Free Fishing Weekend returns to Washington state June 8-9


For one weekend in Washington state, anglers can fish for many species without a license. 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) annual Free Fishing Weekend event will take place June 8-9.

Some of the fishing opportunities available throughout Washington on Free Fishing Weekend include:

  • Trout and warmwater fish species in lakes throughout the state. Visit the WDFW website to search for a lowland lake near you and see which lakes have been recently stocked. Anglers, both with and without a license fishing over Free Fishing Weekend, can participate and win prizes in the department's 2024 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem tags from trout caught over the weekend. Plenty of prizes remain on tagged fish stocked in lakes throughout the state, according to WDFW. 
  • Lingcod, cabezon, and rockfish on the Washington coast (no boat required).
  • Shad on the Columbia River.

Any fish requiring a catch record card, including sturgeon, salmon, steelhead and halibut, and all shellfish will still require a license on Free Fishing Weekend. All other species open for harvest can be harvested without a license.

Other rules such as seasons, size limits, daily limits and area closures are still in effect. Anglers should check the current fishing regulations before hitting the water, as well as any current emergency rules. There are many ways to check fishing regulations, both on the WDFW website, in the newly upgraded Fish Washington mobile app, and in the printed Fish Washington booklet available wherever licenses are sold.

“Fish and Wildlife police remind you that failure to follow the regulations may result in a citation,” said Kirt Hughes, WDFW fish management division director. “Knowing the rules before heading out will make for a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.”

Other requirements also waived during Free Fishing Weekend include:

  • Vehicle Access Pass (which comes with most fishing licenses).
  • Discover Pass when parking on WDFW, Department of Natural Resources or Washington State Parks lands.
  • Two-pole endorsement.