Knowing how to use it and other FAQs answered

Did you know that bear spray works as a deterrent for a lot of species, not just bears? Bear spray is a highly effective tool against all mammals and may be useful should you find yourself in a rare, but possible, unsafe wildlife encounter. We sometimes wish it was called “Wildlife Spray” because it is not just for bears. …


A tagged prize trout in the 2021 Trout Derby in a net after being caught.
Catch a prize trout with an orange tag through Oct. 31 and you’ll be a winner in the WDFW statewide Trout Derby. (WDFW)

The 2021 statewide Trout Derby is on now through Oct. 31 at more than 100 stocked lakes. The free annual event features over 70 participating businesses offering more than 1,000 prizes valued at over $38,000.

Read on for what makes this event a unique offering full of fun outings for you and yours, even if you’re new to fishing:

Take your time

1. This derby is not restricted to just a handful of days. It started April 24 and runs all the way through Oct. 31, so you have lots of time to try to catch a derby fish. …


WDFW recently partnered with Washington State Parks to host a live, virtual event to provide campers of all experience levels information about where to camp to find amazing Washington wildlife. Also included are the steps campers need to take once they get there to avoid negative interactions with wildlife.

The hour-long event was broadcast live from the campground at Millersylvania State Park, in Thurston County. If you missed out on the watching the live event, you can watch it on You Tube.

Are you ready to make the most of your camping trip this summer? …


A family hiking a mossy trail.
Opportunities for getting your kids outdoors with activities such as hiking are nearly endless in Washington.

Resources for connecting your kids with nature this year

As spring marches on toward the end of the school year, we wanted to share some ideas for filling your children’s summer days with fun in the sun in Washington’s great outdoors.

From the backyard to the backcountry, from streams to sea, there are nearly endless opportunities in our state to introduce your kids to life outdoors or cultivate an already growing interest.

Time spent connecting with nature can leave an indelible mark on a child’s upbringing and maybe even introduce parents to a new pastime. …


A large mule deer buck stands in a field of dry grass.
Special hunt applications are available for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, and wild turkey each year.

Applications, submissions open until May 26

With the deadline for submitting special hunt applications coming up fast on May 26, we wanted to detail the ways special hunts can enhance your hunting seasons and go over how the process works. Whether you are new to special hunt drawings, still on the fence about trying, or have just been meaning to get your applications in, read on for more on what special hunts can do for your hunting adventures.

Why apply?

Special hunting permit applications are available annually for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, and wild turkey, offering fantastic, quality hunting opportunities across the state.

If you…


Every year, a group of WDFW staff invites members of the public to help celebrate National Trails Day (June 5 this year), while benefitting young people interested in wildlife management.

The annual Dave Brittell Memorial Hike not only celebrates the legacy of WDFW biologist Dave Brittell, it also raises money for the scholarship fund his family organized, helping students further their education in wildlife management at northwest colleges. Organizing the event each year is a labor of love for WDFW Regional Director Steve Pozzanghera.


Financial assistance available for conservation practices on forestland

Logos for partners

Olympia, Wash. (May 17th, 2021) — The Southwest Washington Small Forest Lands Conservation Partnership (Partnership) announces a June 18th, 2021 application deadline for financial assistance to implement forestland conservation activities. Funding is provided through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

CSP is a voluntary and incentive-based program that provides technical and financial assistance through NRCS. The Partnership is focused on working with small forest landowners (non-industrial private forest landowners, NIPF) to improve forest health, water quality, and wildlife habitat. CSP pays a set annual payment over a 5-year contract to implement enhancements to…


Financial assistance available for conservation practices on forestland

Logos for partners

Olympia, Wash. (May 17th, 2021) — The Southwest Washington Small Forest Lands Conservation Partnership (Partnership) announces a June 18th, 2021 application deadline for financial assistance to implement forestland conservation activities. Funding is provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

EQIP is a voluntary and incentive-based program that provides technical and financial assistance through NRCS. The Partnership is focused on working with small forest landowners (non-industrial private forest landowners, NIPF) to improve forest health, water quality, and wildlife habitat. EQIP pays a set payment rate based on conservation practice cost for forest…


Young girl holding a rainbow trout she just caught in both her hands.

WDFW recently hosted a live, virtual event to introduce new or returning anglers to the basics they need to know to catch and cook lake trout, and provide anglers with an inside look at what goes into raising hatchery trout for anglers to catch and eat.

If you missed the live event, you can watch the entire event now:

Our first stop was at the WDFW Lakewood Hatchery. Jason Smith, South Puget Sound hatchery operations manager, provided information on what goes into raising rainbow trout that get stocked into Washington lakes. …


Spring 2021

Hello Everyone:

We have completed the 2021 legislative session and have tentatively set recreational and commercial salmon seasons.

WDFW’s funding is healthy for the next biennium — there are no cuts or furloughs, and we have received many new funded assignments. The Legislature passed several pieces of priority legislation for the Department, including important wins for fish and wildlife habitat. Now, the challenge turns to implementation. Department staff will be working hard to proceed with recruiting and contracting to ensure that we are able to ‘hit the ground running’ on July 1 to successfully deliver on these…

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store