Harlequin Duck Hunting Permit

Male Harlequin duck
Photo by Jim Cummins

WDFW has developed a new limited-user entry permit system to regulate the total number of harlequin ducks harvested during the duck season at levels designed to maintain long-term sustainable harvest opportunities. WDFW has approved 38 harlequin duck permits for the 2024-2025 duck season. These permits will be distributed through a drawing that all eligible applicants may enter.

Apply for a harlequin duck hunting permit from July 1 through August 14, 2024.

Drawing is scheduled to be conducted in late August 2024.

How to apply

  1. Login to your Wild account.
  2. Navigate to "Purchase a license, tag, or permit."
  3. Search catalogue items in the Special Hunts section.
  4. Add Catalogue Item 508, Harlequin Duck Hunt Application to your cart.
  5. If you do not already have the following, you will be prompted to add them to your cart as mandatory prerequisite purchases:
    1. Small game hunting license
    2. Migratory bird permit
    3. Migratory bird authorization
  6. Complete the check out process.
  7. After you complete your transaction, return to your Wild profile and select "Special Hunts" in the left-hand column under "Licenses, permits, tags, and applications."
  8. "2024 Harlequin Duck" will be listed as a special hunt you are eligible to apply for. Click "Submit."
  9. On the Hunt Choice dropdown menu, select "6500." Select "Next."
  10. On the next screen, select "Submit."

Important information:

  • Application is free.
  • Every eligible individual is allowed ONE application.
  • Incomplete, ineligible, or inaccurate applications will not be accepted or entered into the drawing.

If successfully drawn:

  • Successful applicants must obtain the harlequin duck permit mandatory harvest report card to legally harvest a harlequin duck.
  • Hunters with a harlequin duck permit harvest report card may harvest ONE harlequin duck during approved duck season hunting dates in Washington.
  • Hunters who have previously been selected for a harlequin duck permit must wait three seasons after their selected license year to apply for a new harlequin duck permit.
  • Successful permit/harvest record card holders are strongly encouraged to report as soon as possible by reporting online through your Wild account. Mandatory harvest reports are due February 15, 2025.


From 2004 to 2022, sea duck hunters had a limit of one harlequin duck per season. WDFW monitored harvest through the annual sea duck mandatory harvest report required of all sea duck hunters.

During the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 seasons, harlequin duck harvest rates exceeded a five percent threshold set by the WDFW Sea Duck Harvest Management Strategy endorsed by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2013. This higher harvest rate indicated that more restrictive hunting regulations would need to be set to maintain the harlequin duck population status while providing long-term sustainable harvest opportunities.

No harlequin duck hunting was authorized in the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 duck seasons not over concern for the population status, but because the Department had no method of keeping the harvest rate below the five percent threshold without limiting the number of individual sea duck hunters allowed to pursue this particular species. The new limited entry permit system allows the Department to regulate the number of harlequin duck hunters and maintain harlequin duck harvest under the five percent threshold.

WDFW continues annual long-term survey efforts to monitor sea ducks in Washington’s waters of the Salish Sea. These data are used to determine appropriate levels of sea duck harvest.