Washington Prepares For Free Fishing Weekend
Anglers are reeling in halibut from the ocean, chinook salmon from the Columbia River and trout from lakes and ponds throughout the state. Starting June 4, hundreds of rivers will also open for trout fishing, followed later in the month by some of Washington's premiere salmon fisheries.
Sound like fun? Those interested in fishing but don't have a fishing license will be able to get in on the action during Free Fishing Weekend, scheduled June 11-12.
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 use permit will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the 600 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to revive an old hobby or to introduce friends and family to fishing," said Craig Burley, WDFW fish division manager. "Adults can introduce kids to fishing on a wide variety of waters around the state."
While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as season closures, size limits and bag limits will still be in effect. For example, no crab fishing will be allowed in Puget Sound during Free Fishing Weekend, because no areas will be open for crabbing at that time.
In addition, all anglers will be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut they catch that 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. The rules pamphlet is also available online at