WDFW COVID-19/Coronavirus response and updates

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is keeping the health and well-being of all Washingtonians in mind as the state comes together in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). See Department of Health guidance and the new statewide joint response website.

Closures and restrictions

Updated 3:30 p.m. June 2, 2020

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will reopen some recreational fishing and hunting in a phased approach following the state’s efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus. The department is asking hunters and anglers to enjoy these outdoor activities only if they can do so locally, while also practicing physical distancing.

WDFW Offices and Facilities

  • WDFW offices: Regional offices and the Olympia headquarters office remain closed to the public until further notice. Staff will not be available for walk-in services but are still on the clock, and available by telephone. If you need to pick up an item, they may still be available to assist you. For phone and email contact information, please see our Contact Us webpage.
  • Hatcheries: WDFW fish hatcheries are closed to the public.

Fishing and Shellfishing

Hunting

  • Hunting seasons: Local hunting for turkey and spring bear opened on May 5. Spring turkey season will end on May 31, as originally scheduled.
  • Spring bear hunts: Spring bear special permit seasons are extended until June 30. Spring bear hunters who would normally travel outside their local areas to hunt may wait to see how travel guidance evolves, or seek a permit refund and reclaim their points if they are unable to hunt while meeting local hunting recommendations. Permit hunters are responsible for securing access, which may not be available for all or for the added season dates.
  • Sealing bobcats and river otters: Successful hunters/trappers must contact a WDFW office for pelt sealing and submit the associated harvest report to the department by July 20. (The previous date was April 20.)

WDFW-Managed Lands

License Sales

  • License sales: Buy a license by phone at 360-902-2464 or online at: https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/#/login
  • Non-resident license sales: License sales to out-of-state residents resumed as of June 1, 2020. Read more in the news release.
  • Hunting license and permit refunds: Hunters can get a refund and/or point restoration by calling the Wildlife Program Customer Service desk at 360-902-2515 or email wildthing@dfw.wa.gov.

News

Resources

  • WDFW's event calendar has updated information on commission meetings, advisory group meetings, and other public meetings. 
     
  • See the Center for Disease Control information for information on this disease and animal concerns. WDFW veterinarians and emergency response staff have been serving as a part of the response management team helping to inform necessary precautions regarding the COVID-19/coronavirus situation in Washington.