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


Financial assistance available for conservation easements and conservation practices on forestland

Olympia, Wash. (April 30th, 2021) — The Southwest Washington Small Forest Lands Conservation Partnership (Partnership) set the application deadline for financial assistance to implement forestland conservation easement activities to June 30. The Partnership is focused on working with small forest landowners (non-industrial private forest landowners (NIPF)) and Indian Tribes to improve forest health, water quality, and wildlife habitat. Funding is provided through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP).

The Healthy Forests Reserve Program is a voluntary and incentive-based program that provides technical and financial assistance through NRCS. This HFRP is focused on conserving habitat…


A new hunter talks about her journey

LiLi Wong is pictured with two turkeys she harvested on a WDFW mentored hunt.
LiLi Wong is pictured with two turkeys she harvested on a WDFW mentored hunt.
LiLi Wong started hunting with pheasants, graduated to turkey, and is getting ready for her first elk hunt.

If you’re new to hunting or just considering giving it a try, the reasons for starting out can be as unique as each hunter.

Highlighting one of the many paths into hunting, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife interviewed LiLi Wong of Seattle, a new hunter, to detail a few of the diverse reasons people get into hunting and to share a success story in the hopes of inspiring others to dive in.

Tom Ryle, WDFW’s sales and marketing manager, interviewed LiLi about what motivated her to try hunting, first-hunt memories, stumbling blocks to starting out, what’s next, favorite…


A new study seeks to understand how trout live — and die — in dozens of Western Washington lakes, and the angling public can help.

An acoustically tagged rainbow trout post-surgery.

Just in time for the statewide lowland lakes opener and the beginning of trout season, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is conducting a first-of-its-kind study to evaluate the movement and behavior of triploid and diploid rainbow trout in 29 Western Washington lakes — and we’re asking for help from the angling public.

Triploid trout — so called because they have three sets of chromosomes instead of the normal two (diploid) — are sterile fish that WDFW stocks in some lakes to help reduce interaction with native species living in the same waters. …


A proposed land donation from TransAlta would provide public access for recreation and benefit fish and wildlife conservation

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is interested in creating a new wildlife area in southwest Washington to benefit wildlife and people. TransAlta, a power company that owns the Centralia Mine property in Thurston and Lewis counties, is considering a 6,500-acre land donation to WDFW.

“The donation of this property to WDFW aligns with TransAlta’s commitment to sustainability,” said Mickey Dreher, President of TransAlta USA. “We believe a long-term wildlife area is the best use of this property and would greatly benefit the community now and into the future.”

If WDFW receives the 6,500-acre land donation from TransAlta…


Spring is a busy time for wildlife; especially black bears as they emerge from their winter dens hungry and in search of calories after five months of not eating. During this time of increased activity, it is important for homeowners and hikers to secure un-natural food sources to reduce bear encounters.

Black bears typically den from late October to early April and are hungry when they emerge from their dens. During hibernation bears may lose up to 40 percent of their body weight as females also give birth to their offspring while they are in their dens.

When they emerge…


David Hoel dreamed of working for Washington Department of Game (now Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, WDFW) after high school. After two years of college, he applied, but the Department of Game (as it was then called) wasn’t hiring. He went to work as an electrician, a carpenter, and later he owned a picture framing shop. The idea of working for the Department of Game kept tugging at him. David wanted to be a game warden or work in wildlife research. …


A bull elk bugles
A bull elk bugles

Applications available until March 31

Make this year’s big-game hunting season one to remember by entering the WDFW Multi-season deer and elk tags drawings.

Multi-season deer and elk tag applications offer you a chance to extend your hunting season and get in on special hunts under any weapon type.

Why apply?

If selected for the 2021 Multi-season tag, you can hunt in any open unit during all general seasons starting with archery, then muzzleloader, and finally modern firearm, to get in more hunting days and increase your odds of success. The bag limit is still one animal.

If selected, you also can:

· Apply for special hunts…


How to protect wildlife and their habitats when exploring public lands

Large male elk, also known as bulls, have started to shed their antlers as spring arrives, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) asks shed hunters to avoid disturbing elk and collect antlers responsibly.

Washington State is home to two subspecies of elk: Roosevelt elk and Rocky Mountain elk.

Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) are found in the coastal ranges of the Olympic peninsula and the western slopes of the Cascade Range. Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) are primarily found in mountain ranges and the shrubsteppe of Eastern Washington.

Rocky Mountain elk are primarily found in mountain ranges and the shrubsteppe of Eastern Washington.

The antlers of a bull elk grow during…

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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