WDFW Free Fishing Weekend returns to Washington, June 8-9


For one weekend, anglers across the state can fish for various species without a license. This year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) annual Free Fishing Weekend event will take place, June 8-9.

Some of the fishing opportunities available throughout Washington on Free Fishing Weekend include:

• Trout and warmwater fish species in lakes throughout the state. Visit the WDFW website to search for a lowland lake nearby to see which lakes have been recently stocked. Anglers, both with and without a license fishing over Free Fishing Weekend, can participate and win prizes in WDFW’s 2024 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem tags from trout caught over the weekend. Plenty of prizes remain on tagged fish stocked in lakes throughout the state.

• Lingcod, cabezon and rockfish on the Washington coast. No boats are required. People should refer to WDFW’s blog post on jetty fishing.

• Shad on the Columbia River. Go to WDFW’s website to learn where and how to harvest shad.

Any fish requiring a catch record card, including sturgeon, salmon, steelhead and halibut, and all shellfish will still require a license on Free Fishing Weekend, a release by WDFW stated. All other species open for harvest can be harvested without a license.

Other rules, such as seasons, size limits, daily limits and area closures are still in effect. Anglers should check the current fishing regulations beforehand, as well as any current emergency rules. Go to the WDFW website, the newly upgraded Fish Washington mobile app and the printed Fish Washington booklet available wherever licenses are sold for information.

Other requirements also waived during Free Fishing Weekend include:

• Vehicle Access Pass, which comes with most fishing licenses

• Discover Pass when parking on WDFW, Department of Natural Resources or Washington State Park lands

• Two-Pole Endorsement, where applicable