Catch record card

The catch record card is an important management tool for estimating the recreational catch of salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut and Puget Sound Dungeness crab. 

The law requires that a catch record card must be in your possession when you are fishing for these species.  After you catch a fish or crab, you are required to enter that catch on your catch record card before continuing to fish. All anglers are required to return their cards by the appropriate deadline, even if you did not catch anything (WAC 220-310-020 and WAC 220-310-010). 

A separate catch record card is issued with the purchase of a Puget Sound Dungeness crab endorsement.

Frequently asked questions

How do I fill out my catch record card?

See these complete instructions and a full list of catch area codes.

When are the catch record cards due?

  • Fish catch cards are due by April 30, following the end of the license year.
  • Summer crab cards are due by Oct. 1 following the end of the summer season.
  • Winter crab cards are due by Feb. 1, following the end of the winter season.

Where do I return my catch record card?

Please mail your cards to:

PO Box 43142
Olympia, WA 98504-3142

Can I report my catch data online?

  • Crab catch reports can be entered using WDFW's online licensing system.
  • The reporting site is open from the end of the crab season through the reporting deadline.
  • At this time online reporting is not available for fish catch reports; those cards must be mailed in.

Why must I return my catch record card if I didn’t catch anything?

The post-season sport harvest estimates are based on the average number of fish or crab per card. Cards with zero catch are included in the average; otherwise the numbers would be inflated.

I lost my catch record card! What do I do?

You are still required you report your catch information by the due date, even if you lost your card. If you no longer have your card, mail the information requested below to:

PO Box 43142
Olympia, WA 98504-3142

Or send the catch report by e-mail to:

Provide the following information:

  1. Your full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. WILD identification number, if you know it (found on your license)
  4. Telephone number or e-mail address (so we can contact you with questions.)
  5. All retained salmon, sturgeon, steelhead, Dungeness crab and halibut catch information (See complete instructions on how to fill out your Catch Record Card).