Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offers online hunting tips

OLYMPIA – Wildlife biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have compiled the best information available to help hunters have a successful hunting season.

Those reports, which include information for every region of the state, can be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/ .

“This is one of the best planning resources available for hunting in Washington,” said Dave Ware, game manager for WDFW.

The reports include information on deer, elk, waterfowl, turkey, upland birds and other species, as well as suggestions on techniques and places to hunt, and other details that will help hunters improve their chances in the field.

“We encourage hunters to spend time reviewing all the information, not just familiar hunting areas,” adds Ware. “Washington has an incredible diversity of habitats and game populations. These prospects provide insights into all the locations and species to hunt.” 

Staff reports are available for all 17 wildlife districts in the state. Each district has at least one biologist responsible for monitoring local wildlife populations and recommending appropriate seasons, based on criteria such as past hunter success and typical weather patterns.

Hunters should pay attention to reports from districts, such as District 6, that were affected by this summer’s wildfires. Those reports include information on hunter access and adjustments to hunting permits.

Additional resources at WDFW’s website include:

Anglers can keep two Chinook off Westport beginning August 18th

Starting Monday, Aug. 18, anglers fishing in ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

With that change, anglers will be allowed to keep two chinook per day in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2), La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4). 

Those fishing Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will continue to be limited to one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit. 

All ocean areas are open to salmon fishing seven days per week. Wild coho must be released in all four areas.

Ron Warren, fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the previous daily limit of one chinook off Westport was designed to ensure the fishery would remain open the entire season.

“We’ve kept a close eye on the pace of catch in the area,” Warren said. “With sufficient quota remaining, we want to maximize the recreational fishing opportunity through the rest of the season.” 

Ocean salmon fisheries are scheduled to continue through Sept. 30 in marine areas 1 and 2 and through Sept. 21 in marine areas 3 and 4. However, a portion of Marine Area 3 will reopen Sept. 27 through Oct. 12.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the season and will announce any other changes on WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_saltwater.j .

Additional information on the ocean fishery, including minimum size limits and catch guidelines, is available in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson to resign at end of year

After nearly six years at the helm, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Phil Anderson has informed the state Fish and Wildlife Commission he will resign from his position, effective Dec. 31.

“Deciding when to move on is a difficult decision,” Anderson said. “But after 20 great years with the department, the time is right for me to step aside. I will leave knowing that the talented people I have had the privilege to work with here at WDFW are fully capable of taking on the challenges that lie ahead.”

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will begin the recruitment process for a new director in the next few weeks.

“Phil has done a tremendous job leading the department through some difficult and challenging issues over the past several years,” said Miranda Wecker, chair of the commission. “His strong conservation ethic, dedication to sound fiscal management and expertise in intergovernmental relations have greatly benefitted the department and the state’s fish and wildlife resources it protects and manages.”

As director, Anderson guided the department through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. During the unprecedented budget shortfall, state General Fund support for WDFW declined by nearly $50 million – 45 percent – threatening department operations and fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state.

To address the shortfall, Anderson and his staff worked to restructure the agency while continuing to provide key services and maintain a high conservation standard for Washington’s fish and wildlife. As part of that effort, WDFW worked closely with stakeholders to develop new revenue streams and reduce the department’s reliance on the state General Fund.

Also under Anderson’s leadership, the department developed a plan to guide state conservation and management of gray wolves as they recolonize in Washington – a controversial issue that has evoked strong reactions from people on both sides of the Cascade Range.

The department implemented the plan in 2011, after working closely with a number of citizen advisors, including those representing conservationists, hunters and livestock producers. The plan establishes clear recovery objectives for gray wolves, along with procedures for addressing predation on livestock and impacts on ungulates such as deer, elk and caribou.

Throughout his career at WDFW, Anderson has played a leading role in working with Indian tribes in a number of forums, including the annual salmon co-management process known as North of Falcon. During this process, the state and tribes set seasons for marine and freshwater salmon fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas.

Anderson also has served as WDFW’s representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and serves as a commissioner on the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Over the last decade, Anderson and his team successfully maintained fishing opportunities by establishing new sustainable fisheries that allow the harvest of abundant wild stocks and hatchery-produced fish while meeting conservation objectives for wild populations listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Key to this effort has been the use of selective-fishing methods, including mark-selective fisheries that allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon but require that they release wild salmon. Establishing these fisheries, where appropriate, has resulted in additional harvest opportunities.

