Privacy statement

Section A. Introduction

Thank you for visiting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) website and reviewing our Privacy Notice. This statement addresses collection, use and security of and access to information that may be obtained through use of our website. This notice covers the following topics:

  1. Information Collected and How it is Used
  2. Personal Information and Choice
  3. Public Access to Information
  4. Public Access to Your Personal Information
  5. Review and Correction of Personally Identifiable Information
  6. Security
  7. Disclaimer and Copyright
  8. Contact Information
  9. Non-Discrimination clause

Section B. Information Collected and How it is Used

What information we collect if you only browse this site:

If you do nothing during your visit to our website but browse, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. We use the Internet Protocol Address to direct Internet traffic to you. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider (e.g. or;
  2. The type of browser and operating system you used;
  3. The date and time you visited this site;
  4. The web pages or services you accessed at this site.

The information we automatically collect or store is logged and used by WDFW only to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services. WDFW analyzes website logs to determine how our website is being used, so that we may continually improve the site's usefulness to the public.

What information we collect if you volunteer it:

If during your visit to our website you participate in a survey, send an email, or perform some other transaction online, some or all of the following additional information will be collected depending on the type of form, survey, or transaction you participate in:

  1. Your name
  2. Your age
  3. Your email address and the contents of your communication
  4. Your mailing address
  5. Your phone and fax number
  6. Your fishing or hunting license number
  7. Your vessel number
  8. Your Social Security Number
  9. Any other information volunteered by you

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us.

We use your email to respond directly to you, to address issues you identify in your email, to further improve our website, or to forward to another agency for appropriate action. At times WDFW may use online surveys to collect anonymous opinions and demographic information from users of our website. Information from other online forms is used to report problems with the website, communicate with WDFW, submit data to WDFW, request documents or information, join WDFW programs and mailing lists, and other similar actions.

Section C. Personal Information and Choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information online.

"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information.

We do not collect personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us email, completing an online form, or participating in a survey or online transaction. You may choose not to contact us by email, participate in a survey or provide any personal information using an online form. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse the WDFW website and read or download any information provided on the site. If you choose to not use email, participate in a survey or use an online form, you can contact the agency by mail or telephone [See the Contact Information in Section J of this statement.].

If personal information is requested on the website or volunteered by the user, this information is a public record once you provide it, and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by state or federal law.

If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact the WDFW as shown in the Contact Information section of this statement.

Information provided by children:

We at the WDFW are concerned about protecting children's privacy. We hope parents and teachers are involved in children's Internet explorations. It is particularly important for parents to guide their children when children are asked to provide personal information online. Portions of the WDFW website encourage children to send email messages to WDFW. We ask children to type their name, email address, and home mailing address as part of their message so that we can respond personally to them and provide requested information. Providing this personal information is entirely optional. We specifically ask children to get their parents' permission before providing any information on line -- at our site or any other site -- and hope parents will always be involved in those decisions. Most importantly, when children do provide information through the WDFW website, it is only used to enable us to respond to the writer, and not to create profiles of children.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered online or by email by children 13 and over will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access.

Section D. Public Access to Information

In Washington, laws exist to ensure that state government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs, including the privacy of individuals. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws.

All of the information collected at this site becomes public records that may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public, unless an exemption in law exists. The provisions of RCW 42.56.040 state that:

Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of subsection (6) of this section [RCW 42.17.070], RCW 42.56.230, 42.56.320, or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by RCW 42.56.230 and 42.56.320, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with RCW 42.56.230 and RCW 42.56.230 when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

Section E. Public Access to Your Personal Information

The Department of Fish and Wildlife may request or require you to provide certain personal information in order to obtain selected information or service from the agency. You may choose not to provide this information, but if you choose not to provide it we will be unable to provide the selected information or service, and you will have to seek the information or service in person or by other means.

Some public records requests may seek information that is exempt from disclosure. For a complete list of public records exemptions under the Public Disclosure Action see RCW 42.56.230.

