Welcome to our guide on how to get your WA fishing license! If you’re looking to explore the beautiful waterways of Washington State and catch some fish, you’ll need to obtain a valid fishing license. Fortunately, the process is straightforward, and we’re here to help you through it.
Before you hit the water, it’s essential to understand the requirements for obtaining a fishing license in Washington. You’ll need to meet certain criteria and choose from various license options, depending on your fishing preferences and circumstances.
Once you know the requirements, it’s time to decide which type of fishing license is right for you. Washington State offers several types of licenses, including freshwater, saltwater, and combination licenses. Depending on your fishing plans, you may need to purchase additional endorsements or tags to catch specific fish species.
Are you ready to start fishing? Whether you want to fish in freshwater or saltwater, our guide has got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to purchase your license online, where to get a fishing license in person, and answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about fishing licenses in Washington State. Let’s get started!
Requirements for a WA Fishing License
If you’re planning on fishing in Washington State, the first thing you need to do is obtain a fishing license. This is a legal requirement and applies to anyone who plans to catch fish, shellfish, or seaweed in the state’s waters. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is the governing body that regulates fishing activities within the state.
In order to get a fishing license in Washington State, you must meet certain requirements. You must be at least 15 years old, unless you are fishing for salmon in which case you can be any age. Additionally, you must provide the following information: your name, date of birth, Social Security number or WDFW identification number, and your mailing address.
It’s worth noting that certain types of fishing, such as shellfish and steelhead fishing, may require additional permits or endorsements. These are available for purchase from the WDFW, and may come with their own set of requirements and regulations.
Age Requirements for a WA Fishing License
Children under the age of 15 are not required to have a fishing license in Washington state.
Anglers aged 15-69 years old are required to have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing in Washington state.
Residents aged 70 years old and over may fish without a license, but they are still required to follow all fishing rules and regulations.
Non-residents aged 70 years old and over are required to have a senior fishing license in order to fish in Washington state.
For anglers under 16, the younger age at the time of purchase of the license determines the rate for the license.
Anglers aged 16 and over are required to pay the adult rate for a fishing license, regardless of when they purchased their first license.
It is important to note that all anglers in Washington state, regardless of age, must follow the rules and regulations outlined by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to maintain the health and sustainability of the state’s fish populations.
Residency Requirements for a WA Fishing License
If you’re planning to fish in the state of Washington, it’s important to know the residency requirements for obtaining a fishing license. Residency refers to whether you’re considered a permanent resident of Washington or not. Generally, you must have lived in the state for at least 90 consecutive days before applying for a resident fishing license.
If you’re a non-resident, you’ll need to purchase a non-resident fishing license to fish in Washington. However, there are some exceptions for members of federally recognized tribes and members of the military stationed in Washington.
It’s important to note that if you’re caught fishing without a license or with the wrong type of license, you may face penalties and fines. So, make sure you know the residency requirements and obtain the appropriate license before you head out to fish in Washington.
Types of WA Fishing Licenses Available
When it comes to fishing in Washington State, there are several different types of fishing licenses available, depending on your age, residency status, and the type of fishing you plan to do. Here are the five types of fishing licenses available in Washington:
Resident freshwater fishing license: This license is for residents of Washington State who plan to fish in freshwater.
Non-resident freshwater fishing license: This license is for non-residents of Washington State who plan to fish in freshwater.
Resident saltwater fishing license: This license is for residents of Washington State who plan to fish in saltwater.
Non-resident saltwater fishing license: This license is for non-residents of Washington State who plan to fish in saltwater.
Combination fishing license: This license allows you to fish in both freshwater and saltwater and is available to both residents and non-residents of Washington State.
Freshwater Fishing License
If you plan on fishing in lakes, rivers, and streams within Washington state, you will need a freshwater fishing license. This type of license is required for anglers age 15 and over, and is available for both residents and non-residents.
The cost of a freshwater fishing license varies depending on your residency status and the length of the license. For residents, a one-year freshwater fishing license costs $29.50, while a combination license that includes freshwater and saltwater fishing is $55.35. Non-residents can purchase a one-day license for $20.15, a three-day license for $48.05, or a season-long license for $84.50.
With a freshwater fishing license, you are allowed to fish for trout, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and other freshwater species in Washington state. However, it is important to note that there are certain regulations and restrictions in place, such as catch limits and specific seasons for certain species. Be sure to check the current regulations before heading out to fish.
