OLYMPIA—Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices will close Monday, Oct. 11, for the fourth statewide, unpaid, employee-layoff day.
During the closure, WDFW wildlife areas and water-access sites will remain open for public use, but WDFW hatcheries will not be open to the public. Fishing and hunting licenses will remain available for purchase online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ and at retail vendors.
Ten statewide, temporary layoff days are mandated by ESSB 6503 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6503), adopted by the 2010 Legislature to help balance the state budget in the face of a revenue shortfall.
WDFW enforcement officers are exempt from the temporary layoffs under the law. WDFW also has exempted fish counters who distinguish various species of salmon as they move past Columbia River hydropower dams. The fish counting is federally required and federally funded, and must be conducted consistently as salmon pass the dams. Certain WDFW employees who feed animals or perform other tasks critical to resource management will take alternate temporary layoff days.
The next 2010 temporary layoff day is Dec. 27. Temporary layoff dates in 2011 are Jan. 28, Feb. 22, March 11, April 22 and June 10. Previous employee layoff days were July 12, Aug. 6 and Sept. 7.
More information on state office closures associated with the temporary layoff is available at http://www.ofm.wa.gov/layoff/default.asp.