OLYMPIA - Whether casting for trout, trolling for salmon or digging for clams, fishing is a great way to put fresh, local food on the dinner table. And this weekend is the best time for beginning anglers to get out to local waters and take part in some of the numerous fishing and shellfishing opportunities Washington offers.
Free Fishing Weekend is June 6-7, when no fishing license is required to fish in Washington. To help beginning anglers learn the basics, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has developed a new webpage: "Go fresh, go local - go fishing," available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fish-local/.
The new webpage offers an overview of fishing seasons and fishing spots in communities across the state, information on species of interest to beginning fishers, and tips ranging from how to bait a hook to how to clean catch. The webpage also provides information on water-access sites, public fishing piers and shellfishing beaches.
While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, other rules such as size limits, bag limits and season closures will still be in effect.
Even after the weekend is over, fishing remains a bargain in Washington. An annual combination fishing license - good for both freshwater and saltwater fishing - is $42.35 for state residents. A license for freshwater fishing only is $22, and an annual shellfish license is $11. License fees are reduced for senior citizens, and children 15 and younger fish for free. Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/or at hundreds of retail outlets statewide.
"Fishing has always been a great way to slow down, get outdoors and create memories with family and friends," said WDFW Interim Director Phil Anderson. "It's also a great source of fresh, local food and inexpensive recreation close to home."