Saltwater Fishing License
If you’re planning on fishing in saltwater, you’ll need a Saltwater Fishing License, which allows you to catch saltwater fish species in Washington. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Cost: The cost of a Saltwater Fishing License varies depending on your residency and the length of time you want the license for.
- Species: With a Saltwater Fishing License, you can catch a variety of saltwater fish species, including salmon, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, and more.
- Rules and regulations: It’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations surrounding saltwater fishing in Washington, including bag limits, size limits, and season dates.
- Additional endorsements: Depending on the specific fish species you plan to target, you may need to purchase additional endorsements for your Saltwater Fishing License.
- Combo licenses: If you plan to fish in both freshwater and saltwater, you may want to consider a combination license, which includes both types of licenses at a discounted rate.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, obtaining a Saltwater Fishing License is an important step in enjoying Washington’s beautiful saltwater fisheries.
How to Purchase Your WA Fishing License Online
Getting your WA fishing license online is quick and easy. Here’s how:
Create an account: To purchase a fishing license online, you will need to create an account on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Select your license type: After logging in, choose the type of fishing license that best fits your needs.
Provide required information: You will need to provide personal information such as your name, date of birth, and contact details. You may also need to provide residency and/or identification documents.
Pay for your license: Once you have provided all necessary information, you can pay for your license online using a credit or debit card.
Purchasing your WA fishing license online is a convenient way to get ready for your next fishing trip. Follow these steps and start enjoying the many fishing opportunities that Washington State has to offer!
Go to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website
Step 1: Visit the official website of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) at https://wdfw.wa.gov/.
Step 2: Click on the “Buy a license” option on the website’s homepage. You will be directed to a new page.
Step 3: Select the type of license you want to purchase, whether it’s a freshwater or saltwater fishing license. Then, select the length of the license, either one day or a year.
Step 4: Enter your personal information, including your name, date of birth, address, and other details. You will also be required to provide identification, such as a driver’s license number or a social security number.
By following these simple steps, you can purchase your WA fishing license online and start fishing in the beautiful waters of Washington state!
Choose the type of license you want to purchase
After navigating to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, click on the “Licenses” tab at the top of the homepage.
You will then be prompted to choose between a “Recreational License” and a “Commercial License.” Click on the “Recreational License” option.
Next, select the specific type of license you want to purchase. This could be a freshwater fishing license, a saltwater fishing license, a combination license, or a shellfish/seaweed license.
Make sure to read through the license descriptions carefully to ensure that you are purchasing the correct one for your needs.
Fill out the necessary personal and payment information
Once you have selected the type of fishing license you want to purchase, you will be directed to a page where you will need to enter your personal information. This includes your full name, date of birth, and contact information. You will also need to provide your driver’s license number or another form of identification.
After providing your personal information, you will be asked to provide your payment information. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards. Make sure to double-check all the information you provide to avoid any errors and ensure a smooth transaction.
Once you have completed all the necessary information, review your order summary to ensure that everything is correct. If everything looks good, submit your payment and wait for your license to arrive via email.
Where to Get a WA Fishing License in Person
If you prefer to purchase your Washington state fishing license in person, you have several options available to you:
License Vendors: You can purchase a fishing license at any of the more than 600 licensed vendors throughout the state, including many sporting goods stores, marinas, and other retailers.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Regional Offices: You can also purchase a fishing license at any of the Department’s regional offices throughout the state, where you can also get helpful information on local fishing conditions and regulations.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Headquarters: You can visit the headquarters in Olympia to purchase your license in person. This is a good option if you need to get a license outside of regular business hours or on a weekend.
Mobile Licensing: Some Department of Fish and Wildlife employees offer mobile licensing services at fishing events and other locations throughout the state. Check the Department’s website for a schedule of upcoming events.
Tribal Licensing: If you plan to fish on tribal lands, you will need a tribal fishing license in addition to a state license. Contact the appropriate tribal authority for information on where to purchase a tribal fishing license.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offices
If you prefer to get your fishing license in person, you can visit one of the many Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offices throughout the state. These offices offer fishing licenses, permits, and other related products, as well as provide information on fishing regulations, seasons, and limits.
