Washington Non-Resident Fishing License: Prices and Requirements

Washington Non-Resident Fishing License: Prices and Requirements

Fishing in the picturesque waters of Washington State is an experience like no other. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice looking to cast your first line, understanding the Washington Non-Resident Fishing License: Prices and Requirements is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various types of non-resident fishing licenses available, the pricing details, how to obtain a license, and the rules and regulations that govern fishing in Washington.

Types Of Non-Resident Fishing Licenses In Washington

Washington offers a diverse range of fishing licenses to cater to different needs and preferences. Here are the main types:

Annual Fishing Licenses (Valid April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024)

  • Get Outdoors License: $236.18 (Covers fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing)
  • Fish Washington (includes a VAP 2): $69.55
  • Combination (includes a VAP 2): $55.35 for residents, $124.65 for non-residents
  • Freshwater (includes a VAP 2): $29.50 for residents, $84.50 for non-residents
  • Saltwater (includes a VAP 2): $30.05 for residents, $59.75 for non-residents
  • Shellfish/Seaweed: $17.40 for residents, $36.10 for non-residents
  • Razor Clam: $14.10 for residents, $21.80 for non-residents

Short-Term Fishing Licenses

  • 1 Day Combination: $11.35 for residents, $20.15 for non-residents
  • 2 Day Combination: $15.75 for residents, $28.95 for non-residents
  • 3 Day Combination: $19.05 for residents, $35.55 for non-residents
  • 3 Day Razor Clam: $9.70


  • Two-Pole Endorsement: $14.80 (Allows use of two poles while fishing)
  • Puget Sound Crab Endorsement to use with an annual license: $8.75
  • Puget Sound Crab Endorsement to use with a temporary license: $3.80

Catch Record Cards

  • Catch Record Card: Free
  • Catch Record Card + Halibut: $5.50

Parking Passes And Permits

  • Discover Pass: $35.00 (Required for vehicle access to state recreation lands)
  • One-Day Discover Pass: $11.50
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit: $24 (Required for some waterbodies)

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) website provides up-to-date information on license types, fees, and requirements, ensuring you have the most accurate information for your fishing adventure.

Pricing Details

Understanding the pricing structure for non-resident fishing licenses in Washington is crucial for planning your fishing adventure. Here’s a detailed look at the costs, potential savings, and other financial considerations:

Comprehensive Pricing

  • Annual Fishing Licenses: These licenses range from $14.10 for a Razor Clam License to $236.18 for a Get Outdoors License, depending on the type and duration of fishing you plan to do.
  • Short-Term Fishing Licenses: For those planning a brief fishing trip, short-term licenses are available, ranging from $9.70 for a 3 Day Razor Clam to $35.55 for a 3 Day Combination for non-residents.
  • Endorsements and Permits: Additional endorsements and permits, such as the Two-Pole Endorsement ($14.80) and Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit ($24), may be required depending on your fishing activities.

Bundling And Savings Opportunities

  • Combination Licenses: By opting for a Combination License at $124.65, non-resident anglers looking to fish in both freshwater and saltwater locations can save money compared to purchasing individual licenses.
  • Multi-Day Discounts: Purchasing a multi-day license can result in cost savings for those planning to fish for consecutive days.
  • Special Discounts: Washington offers reduced fees for youth, seniors, disabled veterans, and low-income residents, promoting accessibility to fishing opportunities.

Duplicate Licenses

  • Replacement Costs: Duplicate licenses are available for $9.70, providing a replacement for lost, stolen, or mutilated licenses. It’s essential to carry a valid license at all times while fishing.

Additional Costs And Considerations

  • Parking Passes: Depending on the fishing location, parking passes like the Discover Pass ($35.00) may be required.
  • Local Taxes and Fees: Be aware of any local taxes or additional fees that may apply to your license purchase.
  • Online Convenience Fees: Purchasing a license online may include a convenience fee, typically a small percentage of the total cost.

Investment In Conservation

Revenue generated from fishing licenses contributes to conservation efforts, habitat restoration, and fish stocking programs, ensuring a sustainable fishing future in Washington.

