Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


Does the daily catch limit and possession limit apply to fishing on my private pond?

  • If you have an approved fish-stocking permit and pond evaluation from WDFW, in most cases state fishing licenses and regulatory requirements are exempted.  The approval process includes pond site parameters and source of fish.  This ensures that diseases will not be spread to wild fish populations, and that screening devices will prevent stocked fish from escaping into wild fish populations.
  • A fish stocking permit from WDFW is required to plant fish into ponds or lakes on private land in Washington State.  It is illegal to move fish to a pond or stream on your land, or between any other bodies of water, without a WDFW permit.
  • However, all rules in the current Sportfishing Rules pamphlet apply to un-stocked ponds or lakes on your private property, whether the ponds or lakes were constructed or naturally created.  If the pond or lake drains unimpeded into the Puget Sound or Strait of Juan de Fuca zone, it is closed to fishing unless specifically listed under the freshwater special rules as being open.
  • See WDFW's Private Fish Stocking and Transport Permits website for more information and permit applications.

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Last Updated
24th of May, 2011