Anderson also has led WDFW’s effort to change state hatchery operations to support the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead populations.

“I am proud of the fact that we have successfully maintained fish production while reforming hatchery practices to ensure that they are compatible with efforts to rebuild wild fish populations,” Anderson said. “The job is definitely not done, but we have made tremendous strides in the right direction that bode well for the future of Washington’s fish stocks and fisheries.”

Anderson, who lives in Westport, said he plans to spend more time with his family and will look for other opportunities to contribute to resource conservation and management.

Anderson, 64, joined WDFW in 1994 after serving seven years on the PFMC as a private citizen, including as the council’s chair. Anderson was appointed WDFW director in 2009 after serving nearly nine months as the agency’s interim director. He previously served as WDFW’s deputy director for resource policy and as assistant director of the department’s Intergovernmental Resource Management Program.

WDFW Commission sets waterfowl seasons, discusses elk with hoof disease

With a record number of ducks counted on the northern breeding grounds this year, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved migratory waterfowl hunting seasons for this fall and winter during a public meeting in Olympia Aug. 8-9.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also approved a new regulation that requires hunters to leave on site the hooves of any elk taken in southwest Washington to help minimize the spread of a disease that affects the region’s herds.

Under the waterfowl hunting package, most hunting opportunities in Washington will be similar to last year. That includes a statewide duck season that will be open for 107 days, starting Oct. 11-15 and continuing Oct. 18-Jan. 25. A special youth hunting weekend also is scheduled Sept. 20-21.

Limits for mallard, pintail, scaup, redhead, goldeneye, harlequin, scoter and long-tailed duck will remain the same as last season. But the commission reduced the daily bag limit for canvasback to one per day because of decreasing numbers throughout North America.

Goose hunting seasons will vary among management areas across the state, but most open mid-October and run through late January. Limits for most geese did not change, except the commission did increase the daily bag limit for cackling geese in southwest Washington from three to four.

The commission also increased the overall harvest quota for dusky Canada geese in southwest Washington from 45 to 85 birds. As in previous years, hunters are limited to one dusky Canada goose a season in southwest Washington.

The goose and duck hunting seasons approved by the commission are based on state and federal waterfowl population estimates and guidelines. According to those estimates, a record number of ducks – approximately 49 million – were on the breeding grounds this spring in Canada and the United States.

Details on the waterfowl hunting seasons will be available later this week on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.

In other action, the commission approved several land transactions, including the purchase of two parcels totaling nearly 2,900 acres of shrub-steppe in Yakima County. The land, located about five miles west of Naches, serves as critical habitat for a variety of wildlife, and is an important connection between summer and winter range for the Yakima elk herd.

The two parcels will be acquired through a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and the state Department of Ecology (DOE). The 2,588-acre property will be purchased for $1.38 million, while a 305-acre property will cost $170,000.

DOE and the Kennewick Irrigation District are providing the funding to acquire the two parcels to mitigate for the loss of shrub-steppe habitat that was converted to agricultural land. The properties will be managed as part of WDFW’s Oak Creek Wildlife Area.

The commission also received a briefing on a scientific panel’s determination that the disease that leaves elk in the St. Helens and Willapa Hills areas of southwest Washington with misshapen hooves likely involves a type of bacterial infection.

Members of the panel, composed of veterinarians and researchers throughout the state, agreed that the disease closely resembles contagious ovine digital dermatitis in sheep. The panel’s diagnosis is consistent with the findings of the USDA National Animal Disease Center and four other independent diagnostic laboratories that have tested samples of elk hooves submitted by WDFW since last year.

For more information on elk hoof disease, see WDFW’s recent news release at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2314a/ and the department’s wildlife health webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/.

In other business, the commission conducted public hearings on the 2015-2021 Game Management Plan and proposed updates to the state Hydraulic Code.

The commission also received briefings on the department’s legislative proposals for 2015, proposed 2015-2017 operating and capital budget requests, and new potential revenue sources.

In addition, the commission was briefed on the impacts of a possible reduction in state General Funds. The potential cuts are in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s directive to state agencies to prioritize their activities and identify reductions totaling 15 percent.

