In the Pacific Northwest fishing is a way of life. Avid anglers hit the streams, lakes and the ocean with a gusto and an understanding of lines, lures, and bait that only comes with practice and perseverance. But like driving a car, it’s hard to know every rule and regulation. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you learn the basics and where to look for further information about fishing in your area.
Both Oregon and Washington have different rules on youth licenses. Anyone who isn’t a kid will need a valid fishing license in both states.
Oregon: Kids 11 and younger do not need a license, while those 12-17 are only required to carry a youth license.
Washington: Anyone 14 and younger does not need a license, but is required to maintain a valid catch record card. Everyone else is required to have a valid fishing license that is only attainable with a valid Social Security number.
Getting Your License
The easiest way to get a license in either state is online or at many Coastal Farm & Ranch locations. As long as your store has a hunting and fishing department, you can likely get your license there. Be sure to add specific endorsements for fishing on the Columbia River basin, ocean fishing, crabbing, and other areas as needed.
Pay for Parking
Depending on where you fish you’ll need a parking permit to plant your vehicle on public lands or designated parking lots. The good news is, you can use the same pass when you go camping or hiking. You can get your Oregon and Washington parking passes online.
Read All the Regulations
Both the Oregon and Washington regulation guides are over 100 pages long, so it can be tough to memorize every detail. But the guides will help you plan your next fishing trip with open fishing dates for specific lakes, streams, creeks, rivers, and species of fish.
- Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations here
- Washington Sports Fishing Rules here, along with seasonal fishing information for the west and east side of the state.
Free Fishing Days
Every year, both Oregon and Washington host free fishing days. These are days when anyone can reel in a big one from a state waterway.
Oregon Free Fishing Weekend is June 3-4, 2017. Oregon often offers free fishing on the last and first day of the year. Check with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for information on this year’s opportunities.
Washington Free Fishing Weekend is June 11-12, 2017. This annual event always falls on the weekend following the first Monday in June. In Washington you don’t need a parking pass on free fishing weekends.
Start Your Fishing Trip at Coastal
You’ll find rods, reels, bait, tackle boxes, and plenty of fishing stories at most Coastal Farm & Ranch locations. Just stop by and ask where to find the sporting goods department. We’ll have someone there waiting to help you stock up on everything you need for the season.