The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is responsible for managing the state's fish and wildlife resources and establishing basic rules and regulations governing the time, place, manner, and methods used to harvest or enjoy fish and wildlife. As a part of this responsibility, the WDFW issues licenses, endorsements, and catch record cards for fishing in Washington.
Types of fishing licenses include annual or temporary freshwater, saltwater, shellfish and seaweed, and combination licenses. Generally, there are resident, nonresident, and youth fees established in statute. Youth fees for fishing licenses apply to youth age 15, and those under age 15 are not required to purchase a license.
Certain fishing licenses are available at reduced rates to certain disabled veterans and individuals with disabilities. State residents who meet the criteria may receive a combination fishing license for $5. Nonstate residents may purchase a license at the same prices as a nondisabled Washington resident. To qualify for these reduced rates, the individual must:
A recreational fishing or shellfish license is not required to fish for carp, freshwater smelt, and crawfish.
A person must obtain a recreational fishing or shellfish license in order to fish for smelt, carp, and crawfish.