WDFW seeking comments on changes to the state’s Hydraulic Code

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on proposed updates to state Hydraulic Code rules, which regulate construction and other work in or near state waters to protect fish life.

Common projects requiring approval under the state’s hydraulic rules include work on bulkheads, culverts, piers and docks.

WDFW will accept written comments through Aug.15 on the proposed rules, a related draft environmental impact statement, and a small business economic impact statement.

All documents related to this rulemaking activity are available on WDFW’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/hpa/rulemaking/, along with an email address for submitting comments. Written comments also can be addressed to Randi Thurston, WDFW Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

Lisa Veneroso, who leads WDFW’s habitat program, said the changes proposed in the Hydraulic Code rules will provide more protection for fish, streamline the permit process and ensure the code is consistent with other state laws.

“Much has changed in state law and environmental science since the last comprehensive update of the hydraulic rules in 1994,” Veneroso said. “The new rules reflect those changes and will provide better protection for the habitat that fish depend on to survive.”

Some rules proposed by WDFW would set new standards for projects ranging from the construction of culverts to the design of waterfront bulkheads and docks. Others would clarify existing policies, including those restricting the use of creosote in aquatic areas and promoting the preservation of marine vegetation.

“Many of the updates we are proposing are specifically designed to provide greater protection for fish and shellfish,” Veneroso said. “But we’ve also worked to streamline the application process for businesses, individuals and government agencies that need permits to conduct work in an around state waters.”

Veneroso said WDFW habitat biologists review approximately 4,000 applications each year for those permits, known as Hydraulic Project Approvals (HPAs).

The proposed updates to the rules that guide that process are the result of six years of discussions with local and tribal governments, environmental organizations, the forest industry, the agricultural community and other state agencies.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a nine-member citizen panel that sets WDFW policy, has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed rule changes Aug. 8 in Olympia. Written comments received on those proposals by Aug. 1 will be forwarded to the commission for consideration at that meeting. An agenda for that meeting will be posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/ during the week of July 21.

The commission is expected to consider adoption of the proposed changes to the state’s Hydraulic Code rules later this year.

Wildlife Department plans to survey elk with hoof disease, euthanize those with severe symptoms

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to conduct a broad-based survey this summer of elk with hoof disease in southwest Washington and will likely euthanize those with severe symptoms of the crippling ailment.

To help with the survey, state wildlife managers plan to enlist dozens of volunteers to assist them in assessing the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease in the St. Helens and Willapa Hills elk herds.

To minimize the spread of the disease, WDFW is also proposing new regulations requiring hunters to leave the hooves of any elk taken in the affected area on site.

WDFW announced its plan two weeks after a 16-member scientific panel agreed that the disease most likely involves a type of bacterial infection that leaves elk with missing or misshapen hooves.

Members of the panel, composed of veterinarians and researchers throughout the state, agreed that the disease closely resembles contagious ovine digital dermatitis in sheep.

Dr. Kristin Mansfield, WDFW epidemiologist, said the panel’s diagnosis is consistent with the findings of the USDA National Animal Disease Center and four other independent diagnostic laboratories that have tested samples of elk hooves submitted by WDFW since last year.

Mansfield said treponeme bacteria have been linked to an increase of hoof disease in sheep and cattle in many parts of the world, but have never before been documented in elk or other wildlife.

Nate Pamplin, director of WDFW’s Wildlife Program, said the diagnosis limits the department’s management options, because there is no vaccine for the disease and no proven options for treating it in the field.

“At this point, we don’t know whether we can contain this disease,” Pamplin said, “but we do know that assessing its impacts and putting severely crippled animals out of their misery is the right thing to do.”

Since 2008, WDFW has received increasing reports of elk with misshapen hooves in Cowlitz, Pacific, Lewis, Clark, Wahkiakum and Grays Harbor counties, all within the range of the two elk herds.

Scientists believe the animals pick up and transmit the disease through wet soil, characteristic of the lowlands of southwest Washington.

“There is no evidence that the bacteria are harmful to humans, and tests have shown that the disease does not affect the animals’ meat or organs,” Mansfield said. “But treating infected animals has posed a real challenge for the livestock industry for nearly 30 years.”

