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 statewide joint response website.

Closures and restrictions

Updated 1 p.m., Aug. 5, 2020

WDFW reopened most recreational fishing, hunting, wildlife areas, and water access areas in a phased approach following the state’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

7 tips to recreate responsibly

Please recreate responsibly this summer to protect yourself, others, and the outdoors. 

WDFW Offices and Facilities

  • Employee furloughs: Many WDFW employees will be furloughed on Aug. 14, Sep. 4, Oct. 30, and Nov. 25. Services will be impacted. WDFW enforcement officers remain on duty.
  • 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, visit the Contact Us webpage.
  • Hatcheries: WDFW fish hatcheries are closed to the public.

Fishing and Shellfishing


  • Hunter Education and Master Hunter Permit Program: WDFW is currently not able hold Master Hunter Permit Program exams, hunter education classes, and engage volunteers in a very limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to current circumstances and uncertainty as to when the situation may improve, the department has canceled the 2020 open application period.

WDFW-Managed Lands

  • Wildlife areas & water access areas: WDFW wildlife areas and boat ramps are open. 
  • Camping: Most Phase 2 and Phase 3 counties are open for camping. However, the following counties have decided to stay closed to camping until further notice: Island and San Juan.
  • Facilities: Visitors, anglers, and hunters should only venture out well-prepared. WDFW recommends that people bring their own hand washing supplies, toilet paper, and a face mask, and be prepared to change plans if sites appear congested.
  • Reporting problems on WDFW-managed lands and boat launches: Report issues online

License Sales

  • License sales: Buy a license by phone at 360-902-2464 or online at: https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/#/login, or at any open license dealer.
  • Non-resident license sales: License sales to out-of-state residents resumed June 1, 2020. Read more in the news release.


  • 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.