Department of Fish and Wildlife

Pest Management
8:06 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

State Officials Seize Cold Snap, Freeze Out Invasive Snails In Capitol Lake

A New Zealand mud snail, frozen in ice from Capitol Lake.
Allen Pleus Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife

A cold snap might be an effective tool for fish and wildlife managers trying to stop the spread of a tiny invasive species. Capitol Lake in Olympia is serving as a testing ground for freezing out New Zealand mud snails. 

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endangered plant?
8:53 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Bladderpod Endangered Listing Stirs Up Questions from Farmers

White Bluffs bladderpod
Anna King

A group of farmers in southeast Washington is trying to stop the federal government from giving endangered species protection to the White Bluffs bladderpod, a rare plant that grows on a narrow ribbon of federal land and farms.

A farmer group is using genetic tests to claim that the plant is not as rare as it seems.

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Shoreline protection
6:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

New environmental group to serve as Puget Sound watchdog

Sound Action says it will protect shoreline habitat by honing in on existing state law.
zenobia_joy photo Flickr

With its eelgrass beds and rocky beaches, Puget Sound’s shoreline is frequented by hundreds of species of fish and other creatures. State and federal agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on its restoration.

But Amy Carey, Executive Director of a new group called Sound Action, says the marine ecosystems that support sensitive species are still declining.

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Environment
11:49 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Authorities seek tougher penalties for false labeling of fish

Tom Banse Northwest News Network


OLYMPIA, Wash. - When you order that special filet at a restaurant or store, you're often going on trust that the fish actually is what the menu or label says it is. In Washington, two state agencies are asking for tougher penalties to deter seafood fraud.


Investigators for Consumer Reports recently found more than one-fifth of the fish they submitted for DNA identification was mislabeled at the point of sale.


Washington Fish and Wildlife police deputy chief Mike Cenci says the penalties for false labeling need to be stronger.

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Endangered species
5:56 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

5 Washington critters among species group would have feds protect

The Cascades Frog is among the 53 amphibians and reptiles in a petition for federal protection by the Center for Biological Diversity. Washington is considered one of its strongholds. It has declined by 50% in California.
Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service

They’re slimy and cold-blooded.

But conservationists say amphibians and reptiles are important indicator species – and some of the most endangered.

Five of these sensitive creatures that call Washington home are among more than 50 included in a petition for federal protection.

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Environment
8:40 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Update: Shooting spotted owl's rival won't work, expert laments

A new plan for saving the northern spotted owl was released this week.
Associated Press

A new plan released yesterday for saving the northern spotted owl is taking aim – maybe literally – at a rival bird.

Federal agency leaders said Thursday the spotted owl is losing out to a bigger, more aggressive invader from the eastern United States, the barred owl.

However, one biologist whose research led to the listing of the spotted owl believes shooting and other measures to control the barred owl are too little too late.  Because, he lamented, the spotted owl's population has shrunk over the last 15 years in spite of conservation efforts. (Interactive map inside)

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Spotted owl recovery plan pits one species against another

Threatened northern spotted owl adult with young (Strix occidentalis caurina.)
Photo by Jim Thrailkill USFWS

It’s an icon of the northwest.

With its muted brown feathers and dark eyes, the northern spotted owl doesn’t look all that impressive. But scientists say its survival indicates the health of the entire forest ecosystem. That’s why conservationists want the government to protect more of the old-growth habitat spotted owls prefer.

But a recovery plan for the owl due for release this morning is ruffing feathers.

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Wildlife reintroduction
2:45 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

Pygmy rabbits face possible last stand in the state

Fish and wildlife agents work to construct a temporary enclosure for pygmy rabbits on Sagebrush Flats Wildlife Area north of Ephrata.
Anna King N3

In north central Washington, scientists are trying once again to reintroduce a tiny endangered rabbit species into a big, predator-ridden landscape. Next week, scientists plan to release about 100 young pygmy rabbits, each one the size of a tennis ball.

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Endangered Species
2:50 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Environmentalists fear wolf rider would open pandora's box

A provision of the compromise budget deal in Congress would take the gray wolf off the endangered species list.
Gary Kramer USFWS

Environmental groups say a provision in the compromise budget deal in Congress sets a dangerous precedent for endangered species. Congress expects to vote on the bill today. It includes an amendment to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

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Living in Gangland
10:37 am
Mon April 11, 2011

Rural gangs claim public lands

Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife officer Chad McGary briefly detains a self-described gang member who was fishing with friends
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

This week we're taking a look at what police say is a resurgence of gang activity - especially in rural areas. In part one of our series “Living In Gangland," we go on patrol with a Washington Fish and Wildlife cop. 

Gang violence is mostly a big city problem. But in parts of the rural Northwest, police are grappling with gang rivalries, graffiti and even drive-by shootings.

Just ask Darin Smith, chief of police in Royal City, Washington, population 2,000.

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Shellfish Harvesting
7:48 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Washington poised to get tougher with shellfish operators

This story has been updated to correct the dollar amount the state believes to have been poached.

Last summer, we brought you a story about gaps in the system that's supposed to keep Washington shellfish safe to eat. Now state lawmakers appear ready to get tougher with shellfish operators who violate food safety laws.

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