Some livestock producers bathe the hooves of infected sheep and cattle in an antibiotic solution, but many become re-infected and are ultimately sent to market, Mansfield said.

“In any case, daily footbaths are not a realistic solution when you’re dealing with thousands of free-roaming elk,” she said.

The primary focus of WDFW’s work this summer will be to assess the geographic spread of the disease and the proportion of the herd that is affected, Pamplin said. The department will enlist the help of volunteers to run survey routes and report their observations.

Information gathered from the survey will be compared against sightings of diseased elk reported by the public since 2010 using WDFW’s online reporting system, he said. Reports can be filed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/reporting/ .

Next winter, WDFW will capture and fit elk with radio-collars to determine how the disease is affecting area elk populations, survival rates and calving. Wildlife managers will likely remove elk showing severe symptoms of hoof disease to end their suffering, Pamplin said.

In a separate measure, the department has proposed new regulations requiring hunters to leave the hooves of any elk taken in the affected area on site. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to hear public comments and take action on that proposal in August.

Pamplin noted that hoof disease is one of a number of illnesses without a cure affecting wildlife throughout the nation. Chronic wasting disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease and tuberculosis all take their toll on elk and deer each year in other states.

“Bacterial hoof disease in elk presents a huge challenge for all of us,” Pamplin said. “We will continue to work with scientists, hunters and local communities to assess its toll on area elk herds and determine our course of action.”

New Washington Board meeting to prioritize removal of fish barriers statewide

A new board responsible for restoring fish habitat by expediting the removal of fish barriers in Washington’s streams will hold its first meeting June 17 in Olympia.

The Fish Passage Barrier Removal Board will develop a statewide strategy for removing fish barriers on state, local and private lands. Washington state has an estimated 30,000 fish barriers, such as culverts, which impede the migration of steelhead and salmon.

“Our goal is to coordinate the removal of barriers within a watershed to help ensure fish passage throughout the entire stream,” said Julie Henning, fish passage section manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “A coordinated approach among barrier owners will take advantage of cost efficiencies while contributing to salmon recovery.”

The board was created earlier this year through state legislation (House Bill 2251) that also streamlines the permitting process for barrier removal projects. The legislation instructs board members to give preference to projects that will most benefit threatened or endangered species.

Board members will meet at 9 a.m. June 17 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 415 Capitol Way North in Olympia. All meetings are open to the public but only board members will participate in the discussion. Information on future board meetings, as well as meeting agendas and notes, can be found on the Fish Passage Barrier Removal Board’s web page at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/fpbrb/ .

The chair of the board is a representative from WDFW. Other board members include representatives from the Washington departments of Transportation and Natural Resources, Association of Washington Counties, Washington Association of Cities, the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Yakama Indian Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

The board’s work will build upon barrier removal projects including those completed under a 2013 federal court injunction that requires Washington to remove hundreds of state-owned culverts by 2030. The board’s effort will build on the state’s investment by correcting barriers upstream and downstream of those projects. 

Catch trout, salmon, crab across Washington during Free Fishing Weekend

Some of the most popular fishing opportunities are available for anglers in the coming weeks, including trout in hundreds of rivers, crab in south Puget Sound, chinook in the Columbia River and salmon in ocean waters along the coast.

Sound like fun? Prospective anglers who are interested in fishing but don’t have a fishing license can get in on the action during Free Fishing Weekend, scheduled June 7-8.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. In addition, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required that weekend to park at any of the 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to try fishing in Washington, whether you are new to the sport, thinking about taking it up or looking to introduce a friend or family member to fishing,” said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager.

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as season closures, size restrictions and bag limits will still be in effect.

In addition, all anglers will be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon, steelhead or halibut they catch that weekend. They also must fill out a catch record card for crab, which is open only in South Puget Sound (Marine Area 13) during Free Fishing Weekend.

Catch record cards and WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state.

Of course, this month’s fishing opportunities don’t begin and end with Free Fishing Weekend. Other key dates for anglers include:

  • May 31 – Selective fisheries for hatchery chinook salmon open in marine areas 1-4.
  • June 1 – Crab fishing opens in Marine Area 13 south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
  • June 7 – Trout fishing opens in hundreds of rivers across the state.
  • June 14 – Traditional recreational ocean salmon fisheries for chinook and hatchery coho get under way in marine areas 1-4.
  • June 16 – Fishing for summer chinook and sockeye salmon opens on the Columbia River from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Priest Rapids Dam.
  • July 3 – Crab fisheries open in most areas of Puget Sound, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/ . These reports are updated throughout the month to provide up-to-date information about recreational opportunities around the state.

