Annual Fish Washington License: Your Key to Year-Round Fishing!

Washington state offers world-class fishing opportunities across its vast freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams as well as its saltwater coastline and inland waterways. For passionate anglers who enjoy casting a line year-round, an Annual Fish Washington License provides exceptional value and convenience.

A License for All Seasons

The Annual Fish License grants fishing privileges for a full 12 months, valid from April 1st through March 31st of the following year. This enables you to legally fish for salmon, trout, bass, walleye, crappie, perch, and more on Washington’s public fresh and saltwaters throughout all four seasons .

Rather than purchasing multiple short-term licenses, the annual license allows you to fish recreationally every day within the license year. It covers shellfishing too, so you can gather clams, oysters, mussels, and other saltwater delicacies.

For serious anglers who love nothing more than feeling that tug on the line, the annual license translates to exceptional value for money given the year-round fishing access permitted.

Flexible Fishing Across All of Washington

The Annual Fish License grants recreational fishing access to over 6,000 freshwater lakes/ponds, 16,000 miles of rivers/streams, and 3,400 miles of saltwater coastline and bays .

You can cast from the shores of Lake Washington near Seattle one weekend, then head east to fly fish the Yakima River the next. Saltwater enthusiasts can target salmon along the Strait of Juan de Fuca or bottom fish for rockfish and lingcod out of Ilwaco.

No matter where your fishing adventures take you in Washington, a single annual license covers it all.

Essential Endorsements Included

The annual license bundles several of the most popular fishing endorsements into one, maximizing convenience for anglers.

These endorsements include:

  • Two-Pole – Allows use of a second rod for freshwater fishing
  • Columbia River – Required for fishing the Columbia River system
  • Puget Sound Dungeness Crab – For recreational crabbing in Puget Sound
  • Halibut – Covers fishing for halibut in marine areas

With all these endorsements included, you can employ dual rods to catch trout on a backcountry lake, wrestle salmon on the mighty Columbia, haul up pots brimming with Dungeness crab in the Sound, or best an aggressive Pacific halibut from your charter boat.

The annual license saves you having to selectively add endorsements each time you fish – they automatically come bundled with the base license.

Catch Record Cards & Vehicle Access Pass

In addition to fishing privileges and endorsements, the annual license comes with handy supplementary materials for responsible fishing in Washington.

You’ll receive Catch Record Cards for tracking harvests of popular sportfish like salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and halibut. Careful catch monitoring helps fisheries managers sustain healthy, productive fish stocks.

Vehicle Access Pass also comes included, granting access to over 1,000 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife managed water access sites. These provide public parking and boat launches statewide.

Purchase Online, by Phone or In-Person

Acquiring an Annual Fish Washington License is a quick and convenient process:

  • Online – Purchase via credit card on the WDFW licensing website
  • Phone – Call 1-866-246-9453 to buy over the phone
  • Retail Locations – Visit authorized license dealers across the state

When applying, have the following information ready:

  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license/ID number
  • Length of residency if new to Washington (for discount)

Proof of identity and state residency is required, so have documentation ready. Licenses cannot be transferred or refunded.

Resident vs. Non-Resident Costs

As an added incentive for state residents, Washington offers discounted license rates to qualifying residents:

License Type Resident Non-Resident
Annual Fish $55.50 $94.50

To qualify for resident status, you must have lived in Washington for the prior six months and not claimed residency elsewhere.

For non-residents, a 7-day license can be purchased if you don’t fish enough to justify the full annual license. But for most visiting anglers, the annual license still represents good value if fishing multiple times per year.

Additional Discounts Available

Beyond the standard resident discount, several other annual license discounts exist for Washingtonians:

  • Ages 15 and under fish for free (no license required)
  • 16-17 years old qualify for a juvenile license discount
  • Seniors aged 70+ receive 30% off adult license fees
  • Disabled veterans fish for free with WDFW disability license

So be sure to enquire about discounted annual license rates if you qualify.

Washington’s diverse landscapes, waterways and coastal habitats mean different fish run virtually all year. Here are some of the most productive fisheries for annual license holders:

  • Columbia River – Iconic for its salmon and steelhead runs from summer through fall
  • Cowlitz River – Reliable steelhead and trout fishing November through May
  • Lake Washington – Big bass and perch during warmer months
  • Puget Sound – Winter blackmouth and feeder Chinook salmon
  • Ilwaco/Westport – Year-round rockfish, lingcod and seasonal salmon
  • Lakes Chelan, Roosevelt, Rufus Woods – Prime trout fishing spring through fall
  • Snake River – Smallmouth bass and walleye fishing peaks mid-summer

Avid resident angler Tim Jones enthuses about the year-round opportunities:

“I use my annual license spring through winter chasing everything from mountain trout to Columbia River salmon. It’s convenient having that one license cover all seasons and species. I easily get my money’s worth!”

Support Local Fisheries Conservation

Aside from its great value for money, purchasing an Annual Fish Washington License directly supports local conservation efforts.

License revenues help fund hatchery operations, fish stocking programs, habitat restoration projects and enforcement of fishing regulations statewide.

So your license purchase goes towards actively sustaining and enhancing fishery health for future generations.

Flexible, Affordable Fishing Freedom

For passionate Washington anglers, the Annual Fish License represents a smart investment that pays dividends all year long.

The convenience of one license covering all seasons and species is coupled with bundled endorsements and handy catch cards for responsible fishing.

Reasonable annual license rates – especially for eligible residents – make this superb value for money.

So escape to Washington’s wild fishing wonderland as often as you like with an Annual Fish License in hand!

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