Free Fishing Weekend in Washington: June 12-13

Every first weekend in June (after the first Monday), Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife hosts Free Fishing Weekend, when fishing licenses are not required. This annual event is to encourage first-timers to experience the sport.

This year Free Fishing Weekend is June 12-13. Anyone can participate and isn’t limited to Washington State residents. Anglers can access any lake, river, saltwater area, and other waterways in the state that’s open for fishing season.

People will also not be required to have a Vehicle Access Pass, which normally comes with a fishing license, nor a Discover Pass in order to access Washington State Park lands or Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife water access sites and boat launches. However, a Discover Pass will still be required in order to fish on public land and waterways managed by the federal Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Learn complete details for this event, including about the Two-Pole Endorsement, at

Around the Pacific and Inland Northwest, other Free Fishing Days this month include:

  • Oregon, June 5-6
  • Idaho, June 12, 2021
  • Montana, June 19-20 (Father’s Day weekend)

To find more free fishing dates around the United States, visit

Photos: Derrick Knowles steelhead fishing on the Columbia River. // Photo: Jeff Holmes (top left); Spokane Riverkeeper Jerry White fly fishing on the Spokane River. // Photo: Derrick Knowles (top right); Urban fly fishing on the Spokane River. // Photo courtesy of Michael Visintainer (lower left); Black Crappie caught at Lake Spokane. // Photo: Randy Osborne; Fishing derby at Klink’s Resort on Williams Lake. // Photo courtesy Klink’s Resort.

[Feature photo by Randy Osborne, rainbow trout from Lake Spokane, near Tumtum.]

Visit the OTO archives for fishing stories with destination ideas and recommendations, fishing trips, and more.

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