Fishing and shellfishing licenses
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 360-902-2464, 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.
Fishing license types and fees
View a table of all available recreational fishing licenses, permits, and endorsements
Catch record cards
You must have a catch record card in your possession when fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut and Puget Sound Dungeness crab.
Fishing license endorsements
Endorsements may be purchased along with your fishing license to enhance your fishing opportunities.
Group fishing permits
Specialty permits for group fishing activities by state-run facilities, nonprofits, and angler training classes.
Fishing contest rules and permits
A fishing contest is any event where six or more licensed anglers fish competitively for gamefish and determine winners.
Canadian salmon trip notification
Anglers who plan to fish for salmon in Canadian marine waters and return to Washington with their catch must notify WDFW before leaving state waters.
Fish stocking and transport permits
Permits are required to transport fish into and through Washington state, and to stock approved private ponds and water bodies with fish.
Shellfish import and transfer permits
Information on how to apply for a permit to import out of state shellfish or transfer shellfish within Washington State.
Voluntary Trip Report program
Voluntary trip reports help WDFW maximize recreational salmon fishing opportunities each year.