Fish for free this weekend

Anglers are reeling in sturgeon on the Columbia River, lingcod from Puget Sound and trout from lakes throughout the state. Starting Saturday, June 6, trout fishing will open on dozens of rivers and streams on both sides of the Cascades.

If that sounds like fun, Washingtonians who are interested in fishing but haven’t tried it have a perfect chance to do so during free fishing weekend, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, no vehicle use permit will be required to park at any of the 500 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“Free fishing weekend is a great time to revive an old hobby or to introduce friends and family to fishing,” said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist. “Adults can introduce kids to fishing on a wide variety of waters around the state.”

While no licenses are required, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and season closures will still be in effect.

For example, no crab fishing will be allowed in Puget Sound during free fishing weekend, because the fishery will still be closed as of June 6 and 7. Anglers will also be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut they catch that weekend.

Catch record cards and WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet are available free at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state.

The rules pamphlet is also posted at

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