Fishing and shellfishing licenses

Vibrantly colored cutthroat trout hooked with its head partially out of the water
Jim Cummins

Residents and non-residents alike must have a license to fish or shellfish in Washington waters. Everyone age 15 and older needs a fishing license. You do not need a license if you are fishing for common carp, crawfish, bullfrogs, or collecting relic shells.

If you're fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut, or Puget Sound Dungeness crab, your license will come with a catch record card to track your harvest. Everyone, including those younger than 15, must carry a catch record card when fishing. All catch record cards must be returned to WDFW by the appropriate deadline, even if you didn't catch anything.

Buying a license

If you're ready to buy a license, you can visit our online licensing system, contact us by phone at 866-246-9453, or visit one of the hundreds of license dealers around the state. When buying online or by phone, it may take up to 10 days to receive your license in the mail. If your WILD ID has an email address associated with it, you will be emailed a temporary license to use for that 10-day period. There are no temporary catch record cards or tags. If you need immediate use of a catch record card or tag, please visit a local license dealer to make your purchase. 

Federal and state law require everyone 15 and older to provide their social security number before purchasing a license, whether buying in person, online, or by phone.