How To Obtain A Non-Resident Fishing License In Washington

Obtaining a non-resident fishing license in Washington is a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail to ensure that you select the right license for your needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide, along with additional insights and considerations:

  1. Visit The Official Website
  • Go to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) website: This is the official portal for purchasing fishing licenses, and it provides comprehensive information on the types of licenses, endorsements, and permits available.
  • Create an Account: If you’re a first-time user, you’ll need to create an account. Returning users can log in with their existing credentials.
  1. Choose The License Type
  • Select the Appropriate License, Endorsement, or Permit: Carefully review the options to choose the one that aligns with your fishing plans. Whether you’re targeting specific species or fishing in particular areas, the right license is essential.
  • Consider Bundling Options: If you plan to fish in multiple locations or for multiple days, consider combination licenses or multi-day options for potential savings.
  1. Provide Personal Information
  • Fill in the Required Personal Details: This includes your full name, address, date of birth, and identification (such as a driver’s license or passport).
  • Answer Additional Questions: You may be asked about your previous fishing activities, conservation preferences, or other relevant information to tailor your license.
  1. Make Payment
  • Pay the Applicable Fees Using a Credit or Debit Card: Ensure that the card information is entered accurately, and review the total cost, including any additional fees or taxes.
  • Review Your Purchase: Before finalizing the payment, review your selections to ensure that they are correct.
  1. Print Or Download The License
  • Once Payment is Confirmed, Print or Download the License: You must carry the license with you while fishing, either in printed form or digitally on a mobile device.
  • Consider Additional Documents: Depending on your fishing activities, you may also need to print or download catch record cards or other related documents.
  1. In-Person Options
  • Visit Authorized License Dealers: If you prefer to purchase your license in person, authorized license dealers, including sporting goods stores and WDFW offices, are available throughout the state.
  • Provide Necessary Documentation: Similar to the online process, you’ll need to provide personal information and select the appropriate license.
  1. Stay Informed
  • Understand the Rules and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations related to your license to ensure a lawful fishing experience.
  • Keep Your License Valid: Be aware of the expiration date and renew as needed.

In conclusion, obtaining a non-resident fishing license in Washington is a user-friendly process that can be completed online or in person. By following these steps and considering the additional insights provided, you can confidently embark on your fishing adventure in the Evergreen State.

Rules And Regulations

Fishing in Washington is governed by a comprehensive set of regulations designed to preserve the state’s natural resources and ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all anglers. Here’s a detailed look at the key areas:

Statewide General Rules

  • License Requirements: All anglers must possess a valid fishing license corresponding to the type of fishing they are engaging in.
  • Catch Limits: Specific limits on the number and size of fish that can be caught are enforced to maintain healthy fish populations.
  • Seasonal Restrictions: Certain species may only be fished during designated seasons to protect breeding cycles.

Fish Handling Rules

  • Catch and Release: Proper techniques must be employed when releasing fish to minimize harm.
  • Bait Restrictions: Certain types of bait may be prohibited in specific areas to protect native species.
  • Equipment Regulations: Regulations on hooks, lines, and other equipment ensure ethical fishing practices.

Species-Specific Rules

  • Protected Species: Some species may be protected and must not be targeted or retained.
  • Size Regulations: Minimum and maximum size limits may apply to ensure the sustainability of fish populations.

Marine Area Rules

  • Zoning Regulations: Different marine areas may have unique rules regarding allowable catch, gear, and seasons.
  • Boating Regulations: Rules governing boat size, equipment, and behavior are enforced to ensure safety on the water.

Special Rules For Rivers And Lakes

  • River Restrictions: Certain rivers may have restrictions on fishing methods, species, and seasons.
  • Lake Regulations: Specific rules may apply to individual lakes, including motor restrictions and catch limits.