Exemptions under RCW 42.56.230 that apply to the Department include but are not limited to the following:

  • Contents of real estate appraisals made for or by the Department for the purchase of property are exempt for up to three years
  • Records, maps or other information identifying archeological sites on Department lands
  • Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations and intra-agency memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated and recommended
  • All applications for employment with the Department including the names of applicants, resumes and other related materials submitted with respect to an applicant
  • Information that identifies a person who sought advice in connection to a possible unfair labor practice or the investigative records involved in an unfair labor practice investigation
  • Personal information in files maintained for employees, or appointees of the Department, that would violate their right to privacy.
  • Valuable formulae, designs, drawings and research data obtained by the Department within the past five years, if disclosure would produce private gain and public loss
  • Residential addresses and residential telephone numbers of employees or volunteers of the Department held in personnel records, employment or volunteer rosters, or mailing lists of employees or volunteers
  • Credit card numbers, debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates or bank or other financial account numbers supplied to the Department for the purpose of electronic transfer of funds, unless disclosure is expressly required by law.

Any open, ongoing or pending investigative files that have not been closed by a final order or administrative decision shall not be released.

Records pertaining to litigation when the Department is a party are exempt. If the requested records pertain to imminent litigation in which the Department will be a party, release of the records may be made only after review by an Assistant Attorney General. If the Department is party to a controversy, the Department may withhold documents that normally would be privileged under litigation discovery rules. A "controversy" includes threatened, actual, or completed litigation. This exception includes both the attorney-client privilege, and attorney work product. A document is work product if an attorney prepares it in confidence and in anticipation of litigation and if the requester could obtain substantially equivalent information by other means.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Public Disclosure Act or other law governing the agency's disclosure of records, the Public Disclosure Act or other applicable law will control.

Section F. Review and Correction of Personally Identifiable Information

You can review any personally identifiable information we collect about you by using the information in the Contact Information listed in Section J. You may recommend changes to your personally identifiable information you believe to be inaccurate by submitting a written request that credibly shows the inaccuracy. We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. (RCW 43.105.310).

Section G. Security

This agency takes precautions to safeguard personal information you provide through our web services.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via WDFW's website.

Section H. Disclaimer and Copyright

The WDFW website has many links to other websites. These include links to websites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the WDFW website and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Neither the State of Washington, nor any agency, officer, or employee of the State of Washington warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at their own risk. Publications placed on the WDFW website could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically made to the information contained herein; these changes will be incorporated in new editions of online publications.

Unless noted otherwise, all artwork, photographs and logos within this site are Copyrighted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, all rights reserved. Any person is hereby authorized to view, copy, print, and distribute documents on this site subject to the following conditions:

  1. The document may be used for informational purposes only.
  2. The document may only be used for non-commercial purposes.
  3. Any distributed copy of a web document or portion thereof must include the following notice:

"This is a reproduction of a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife document and is not the official document or regulations of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The accuracy of the reproduction cannot be guaranteed by WDFW."

Photos, artwork, documents, and other material not owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are used on this website by permission. All rights are reserved by the copyright holder. Unless otherwise indicated, no use of this material may be permitted by third parties without permission of the copyright holder.

Section I. WDFW Non-Discrimination Clause

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact WDFW's Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator at 360-902-2575, or by email: For more information, visit the Requests for Accessibility services page.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife receives Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the policy of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to adhere to the following: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The U.S. Department of the Interior, its bureaus, and WDFW prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical disability, reprisal, sexual orientation, status as a parent, and genetic information. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, service or facility, please contact the WDFW ADA Program Manager at PO Box 43139, Olympia, Washington 98504 within 45 calendar days of the alleged incident before filing a formal complaint, or write to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Civil Rights Coordinator, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: WSFR-4020, Arlington, VA 22203

Section J. WDFW Contact Information

You may contact WDFW in the following ways:

Basic communications:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Phone: 360-902-2200
FAX: 360-902-2156

Also visit the General contact information page for departmental email addresses, phone and fax numbers.

If you wish to contact us to review your personal information, or request correction of your personal information, contact:

Privacy Officer
Mail: WDFW Privacy Officer, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98514
Phone: 360-706-3385

Public Disclosure Officer
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Public Disclosure Officer
Mail: WDFW Public Disclosure Officer, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
FAX: 360-902-2171
Telephone: 360-902-2623

To offer comments about WDFW's website, or about the information presented in this Privacy Notice contact:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Phone: 360-902-8423