Anglers can forget their fishing license on June 6 and 7. However, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking people to remember to recreate responsibly during this year’s “Free Fishing Weekend” to keep communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s great to see that based on our conversations with public health officials, conditions are right to be able to continue on the department's long-standing practice of offering a Free Fishing Weekend,” WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham said in a news release. “This is about providing everyone an opportunity to give fishing a try in a safe and responsible way.”
Those wishing to fish will need to follow state guidelines and health advice for the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to recreate in their local communities and only traveling with family or other members of their immediate household.
Fishers should also check ahead of time if their preferred destination or launch is open. Some local facilities, including tribal lands, remain closed.
While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, rules such as size limits, bag limits, catch record card requirements and area closures will still be in effect.
Halibut and razor clam harvest on the coast and intertidal shellfish in Puget Sound will remain closed due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.
While non-resident license sales are still suspended, non-residents can participate in Free Fishing Weekend since no license is needed. Anyone participating in Free Fishing Weekend should follow responsible recreation guidelines, which include staying local and fishing as close to home as possible.
Anglers will not need a two-pole endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at water-access sites maintained by WDFW or Washington State Parks.