Free Fishing Weekend and National Get Outdoors Day bring fee free activities

Free Fishing Weekend and National Outdoor Day give residents a chance to visit local parks and forests without permits or licenses.

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife invites residents to legally fish without a license for “Free Fishing Weekend,” June 10-11.

During the days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington.

Anglers will also not need a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, otherwise required to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries.  Nor will they need a Two Pole Endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted.

Along with free fishing, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass is required during the weekend at nearly 700 sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  A Discover Pass is required in on Sunday, June 11 and on DNR lands throughout the weekend.

“If you haven’t fished in Washington, or want to introduce fishing to someone new to the sport, this is the weekend to get out there,” said Steve Thiesfeld, inland fish program manager.

Anglers have been catching daily limits of trout at lakes for the past month, and many rivers will open to trout fishing June 3 throughout the state. Other options available on Free Fishing Weekend include:

  • Lingcod on the coast.
  • Bass, crappie, perch and other warmwater fish biting in lakes throughout Washington.
  • Hatchery spring chinook on the lower Yakima River
  • Shad on the Columbia River.
  • Hatchery steelhead on rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and area closures will still be in effect.

In addition, Saturday, June 10 is National Get Outdoors Day, allowing residents to visit US Forest Service Land without fees and state parks without a Discover Pass.

“The Pacific Northwest is blessed with incredible natural beauty and world-class recreation opportunities,” said Regional Forester Jim Peña. “Whatever your interest or skill level, there’s something for everyone, so get outdoors and enjoy your public lands!”

This fee waiver includes many picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers. Fees for camping, cabin rentals, heritage expeditions, or other permits still apply.

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