Free Fishing Weekend allows license-free fishing

Published on Thu, Jun 5, 2014
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Anglers, start your angling: Free Fishing Weekend is approaching. 

For the weekend of June 7 and 8, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will be lifting their license requirements so that anyone can go fishing at any one of the 700 spots throughout the state with water access. Additionally, parking at any state parks will not require a Discover Pass or vehicle access pass for the weekend. 

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to try fishing in Washington, whether you are new to the sport, have not taken up a rod and reel in years, or want to introduce a friend or young family member to the sport,” said Chris Donley, the WDFW’s inland fish program manager, in a press release.

The WDFW usually requires all fishermen to purchase licenses at the beginning of the season. Annual fishing licenses can range from $16.30 to $123.55, depending on what is being fished and where they are fishing. But for Free Fishing Weekend, anyone can give it a try. 

In addition to the standard license being waived, the WDFW is also lifting restrictions on two-pole fishing in areas where that is permitted, as well as doing away with the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, which is usually required for fishing salmon and steelhead in the Columbia. 

That’s not to say that the weekend will be completely without limits. Anglers must still obey size limits on fish and shellfish, and salmon and steelhead fishermen must complete a catch record card for any fish they catch. Closures will still be observed, and bag limits will remain in effect as well.

Visit wdfw.wa.gov for more information regarding regulations, as well as tips for novice anglers and other information.