Fishing contest rules and permits

A fishing contest is any event where six or more licensed anglers (age 15 and older) fish competitively for gamefish and determine winners, regardless of the prize value. A fishing contest permit is required by and issued by WDFW.

The event organizer(s) must conduct their event in full compliance with any COVID-19-related gathering restrictions currently in place through the governor’s Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery plan. 

Contest permit and application fees

The fee for a fishing contest permit is $24.00 (no more than seven permits will be issued to any one permittee during the calendar year). In addition, an application fee of $70.00 will be charged for each application submitted (RCW 77.65.480). The $70 application fee is non-refundable.

Applications for fishing contest permits may be submitted at any time of the year, but they must be received by WDFW no less than 30 days prior to the start date of the proposed contest.

Bass and walleye contests

Bass and walleye contest applicants wishing to have their preferred dates considered equally with all other requested dates must have their applications received by the department by July 1 of the year preceding the year in which the contests are planned to be held. These applications will be processed simultaneously so all applicants have an equal opportunity to get preferred dates. Bass and walleye fishing contest applications received after July 1 will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Upon completion of a fishing contest, a final report is required to be submitted within 30 days. Please see the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 220-220-220 that governs fishing events for more detailed information.

All contest boats must be clearly identified with a fluorescent banner or flagging, visible from 360 degrees, and have wording that identifies them as a contest participant (i.e., Contestant, Tournament, Contest, or similar).

To view and download results from bass fishing contests since 2008, visit the bass fishing contest results page. Contest results prior to 2008 can be found in the publication library.

Juvenile fishing events

Fishing contests that are restricted to individuals under 15 years of age are defined as juvenile fishing events. A juvenile fishing event exists when ten or more juveniles fish competitively and determine winners, regardless of the prize value. Sponsors of juvenile fishing events must inform the department regional office in which the event will occur. Juvenile fishing event sponsors requesting fish from the department are required to apply for fish by February 1st of the year in which the event is planned. Please see the WAC that governs juvenile fishing events for more detailed information.

Application and report forms

The forms for an application, final report, aquatic invasive species decontamination statement, and aquatic invasive species decontamination report, may be obtained from the department at PO Box 43150, Olympia, WA 98504-3150 or by clicking the appropriate links below.

Please note that the PDF versions of the application and final report forms may be filled out electronically, but they cannot be saved. However, the Word formatted forms may be filled out and saved to your computer.


  • Application for Permit to Conduct a Contest for the Taking of Game Fish:   MS Word | PDF


  • Final Report of Contest for the Taking of Game Fish:  MS Word | PDF
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Tournament Watercraft Attestation:  MS Word | PDF
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Tournament Watercraft Inspection-Cleaning Attestation:  PDF

Additional permits may be required

There may be additional permits required by WDFW and/or other organizations to ensure compliance with other regulatory statutes.