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‘Free Fishing Weekend’ in Washington state is June 9-10

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OLYMPIA – Grab your fishing pole! “Free Fishing Weekend” is scheduled for June 9-10. During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state.

Anglers will not need a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, otherwise required to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries.  Nor will they need a Two Pole Endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted.

As a bonus, all Washington state parks will be free on June 9 for National Get Outdoors day and June 10 for Fishing Day. So a Discover Pass is not required in state parks this weekend.

“If you haven’t fished in Washington, or want to introduce fishing to someone new to the sport, this is the weekend to get out there,” said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW inland fish program manager.

Anglers have been catching daily limits of trout at lakes for the past month, and many rivers will open to trout fishing June 3 throughout the state. Other options available on Free Fishing Weekend include:

  • Lingcod on the coast.
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes throughout Washington.
  • Hatchery spring chinook on the lower Yakima River
  • Shad on the Columbia River.
  • Hatchery steelhead on rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

For tips, new anglers should check online for the “Fish Washington” feature at the department’s homepage. The site provides details on lowland lake fishing, high lake fishing, and marine area opportunities.

For those planning fishing vacations, Great Washington Getaways showcases some of the state’s best family travel and fishing opportunities.

And, for those who want even more fishing advice, the Fish Washington video pageprovides “how to” fishing videos designed to introduce techniques to both new and seasoned anglers.

Anglers who take part in Free Fishing Weekend can also participate in the department’s 2017 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem tags from fish caught over the weekend. Interested anglers should check for details online at

Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid through June at

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and area closures will still be in effect. Anglers will also be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut they catch.

Catch record cards are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer.

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