When you go fishing or spend time on the water, you’ll have the best experience if you’re prepared and act safely. Even if you know how to swim, you should always be careful around water and have a friend or adult with you in case you need help.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), also called life jackets and life vests, are not just for wearing in boats. You should wear a PFD anytime you’re around water.
Also, you should always be with another person anytime you're on or near the water.
There are rules in place to protect fish and make sure there will be enough for us to catch and enjoy in the future. Washington’s fishing rules state where and when we can fish, what kind and how many we can catch, and what gear to use. Protecting fish is number one and people play an important part by following the rules. Information on the rules and other tips are on the Go Fishing website. Details on fishing rules are included in the current Fishing in Washington pamphlet.
Kids who are 14 and younger don’t need a fishing license to fish in the state of Washington. Teens 15 years of age are required to buy a youth fishing license, which allows them to fish in both fresh and saltwater. For more information, please see the License Types and Fees chart.
No license is required for anyone on Free Fishing Weekend, which is the first weekend in June following the first Monday.
To keep track of how many fish are caught during the season, anglers of all ages must keep and fill out a special catch record card. You must have one with you if you’re fishing for salmon, Pacific halibut, sturgeon, steelhead or Dungeness crab (even on Free Fishing Weekend). You don’t need one for other fish. More information is available on the WDFW licensing website.