A Washington freshwater fishing license, valid April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011, costs $26.00 for resident adults (16-69 years old). Fifteen-year-olds and persons with disabilities can buy a license for $11, and seniors (70 years and older) can buy an annual fishing license for $8.00. Children 14 years and younger do not need a fishing license.
A new two-pole endorsement - which allows anglers to fish with two rods in most lakes - costs an additional $24.50 for adults; $6.50 for seniors.
All licenses can be purchased on the Internet ( http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov ), by telephone (1-866-246-9453), or at hundreds of license dealers across the state (listed on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors ).
Tips on fishing areas, listed by county and water, can be found in "Washington Fishing Prospects: Where To Catch Fish In the Evergreen State," available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/prospects . Fish stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the 2010 Hatchery Trout Stocking Plan on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/plants .
Copies of WDFW's annual "Fishing In Washington" sport fishing rules pamphlet are also available from license dealers, WDFW offices and on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm . The current rules are in effect through April 30, 2010; the rules for May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011 will be posted and available in printed form by May 1.
Rather catch spring chinook? The fishery in the lower Columbia River is set to close at the end of the day April 18, but anglers will still be able to retain hatchery-raised spring chinook above Bonneville Dam and in tributaries to the big river. In addition, four areas of the Snake River will open for springers later this month. (See the regional report for Eastern Washington below for details on that opening.)
Other new fishing seasons coming up in the days ahead include openings May 1 for shrimp and halibut. A three-day razor-razor clam dig also gets under way April 16 on the coast. See the South Puget Sound/Olympic Peninsula report below for more information on all three of those fisheries.