Practical Tips And Advice

Navigating the complex world of fishing regulations can be challenging. Here are some practical tips and advice to help you on your way:

  • Choose The Right License Type
  • Consider the Type of Fishing: Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, targeting specific species, or planning to fish for multiple days, select the appropriate license.
  • Understand the Costs: Be aware of the different pricing options and choose the one that best fits your budget and needs.
  • Follow Regulations
  • Adhere to All Fishing Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the catch limits, gear restrictions, and other rules specific to the area you’re fishing in.
  • Stay Informed: Regulations may change, so regularly check official sources for updates.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes
  • Ensure License Validity: Make sure your license is valid for the specific area and type of fishing you are engaging in.
  • Respect Closed Seasons: Fishing during closed seasons can result in fines and penalties.
  • Practice Responsible Fishing
  • Respect the Environment: Follow Leave No Trace principles, dispose of trash properly, and avoid damaging natural habitats.
  • Consider Other Anglers: Respect other anglers’ space and follow proper fishing etiquette.

By adhering to these rules and following the practical tips provided, you can enjoy a lawful and fulfilling fishing experience in Washington. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, understanding the Washington Non-Resident Fishing License: Prices and Requirements is the key to a successful fishing adventure.

Benefits Of Fishing In Washington

The state of Washington, with its rich and varied aquatic landscapes, offers a unique and rewarding fishing experience. From the tranquility of alpine lakes to the vibrant life of coastal waters, Washington’s fishing opportunities are as diverse as they are abundant. Here’s a closer look at the benefits:

Diverse Range Of Fishing Locations

  • Serene Lakes: Washington is home to over 7,000 freshwater lakes, including the iconic Lake Washington and Lake Chelan. These lakes offer a peaceful retreat for anglers seeking solitude and a chance to catch species like trout, bass, and perch.
  • Bustling Marine Areas: The Puget Sound and the Pacific Coast provide a bustling marine environment teeming with salmon, halibut, and shellfish. These areas offer a challenging and exciting experience for seasoned anglers.
  • Majestic Rivers: Rivers like the Columbia and the Yakima offer unique fishing opportunities for species such as steelhead and sturgeon. The scenic beauty of these rivers adds to the overall experience.

Economic Benefits Of Fishing Tourism

  • Boost to Local Economies: Fishing tourism contributes significantly to local economies, supporting businesses like bait shops, fishing guides, and accommodations.
  • Employment Opportunities: The fishing industry provides jobs for thousands of Washington residents, from commercial fishing to recreational services.
  • State Revenue: Fishing licenses and endorsements generate revenue that supports conservation efforts, habitat restoration, and fish stocking programs.

Recreational Joy And Well-Being

  • Outdoor Adventure: Fishing in Washington offers a chance to connect with nature, explore new areas, and enjoy outdoor recreation.
  • Family Bonding: Fishing trips provide an opportunity for families to spend quality time together, creating lasting memories.
  • Therapeutic Benefits: The calming effect of being near water, coupled with the focus and patience required for fishing, can have therapeutic benefits, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being.

Environmental Stewardship

  • Conservation Awareness: Fishing regulations and licensing promote responsible fishing practices, contributing to the conservation of fish populations and aquatic habitats.
  • Educational Opportunities: Fishing events and programs educate the public about the importance of preserving Washington’s aquatic ecosystems.

Cultural And Historical Significance

  • Tradition and Heritage: Fishing has deep roots in Washington’s cultural heritage, with Native American tribes and early settlers relying on the abundant fish resources.
  • Community Engagement: Fishing tournaments, festivals, and community events foster a sense of camaraderie and shared passion among anglers.

Washington’s diverse range of fishing locations, coupled with the economic, recreational, environmental, and cultural benefits, make it a prime destination for anglers worldwide. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the Evergreen State’s fishing opportunities offer something for everyone, from the joy of the catch to the beauty of the natural surroundings.


Understanding the Washington Non-Resident Fishing License: Prices and Requirements is the first step towards a rewarding fishing adventure in the Evergreen State. By following the guidelines and enjoying the diverse fishing opportunities, you can create lasting memories and contribute to the state’s vibrant fishing community.

To ensure you have the most up-to-date information, visit the official WDFW website before planning your trip.

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