Washington offers a host of fishing opportunities in hundreds of waters across the state, offering the chance to catch salmon, trout, bass, walleye and more. If you need further incentive to put a line in the water, you can do so without a license during Free Fishing Weekend, set for Saturday and June 7.
During those two days, fishermen will not need a license to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in the state. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during the weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In addition to being able to fish without a licenses, anglers also 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.
While no licenses will be required during 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, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut they catch.
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Catch record cards and 2015-16 sportfishing rules pamphlets are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors to find a license dealer.
The sportfishing rules pamphlet is available at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.
People who aren’t sure where to go fishing can check the “Fish Washington” feature at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s homepage — wdfw.wa.gov — for details on fishing opportunities. The map-based Web page includes fishing information by county, lake and fish species throughout the state.
The department also has “how to” fishing videos, designed to introduce techniques for both new and seasoned anglers, posted at youtube.com/thewdfw.