‘Free Fishing Weekend’ returns for Washington anglers June 12, 13

Free Fishing Day

Anglers across Washington will be able to go fishing for free on June 12 and 13. 

Free Fishing Weekend allows residents and non-residents to fish or gather shellfish in any water open to fishing without needing a license. 

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity to try fishing for the first time, or maybe the first time in a long time,” said Steve Caromile, Inland Fish Program manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “And if you’re already an avid angler, it’s the perfect chance to introduce someone new to the sport.” 

Some opportunities during the weekend include: 

  • Trout in lowland lakes and in many rivers
  • Lingcod on the coast
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish in Washington lakes
  • Shad on the Columbia River; portions of the lower river are also open for salmon and steelhead 

Though the weekend allows anglers to go without a license, there will still be catch record requirements, size limits and bag limits. 

“It’s important to account for the catch of certain species like crab, halibut, salmon, sturgeon and steelhead when and where the season is open, so catch record cards are still required on Free Fishing Weekend,” said WDFW Fish Management Division manager Kirt Hughes.

For more information about where you might fish, go to WDFW’s website.

In addition to WDFW’s Free Fishing Weekend, The U.S. Forest Service is offering fee-free access to day-use recreation areas on June 12 for National Get Outdoors Day.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has some free days coming up, too:

  • Saturday, June 12, in honor of National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 13, for Free Fishing Day
  • Saturday, June 19, in honor of Juneteenth

The $10 entry fee will be waived; visitors will not need to display a Discover Pass for day-use parking at Washington state parks.

The remaining 2021 Discover Pass free days are:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 25, National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 25, National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 26, Autumn Day

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