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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Free fishing 1 weekend in June anywhere in WA. Here’s what you need to know

By Annette Cary</p><p>Tri-City Herald</p><p>

KENNEWICK – Fishing will be free in Washington state – no license required for most types of fish – for one weekend in June.

Washington state Fish and Wildlife has two days of free fishing each year on the first weekend after the first Monday in June to help introduce people to fishing. This year the weekend is June 8-9.

You also won’t need to pay for parking at Washington state parks, state fish and wildlife areas and state Department of Natural Resources land those two days. No Discover Pass will be required whether you are there to fish or just enjoy the outdoors.

For the second year in a row, any fish that requires a catch card will require a fishing license. That includes, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and halibut.

In addition, all shellfish will require a license to harvest. That may be a tough one as the extreme low tides on free fishing weekend are expected to attract many people seeking shellfish.

The free fishing weekend had become so popular for those species of fish and for shellfish that the wildlife officials were concerned about unreported or unlawful retention and the large amount harvested.

As part of free fishing weekend, no two-pole endorsements are required. The endorsements allow anglers to use two fishing rods on most freshwater lakes, ponds, some sections of rivers and a few marine areas.

However, other fishing regulations apply, including size limits, bag limits and some fishing area closures.

To easily check regulations an updated “Fish Washington” app is available on Google Play, the Apple App Store, and the Fish and Wildlife website. Printed Fish Washington booklets also are available where licenses are sold.

Win prizes with tagged fish

To not only fish for free, but possibly win a prize, go to one of the lakes tagged with stocked fish for the 2024 Trout Fishing Derby.

Many prizes have yet to be claimed, says the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Stocked lakes near the Tri-Cities include Dalton Lake in Franklin County about five miles upstream off the Snake River from Ice Harbor Dam. Take the Pasco Kahlotus Highway to West Herman Road.

Hood Park ponds also are stocked near Burbank on the Snake River. The ponds have two new piers accessible to those with disabilities. They were installed this month by 19 union volunteers through the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.

If you are fishing on the west side of the state, American Lake, Lake Bradley, Silver Lake and Tanwax Lake in Pierce County are stocked with derby fish.

In Thurston County, Clear, Deep, Offutt, Pattison, Summit and Ward lakes are stocked.

In Whatcom County, Lake Padden is stocked.

Go to for a full list of derby lakes in Washington.

Also popular on the west side of the state during free fishing weekend are lincod, cabezon and rockfish angling from jetties on the Washington coast and shad on the lower Columbia River.

Oregon free fishing, camping

If you want to check out fishing in Oregon, everyone, nonresidents included, can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on the first weekend of June, June 1-2.

No fishing or shellfish licenses or tags are required, including the combined angling tag, a Columbia River Basin endorsement or a two-rod validation.

Oregon State Parks also offers free parking and camping on Saturday, June 1.