Oriented Enforcement, at WDFW. This
means that an officer in the field works within the
community as a partner with city and county government
and constituents to solve problems at the local level.
In order to do this, we need officers in more of our
For more information, please review the agency Strategic