Washington Fishing Licenses, Laws, and Regulations
Whether you’re fishing for crappies with the kids at Potholes Reservoir or sport fishing for salmon in the Pacific Northwest, Washington State has a lot to offer. The Skagit River is home to five species of salmon and two species of trout. Impressive runs by Coho, Chinook, Pink, Sockeye and Buddy in this river. But before you pack your gear and head out on this highly anticipated fishing excursion, you’ll need a Washington fishing license.
You can purchase your fishing license online 24/7 from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. After you have printed out the ticket, you can now fish legally. If you prefer to obtain your fishing license in person from a legitimate provider, most fishing and outdoor sports stores are authorized to license providers.
Washington Fishing Licenses
There are fishing laws and regulations in place to help conserve fish populations. Their rules expressly state the allowable daily height restrictions, baggage restrictions, weight restrictions, etc. These rules and regulations must be strictly enforced to support state efforts to maintain healthy fisheries and habitats.
Everyone must do their part in Washington’s conservation program. One way to contribute is to understand the rules governing conservation efforts that apply. On the one hand, you can always train very young anglers who need guidance on the correct fishing method and the correct trapping and launching methods.
Got a Washington fishing license
To get a Washington Fishing License, you can purchase it using the following methods:
It can take up to 10 days to receive it in the mail to purchase a license. However, when you purchase a license, you will be emailed a temporary license that you can use for a period of 10 days. Please also note that people aged 15 and over must provide their social security number before purchasing a license, be it online, in person, or over the phone.
Fishing License Types and Costs in Washington
The combination license enables anglers to fish in fresh and salt water and to harvest shellfish and algae.
|License types||Residents (aged 16-69)||Not resident||Resident Senior (old 70+)||Adolescents (15 years)||Residents with disabilities||Non-resident disabled veteran|
|Annual fresh water||$ 29.50||$ 84.50||$ 7.50||Must buy annual combo||Must buy annual combo||Must buy annual combo|
|Annual salt water||$ 30.05||$ 59.75||$ 8.05||Must buy annual combo||Must buy annual combo||Must buy annual combo|
|Annual shellfish / algae||$ 17.40||$ 36.10||$ 7.50||Must buy annual combo||Must buy annual combo||$ 35.00|
|Annual combined fishing / mussels||$ 55.35||$ 124.65||$ 19.05||$ 8.05||$ 11.35||$ 55.35|
|Annual Fish Washington||$ 69.55|
|1-day combined fishing license||$ 11.35||$ 20.15||$ 11.35||Must buy combo||Must buy combo||$ 20.15|
|1 Day Combined Fishing License – Military On Active Duty||$ 11.35|
|2-day combined fishing license||$ 15.75||$ 28.95||$ 15.75||Must buy combo||Must buy combo||$ 28.95|
|2-day combined fishing license – military on active duty||$ 15.75|
|3-day combined fishing license||$ 19.05||$ 35.55||$ 19.05||Must buy combo||Must buy combo||$ 35.55|
|3 Day Combined Fishing License – Military On Active Duty||$ 19.05|
|Annual razor clam||$ 14.10||$ 21.80||$ 14.10||Must buy combo||Must buy combo||$ 21.80|
|3-day razor shell||$ 9.70||$ 9.70||$ 9.70||$ 9.70||$ 9.70||$ 9.70|
|Non-reporting Puget Sound Crab Admin Penalty||$ 10.00||$ 10.00||$ 10.00||$ 10.00||$ 10.00||$ 10.00|
|Catch record cards||First card free, additional cards USD 12.60 each|
|Two-pole confirmation||$ 14.80||$ 14.80||$ 6.00||$ 14.80||$ 14.80||$ 14.80|
|Recommendation from Puget Sound Crab||$ 8.75||$ 8.75||$ 8.75||$ 8.75||$ 8.75||$ 8.75|
|Puget Sound Crab Endorsement on I-3 Day Temp.||$ 3.80||$ 3.80||$ 3.80||$ 3.80|
Who Needs a Washington Fishing License?
In Washington State, anyone over the age of 15, whether resident or non-resident, must have a fishing license. For certain types of fish such as carp, lobster, bullfrogs or collecting relic clams, anglers do not need a Washington fishing license.
