Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Washington state, but before you can cast your line into the water, you’ll need to obtain a fishing license. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of getting your Washington state fishing license, including who needs one, how to apply, and what types of licenses are available.
Who Needs a Washington State Fishing License?
In Washington state, anyone who is 15 years of age or older must have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters. This includes both residents and non-residents of the state. If you are under 15 years of age, you do not need a fishing license, but you are still required to follow all of the state’s fishing regulations.
Types of Washington State Fishing Licenses
Washington state offers a variety of fishing licenses to suit different needs. These include:
- Annual fishing license: This license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and allows you to fish in all public waters in the state.
- Short-term fishing license: If you’re only planning to visit Washington state for a short period of time, you can purchase a short-term fishing license that is valid for one to seven days.
- Combination fishing and hunting license: If you plan to both fish and hunt in Washington state, you can purchase a combination license that covers both activities.
- Youth fishing license: This license is available for residents and non-residents who are under the age of 16 and allows them to fish in all public waters in the state.
How to Apply for a Washington State Fishing License
There are several ways to apply for a Washington state fishing license:
- Online: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife allows you to purchase a fishing license online through their website. You will need to create an account, provide your personal information, and pay for your license using a credit or debit card.
- By phone: You can also purchase a fishing license by calling the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s licensing hotline at 1-866-246-9453. You will need to provide your personal information and pay for your license using a credit or debit card.
- In person: If you prefer to purchase your fishing license in person, you can visit any authorized license vendor in Washington state. These include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and other retailers. You will need to provide your personal information and pay for your license using cash, check, or credit/debit card.
How Much Does a Washington State Fishing License Cost?
The cost of a fishing license in Washington state depends on several factors, including your age, residency status, and the type of license you are purchasing. As of 2021, the following fees apply:
- Annual resident fishing license: $29.50
- Annual non-resident fishing license: $54.00
- Short-term resident fishing license (1-3 days): $9.70
- Short-term non-resident fishing license (1-3 days): $21.50
- Combination fishing and hunting license: $79.50
- Youth fishing license: $8.05
Washington State Fishing Regulations
Once you have your fishing license, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the state’s fishing regulations. These include limits on the number and size of fish you can catch, as well as restrictions on fishing methods and gear. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife publishes an annual fishing regulations pamphlet that provides detailed information on these regulations, as well as maps of fishing areas and other helpful resources.
Obtaining a fishing license is an important step for anyone who wants to fish in Washington state. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily apply for and obtain your Washington state fishing license, and start enjoying all of the state’s beautiful fishing areas. Just be sure to follow all of the state’s fishing regulations and practice responsible fishing practices to help preserve these resources for future generations.