Fish without a license during Washington’s Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing – legally – without a license. How? By taking advantage of ‘Free Fishing Weekend,’ scheduled for June 7-8.

 

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

 

Anglers will not need a Two Pole Endorsement to fish with two poles on selected waters where two pole fishing is permitted. Anglers will also not need a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, otherwise required to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

 

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to try fishing in Washington, whether you are new to the sport, have not taken up a rod and reel in years, or want to introduce a friend or young family member to the sport,” said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager.

 

Anglers have been catching daily limits of trout at lakes for the past month, and many rivers will open to trout fishing June 7 throughout the state. Other options available on Free Fishing Weekend include:

 

  • Hatchery chinook salmon in Washington’s ocean waters.
  • Lingcod on the coast and Puget Sound.
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes throughout eastern Washington.
  • Shad on the Columbia River.
  • Spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River.
  • Hatchery steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River and on rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

 

WDFW has been working to expand Internet-based resources to suit anglers of all skill levels, said Donley, who encourages anglers to check the “Fish Washington” feature at the department’s homepage wdfw.wa.gov for details on fishing opportunities. The map-based webpage includes fishing information by county, lake and fish species throughout the state.

 

And, for those who prefer the show-and-tell approach, Donley recommends the department’s YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/thewdfw, with “how to” fishing videos designed to introduce techniques for both new and seasoned anglers.

 

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and closures will still be in effect. Anglers will also be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon or steelhead they catch.

 

Catch record cards and 2014/2015 sportfishing rules pamphlets are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/  on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer.

 

The sportfishing rules pamphlet also is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

WDFW cautions boaters to steer clear of killer whales

With summer approaching, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding recreational boaters to give killer whales and other marine mammals a wide berth.

State and federal law requires boaters to stay at least 200 yards away from southern resident orcas and to avoid positioning their vessels in the path of oncoming whales. Boaters who inadvertently find themselves in violation of the 200 yard proximity are required to stop immediately and allow the whale to pass.

These regulations apply to a variety of small watercraft, including tour boats, private powerboats, commercial fishing boats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes and personal watercraft.

WDFW is preparing for a busy boating and whale-watching season, said Mike Cenci, WDFW’s deputy police chief.

“Boaters have a responsibility to keep their distance from these animals,” he said. “To make sure this happens, the department is increasing the number of enforcement patrols dedicated to monitoring boaters and their interactions with whales.”

WDFW issued 13 citations and dozens of warnings to recreational boaters last year. Federal law also includes broad restrictions against disturbing or harassing any marine mammal. Violating the state law can result in a fine of up to $1,025. The maximum fine under federal law is $10,000.

Human disturbances, including boat traffic, may interfere with the whales’ ability to feed, communicate with one another and care for their young, said Gary Wiles, WDFW wildlife biologist.

The southern resident orca population has declined to 80 whales, down from 98 in 1995. The population is classified as “endangered” by both the state of Washington and the federal government.

These whales, which mostly travel the waters of northern Puget Sound and the outer coast, account for the majority of orca whales found in Washington from early spring to late fall, Wiles said. Major threats to their survival include the declining abundance of chinook salmon, exposure to pollutants and disruptions from vessels.

Under state law, it is unlawful to:

  • Approach or cause a vessel to approach within 200 yards of a killer whale.
  • Position a vessel in the path of an orca at any point located within 400 yards of the whale. This includes intercepting a killer whale by positioning a vessel so that the prevailing wind or water current carries the vessel within 400 yards of the whale.
  • Fail to disengage the transmission of a vessel that is within 200 yards of an orca.
  • Feed a killer whale.

WDFW partners with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enforce these laws.

To report violators, contact:

  • NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964.
  • During business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Monday through Friday, contact WDFW Police at 1-360-902-2936.
  • After hours, on weekends, and holidays, contact the local Washington State Patrol office for your area.

Additional information about the state law is available on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/orca. Whale-watching guidelines are available at http://www.bewhalewise.org.