male harlequin duck floating on water
male harlequin duck floating on water
Harlequin duck, photo credit: Jim Cummings

WDFW recently hosted a virtual waterbird event promoting watchable wildlife, hunting opportunities, and wildlife conservation partnerships.

If you missed it, don’t worry, because it was recorded, and you can watch the entire event at your convenience on our YouTube channel.

The first stop of our virtual fly-over was estuarine shoreline at Three Crabs, part of WDFW’s Dungeness Wildlife Area Unit, in Sequim. Directions and more information about Three Crabs can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/wildlife-areas/dungeness-wildlife-area-unit. Our host at Three Crabs, Bob Boekelheide, is a member of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society. …


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January/February 2021

Hello all,

Here we are — it’s no longer 2020 (thank goodness!), and we continue to roll up our sleeves to work for wildlife, fish, habitat, and you.

We continue to face steep conservation and management challenges. For instance, Washington salmon face habitat degradation, a climate-impacted ocean, fish passage barriers, and heightened predation at artificial pinch-points — to name just a few.

Today, 10 sub-species of at-risk salmon and steelhead are failing to make progress — a reality that impacts the broader ecosystem as well as salmon fishing opportunities. …


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Wolf populations are slowly returning across Washington State. Populations are steadily growing, which means wolves are dispersing into new areas and forming new packs. No matter where you live in the state, chances are good that, eventually, you will have wolves living in the back country of your region.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff conduct an annual population survey of wolves each winter when wolf populations experience the least amount of natural fluctuation.


Perch are piled on the ice at a fishing hole.
Perch are piled on the ice at a fishing hole.
These perch were caught at Curlew Lake in December 2020.

Head out on both sides of the Cascades for angling action

By Danny Garrett, Randy Osborne, Bill Baker, Mike Schmuck, Ryan Fortier, and Travis Maitland/WDFW

Winter fishing in Washington doesn’t get nearly the attention as spring, summer, or fall, but many lakes and reservoirs offer excellent wintertime fishing for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, yellow perch, walleye, burbot, crappie, and more during February and early March.

Eastern Washington tips

During a typical December, lakes and bays in Eastern Washington begin to freeze, providing ideal conditions for ice fishing into January and February. …


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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently sent out a news release on an outbreak of salmonellosis that is killing wild finches in the northwest. The response to that announcement was huge. Not only did our phones ring off the hook at the department, and emails pour in, but we heard from several Audubon Society chapters and other birding groups that they were having the same experience.

We also received many, many reports of dead or sick birds to our online reporting tool. …


How a new expert panel is working provide “policy-relevant” science

To make hard decisions, it’s important to try and answer the tough questions first. That’s why the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is partnering with the Puget Sound Institute to convene a group of science experts to take on challenging water availability questions.

Over the next year, this science panel will address questions about the impacts of population growth and climate change on water availability and flows in streams and rivers. This work will help support decision makers in developing effective policies now and in the future.

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Get to know behavior, hunting methods for chukar, gray partridges

Though the season for singing about partridges in pear trees is behind us, there is some time remaining in the Eastern Washington gray partridge and chukar hunting season, so we wanted to share a closer look at pursuing these birds and their biology.

Jan. 18 marks the last chance for chukar and gray (Hungarian) partridge hunting this season, so we’ve gathered information from WDFW biologists for the benefit of both seasoned and new hunters making a late-season push.

A chukar perched on rocks scans its surroundings
A chukar perched on rocks scans its surroundings
Chukar, like this one seen in the Swakane Unit of the Chelan Wildlife Area, prefer dry, rocky, steep terrain. (Alan L. Bauer)

Hunting chukar partridge

Chukars are native to Asia and Southern Europe, and they thrive in dry, rocky, steep country with an emphasis on steep. Although…


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Cascade red fox with silvery-black fur and white-tipped tail. Photo by M. Reid

By Alex Biswas

These days, an increasing number of us are escaping to the outdoors. Contribute to conservation on your hike by reporting your wildlife observations to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

These data provide scientists with information that can be used to study changes in our ecosystems. The recent wildfires have been devastating to Washingtonians — both human and wildlife. We need your help now more than ever.

Please remember to #RecreateResponsibly to protect yourself, others, and the outdoors.

“How do I report a wildlife observation?”

Reporting an observation is easy! Take a look at our…


Give ice fishing a try!

Perch are piled on the ice at a fishing hole.
Perch are piled on the ice at a fishing hole.
Perch caught at Curlew Lake in December of 2020.

If you’re like many eastern and north central Washington residents, you are trying to social distance from other people but growing restless with being cooped up inside with limited sources of entertainment. And you still have at least a few more winter months ahead. This year embrace winter and try something new; ice fishing. This sport makes it easy to avoid people, it’s outside, is relaxing, and inexpensive. And with some safety precautions, you can be doing it safely in no time.

With the recent freeze-thaw cycle, you still need to wait to get out on the ice until temperatures…


A finished dish of wild turkey enchiladas rests on a counter
A finished dish of wild turkey enchiladas rests on a counter
Read on for Bob Krajczynski’s wild turkey enchilada recipe. (Bob Krajczynski)

Hunters share field-to-table recipes for resident game birds

Today we are celebrating upland bird and turkey recipes from fellow hunters who heard our call to share their culinary craft with other outdoorsmen and women.

Whether it was a tasty forest grouse recipe for camp cooking or a full-on wild turkey dinner, we asked hunters to send in their favorite recipes and they answered.

So, if you had a good season already and have some birds in the freezer or are getting in late-season hunts for quail, chukar, gray partridge, or pheasant in Eastern Washington before those seasons close Jan. 18…

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.

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