Washington fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Washington. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Washington

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18 waterbodies
370 cities
50 fishes

Licenses for fishing in Washington

For more detailed information and any updates, you can visit the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website

Category License Type Resident Non-Resident Senior Resident (70+) Youth (Age 15)
Annual Licenses Freshwater $29.50 $84.50 $7.50 -
  Saltwater $30.05 $59.75 $8.05 -
  Shellfish/Seaweed $17.40 $36.10 $7.50 -
  Razor Clam $14.10 $21.80 $14.10 -
  Combination $55.35 $124.65 $19.05 $8.05
  Fish Washington $69.55 - - -
Short-Term Licenses 1 Day Combination $11.35 $20.15 $11.35 -
  2 Day Combination $15.75 $28.95 $15.75 -
  3 Day Combination $19.05 $35.55 $19.05 -
  3 Day Razor Clam $9.70 $9.70 $9.70 $9.70
Endorsements Two-Pole Endorsement $14.80 $14.80 $6.00 $14.80
  Puget Sound Crab $8.75 $8.75 $8.75 $8.75

Catch record cards are required for certain species and the first card is free. Additional and replacement cards are $12.60 each. Prices include all applicable fees, and purchasing multiple items in the same transaction may result in a reduced cost.

Fishing Regulations in Washington

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Use of explosives, poisons, or electrical devices to catch fish is illegal.
  • Fishing with nets, traps, or seines is limited to specific species and areas.
  • Using live fish as bait is restricted and varies by region.
  • Snagging fish is prohibited, except as permitted during specific seasons in designated areas.
  • Chumming or baiting fish is not allowed in most freshwater bodies.
Catch Limits
  • Salmon: Daily limits vary by area and season, often 2-6 fish.
  • Trout and Steelhead: Limits vary, typically 2-5 fish, with size restrictions in many areas.
  • Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth): Daily limit generally 5, size limits vary by water body.
  • Crappie, Perch, and other Panfish: Daily limit typically 10-25, depending on the species and location.
  • Walleye: Daily limit varies, often 8 fish with a minimum size.
  • Sturgeon: Catch and release only in many areas; harvest regulations vary by location and season.
  • Shellfish and Crab: Specific seasonal limits and size restrictions apply.
  • Squid: No daily limit, no size limit.
  • Catfish: Daily limit varies by species and location.
  • Halibut: Limits and open seasons vary by area.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to some waters is restricted for environmental protection or tribal rights.
  • Private waters require landowner permission for fishing access.
  • Marine protected areas may have specific access and fishing restrictions.
  • No fishing zones around certain infrastructures like dams, fish hatcheries, and power plants.
  • Seasonal closures in certain waters for fish spawning and habitat recovery.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Fly-fishing only areas with specific gear restrictions.
  • Catch-and-release areas for trout, steelhead, and other species.
  • Areas with slot limits or size restrictions for species like bass and walleye.
  • Special regulations in waters adjacent to tribal lands.
  • Trophy fisheries with enhanced size and bag limits.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Endangered and threatened species are protected and must not be targeted or retained.
  • Fishing in habitats of rare species may be restricted or regulated.
  • Special permits required for research fishing involving rare or protected species.
  • Incidental catch of rare species must be reported and released immediately.
  • Conservation areas established to protect rare aquatic ecosystems.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Closed seasons for specific species to protect during spawning or migration.
  • Ice fishing regulations, including gear and shelter rules, in effect during winter.
  • Seasonal closures in sensitive ecological areas for species recovery.
  • Temporary closures during environmental events like red tide or toxic algae blooms.
  • Special seasons and rules for migratory species like salmon and steelhead.
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