Scientific Collection Permits

As specified in RCW 77.32.240WAC 220-200-150, and WAC 220-450-030, it is unlawful to collect fish, shellfish, or wildlife or their nests and/or eggs for the purpose of research or display without first obtaining a Washington state scientific collection permit.

"Wildlife" means all species of the animal kingdom whose members exist in Washington in a wild state. This includes but is not limited to mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. The term "wildlife" does not include feral domestic mammals, old world rats and mice of the family Muridae of the order Rodentia, or those fish, shellfish, and marine invertebrates classified as food fish or shellfish by the director. The term "wildlife" includes all stages of development and the bodily parts of wildlife members (RCW 77.08.010 (73)).

State scientific collection permits (SCP) are issued to scientists/researchers, educators/educational institutions, and museums, aquariums/zoos. They are NOT issued to the general public for collection/take of fish and/or wildlife. Under WAC 220-400-040, it is unlawful to possess wildlife found dead (unless with an appropriate hunting/fishing licenses and following the rules and regulations). One CAN collect/take naturally shed antlers of deer, elk, or moose without a scientific collection permit.

A Scientific Collection Permit is required for each project. A "project" is defined as a planned undertaking of common temporal or geographical activities to reach a common objective.

The scientific collection permit fee is $117 ($12 for the permit and a non-refundable $105 application fee). Permit processing time is no more than 60 days, pursuant to WAC 220-200-150Please plan ahead and take this time period into consideration when submitting your application. Applicants may NOT conduct project activities until a final permit has been issued.

The Scientific Collection Permit Application, instructions on how to complete the application and the Annual Report form are located in the box below. The application and permit are the same document.  The application/permit form needs to be completed electronically and submitted via email to Copies of any federal permits held by applicants must be submitted with application materials. 

Pursuant to WAC 220-200-150, approval or denial may take up to 60 days after receiving a complete application.

A Complete Permit Application Includes:

  1. Application, submitted via email (Microsoft Word only - no PDFs)
  2. Study Plan, submitted via email
  3. $117.00 application fee
  4. For those renewing applications, an Annual Report, submitted via email

Applications will be considered incomplete until all documents are submitted. Approval or denial of an application may take up to 60 days after receipt of a complete application.

The Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) has in-depth information about most environmental permits in their Regulatory Handbook. WDFW permit processing and issuing times can be found in the handbook and are also posted to ORIA's Permit Timeliness Data repository.

Permit application & reporting forms

  • Scientific Collection Permit Application (MS Word)
    SCP Applications are only accepted in the Microsoft Word permit application form provided here. PDFs are not acceptable. Please read and follow the updated application and study plan instructions provided here.
  • Annual Report Form (MS Excel)
    An annual report must be submitted to the department upon completion of the research or display project, and must be received by the department no later than 60 days after the expiration of the permit. The MS Excel version of the department Annual Report Form must be submitted via email to The report form contains three different tabs.  One tab is for fishes and aquatic invertebrates, a second tab is for all wildlife species and terrestrial invertebrates but excluding reptiles and amphibians, and the third tab is for reptiles and amphibians.  The annual report is due before a renewal permit is issued.

Scientific Collection Permit applications and the MS Excel version of the annual report must be emailed to

Payment may be made by credit card via phone or by check or money order via mail:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Licensing Division 
Attn: SCP 
PO Box 43154
Olympia, WA 98504-3154

If you have questions or would like to pay your fees with a credit card please contact:

Phone: 360-902-2464, Option 1