You can find the closest Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife office by using the department’s online office locator tool, which allows you to search by city, zip code, or county. The website also provides office hours, phone numbers, and email addresses for each office.
When visiting a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife office, you will need to provide your personal information, including your name, date of birth, and residency status. You may also need to show proof of residency and identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Authorized license dealers, such as sporting goods stores
If you prefer to purchase your fishing license in person, there are many authorized license dealers throughout Washington state. These dealers include sporting goods stores, outdoor recreation stores, and other businesses that sell fishing and hunting equipment. You can find a list of authorized dealers on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
When visiting an authorized license dealer, be sure to bring identification and payment for your license. Some dealers may also charge an additional fee for their services. You can choose to purchase a saltwater, freshwater, or combination license at these dealerships.
Many authorized license dealers also offer additional services such as bait and tackle, equipment rentals, and guided fishing trips. This can be a great option if you are new to fishing or want to try out new gear before making a purchase.
Note that not all authorized dealers offer the same services and products, so it’s important to research and compare options before choosing where to purchase your fishing license.
Regardless of where you choose to purchase your fishing license, make sure to follow all rules and regulations set forth by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience for everyone.
Some state parks and fishing piers
If you’re planning to go fishing at a state park or fishing pier, you may be able to purchase your WA fishing license on-site. Check with the park or pier in advance to see if they offer this service.
State parks and fishing piers that offer fishing licenses may have limited hours, so plan accordingly. It’s also a good idea to bring cash or a credit card, as some locations may not accept checks or have limited card processing capabilities.
When purchasing your fishing license in person, be prepared to provide your personal information, such as your name and address. You may also be required to show identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Finally, be sure to ask any questions you have about fishing regulations or local fishing spots. State park and fishing pier staff can often provide valuable information and tips to make your fishing trip a success.
Frequently Asked Questions about WA Fishing Licenses
Q: How much does a WA fishing license cost?
A: The cost of a fishing license in Washington State varies depending on several factors, including the type of license, duration, and residency status. In general, an annual resident freshwater fishing license costs $29.50, while an annual non-resident freshwater fishing license costs $87.50.
Q: Do I need a fishing license to fish in WA?
A: Yes, in most cases, a fishing license is required to fish in Washington State. There are some exceptions, such as certain free fishing days and locations, but in general, a valid fishing license is necessary.
Q: How long does it take to get a WA fishing license?
A: If you purchase your fishing license online or at an authorized dealer, you can typically receive it immediately. If you choose to apply by mail, it may take several days for your application to be processed and your license to be issued.
Q: Can I fish without a license if I’m under 16?
A: Yes, children under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license to fish in Washington State. However, they must still abide by all fishing regulations and may need a catch record card for certain species.
What is the cost of a WA fishing license?
The cost of a Washington state fishing license varies depending on factors such as the type of license, duration of the license, residency status, and whether you are a senior or a disabled person. For example, the cost for a resident annual combination license for fishing and hunting is around $86.50 while a resident annual fishing license is $29.50.
Senior citizens who are 70 years or older may qualify for a discounted rate of $7.50 for an annual fishing license or $43.50 for an annual combination license. Persons with disabilities may also be eligible for a reduced rate of $7.50 for an annual fishing license or $43.50 for an annual combination license.
It’s important to note that non-residents are charged a higher fee than residents for the same licenses. Additionally, there are separate fees for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon catch cards. You can find a full list of the fees and licenses on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the options for getting a WA fishing license?
There are several options for getting a WA fishing license, including purchasing online, in person at a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife office, or at an authorized license dealer.
How much does a WA fishing license cost?
The cost of a WA fishing license depends on various factors, such as residency status, duration of the license, and the type of fishing you plan to do. It can range from $8.40 for a 1-day resident license to $63.40 for a 1-year non-resident license.
Do I need a license to fish in WA?
Yes, a fishing license is required to fish in WA for all individuals age 15 and older, regardless of residency status.
What types of fishing licenses are available in WA?
WA offers a variety of fishing licenses, including freshwater, saltwater, shellfish/seaweed, and combination licenses. Additionally, there are reduced fee licenses for seniors, disabled individuals, and veterans.
Can I purchase a WA fishing license as a gift?
Yes, you can purchase a WA fishing license as a gift for someone else. However, you must have their full name, birthdate, and social security number or driver’s license number to complete the transaction.