State anglers who are 15 or older are required to have a valid Washington fishing permit if they intend to remove marine species from state waters. The state also requires anglers to get a shellfish license to catch any animals that fit under the category of shellfish. Licenses to fish are issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and are categorized based on the applicant’s residency status and whether or not they will be fishing in fresh water or salt water. Additional educational resources for novice anglers are available through the department as well. Anglers looking for support in the craft can also join one of the many fishing organizations available throughout the state to meet other local anglers. Read the sections outlined below for more information on how to buy fishing licenses in Washington:
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Depending on the type of fish you plan to catch, a number of Washington fishing licenses are available from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Factors that influence the type of license an angler will need include the applicant’s age and whether they plan to fish in fresh water or salt water. Two main categories of fishing permits are available through the state department:
To buy fishing licenses in Washington, utilize one of the following methods administered by the DFW:
Residents of Washington are encouraged to purchase residential fishing licenses from the DFW. To be considered a resident for fishing license purposes, anglers must have lived in the state for at least 90 consecutive days. Residential fishing license options include:
Residential fishing license fees are subject to change without notice.
Visitors to Washington who have not resided in the state for at least 90 consecutive days will have to apply for a non resident fishing license to fish in state waters. Non resident fishing licenses are issued at a higher fee than residential fishing licenses but allow for the same types of fishing. Out of state fishing permit fees vary depending on the length of the license’s validity:
Non resident fishing license fees are subject to change without notice.
Novice and experienced anglers alike can benefit from the several fishing education resources offered through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. With a particular focus on youth, the department holds weekly fishing events throughout the state that aim to foster an increased awareness of sport fishing. One of the major efforts by the department is the annual Klineline Kids Fishing event, which brings kids of all ages together to fish at Klineline Pond. The department also administers a School Cooperative Program, which provides schools with salmon eggs to grow in school aquariums.
Fishing in Washington can oftentimes be considered a solitary sport. However, anglers of all skill sets can benefit from meeting other fishing enthusiasts by joining one of the many fishing organizations operating throughout the state. Popular fishing organizations include:
The Washington Outdoor Women organization promotes the sports of fishing, hunting and shooting to women throughout the state. Additionally, the organization helps to foster an enhanced respect for local wildernesses while also boosting each angler’s confidence in their abilities.
Founded in 2010, The Mountain Muskies Chapter 60 is a subsidiary of Muskies Inc. which focuses on family and youth-oriented programs.Mountain Muskies helps train anglers and fosters an appreciation for wildlife in Washington. The group also works with the DFW to pass legislation that helps protect the fishing population as well.
The Washington Fly Fishing Club was founded in 1939 and still stands as one of the oldest organizations in the state. With a primary focus on fly fishing, the group also promotes fishing of all kinds. Connections with government agencies has allowed the Washington Fly Fishing Club to also help pass legislation that impacts fishing communities across the entire northwestern portion of the United States.