Lands actively managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) host a variety of uses for Washington’s public. These lands exist to preserve Washington’s natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and foster outdoor experiences and exploration throughout the state. Your fish and wildlife lands support the species and habitats of Washington and ensure they prosper well into the future.
Part of the role of serving as stewards for Washington’s natural places includes determining how to balance public uses with protecting the state’s land and water for wildlife and people. That is why certain activities require a permit from WDFW.
Public use of WDFW lands for fishing, hunting, fish and wildlife appreciation, and other outdoor recreational opportunities compatible with healthy and diverse fish and wildlife populations (not commercial) does not require a permit unless it involves a group of more than 30 people (see WAC 220-500-010 and WAC 220-500-070). Group activities of more than 30 people require a permit, but do not need to pay a fee. Educational and scientific uses require a Right of Entry so WDFW can be aware of the activity and prevent conflicts.
Commercial use of department lands requires a permit and a fee (see WAC 220-500-060). Fee amounts will vary depending on the nature of the use and other factors (length of time, number of participants, fragility of the habitat, etc.). Speak with a regional lands agent for more information on fees and other requirements.
The following activities will require a permit if they are for commercial purposes. If they are not commercial, a temporary permit is required if the group is larger than 30 people.
- Access site use for boat sales, rafting trips, and races
- Collecting plants, seeds, and pollen
- Construction staging
- Dog training
- Commercial and recreational events (races, treks, etc.)
- Field trials
- Guided hunts
- ORV use
- Guided recreation (hiking, horseback riding, climbing, etc.)
- Road use
- Shuttle services
- Soils testing
- Vendors (food, gear, etc.)
- Wood gathering
Please note: there are WDFW lands where some or all of the above uses may be prohibited due to natural or cultural resource impacts, safety, or other impact concerns.
As stated above, all permits and rights of entry may be obtained from a WDFW lands agent in the appropriate region. You can also contact the nearest WDFW regional office for more information.
Region 1 - Eastern Washington
509-892-7854, ext. 338
Region 2 - North Central Washington
Region 3 - South Central Washington
Region 4 - North Puget Sound
425-775-1311, ext. 125
Region 5 - Southwest Washington
Region 6 - Coastal Washington