Catch record cards
For anglers keen to catch salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut, or Puget Sound Dungeness crabs, individuals must also purchase a catch card to track their harvest. For these species, everyone, including those under the age of 15, must have a fishing permit with them. In addition, all catch evidence cards must be returned to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in a timely manner, even if the individual does not catch anything.
A catch card is a management tool used by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to measure and estimate recreational catches of salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut, and Puget Sound Dungeness crab.
After catching any of these species, anglers are legally required to record their catch on the catch card before continuing to fish.
Due date of the catch cards
Depending on the season, the due dates on the catch card may vary. Here are the following deadlines:
- Fishing permits are due by April 30th after the end of the license year
- Summer crab fishing tickets are due by October 1st after the end of the summer season
- The record tickets for the winter crab catch are due by February 1st after the end of the winter season.
Submit your catch record card
To use the card you will need to fill in the fishing area code, which depends on the body of water in which you caught the fish or crabs. Month and day must be filled in. For salmon, you need to check the specific type of salmon caught along with the type of clip, which is hatchery or wild salmon. For sturgeon you have to enter the species code for the sturgeon species, e.g. B. White or Green, and enter the total length. With the Dungeness Crab, you need to check how many crabs are caught each day. And for halibut, you need to indicate whether you used a charter or private boat. Information on the specific codes to fill out the card can be found on the website here. https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-01/crc_instructions.pdf
Return of a catch record card
To return a catch card, please send the tickets to the address below:
WDFW CRC unit
P.O. Box 43142
Olympia, WA 98504-3142
Return without catching: TTo get the most accurate estimate, it is necessary to collect all of the cards. The post-season sports harvest estimates are based on the average number of fish or crabs caught per map. Cards with zero are included on average; there they have to be offset. If not, the numbers for this national average are exaggerated.
Report your catch card: You can visit https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/. You need to register or log in to your account. The registration office is only open from the end of the crab season until the registration deadline. However, this is only available for crab catches. Cards must be sent in for caught fish.
Lost Catch record card
You will still need to provide your following information despite the loss of your card.
- Your complete name
- birth date
- WILD identification number that you can find on your fishing license
- E-mail address and telephone number (in this case further questions have to be answered)
- All salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, Puget Sound Dungeness crab and halibut catch information retained.
Please email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can send the information by post to the address given above.
Renewal of the fishing license in Washington
To renew a fishing license, go online, call the fishing and wildlife wash department customer service, or contact the license agents to renew your license.
Fish Size and Limits in Washington
Largemouth bass: There are no minimum sizes in lakes, ponds and reservoirs. However, only trout basses less than 12 inches in size are allowed to be maintained. And the daily catch limit is 5.
Small mouth perch: There are no minimum sizes for lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Only one smallmouth bass over 14 inches may be kept. The daily catch limit is 10.
Pikeperch: Lakes, ponds and reservoirs have a minimum size of 12 “with a daily limit of 8. Only one 22” pikeperch may be kept.
Channel catfish: There are no minimum sizes in lakes, ponds and reservoirs. There is a daily catch limit of 5.
Kokanee: No minimum size for fishing in Kokanee, but a daily limit of 10.
Locations in Washington
Black Lake: Trout season all year round. Crappie has a minimum size of 9 inches and a daily limit of 10.
Chelan Lake: Trout season is year-round, salmon season is year-round. With a minimum size of 15 inches and a daily limit of 1. No catch card is required.
Sea area 4: The minimum size for Chinook is 24 inches. For Coho, the minimum height is 16 inches. There is no minimum size for other salmon species.
Marine area 8-2 Port Susan and Port Gardner: Salmon season is from February 1st to April 30th. The minimum size for Chinook is 22 inches and the daily limit is 1. All other salmon specifications have no minimum length.
Fishing in Washington
Washington is full of fishing treasures, whether it’s flatlands, alpine lakes or ocean coasts. Fish Lake in Leavenworth, WA is great for fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout, and tiger trout during the spring and summer months. This lake is usually well stocked, so your chances of catching are quite high.
An excellent place for beginners is Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue, where you can find many types of fish such as rainbow trout, small and largemouth bass, perch, and seasonal fish such as chinook, coho, and steelhead salmon. Lake Roosevelt is a fishing paradise with a 130 mile long lake with over 660 miles of shoreline and over 35 national park service recreation areas. This is an area with beautiful scenery and unique species. Its great variety and length ensures that it is never crowded and crowded.