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Outdoors | May 15, 2021

Fishing Licenses in Oregon and Washington Explained

Outdoors Fishing Sporting Goods Angler

Everything seems to have gotten more complicated in recent years, including the simple act of going fishing. If you want to take yourself and a young angler fishing in Oregon and Washington, there are online accounts to create, licenses to buy, parking passes to acquire, and regulations to scour. Today, we’re going to try to simplify some of that information and help you enjoy a day on the water during much of the 2021 season.

Please Note: all fees listed in this article were current as of January 2021. Fees and prices may change without warning.

Who Needs a License

In Oregon, those 12 and older need a license to go fishing. In Washington, 15 and over need a license. Both states offer discounts for residents, military veterans, retirees, and other special groups.

Smartphone Apps and Paper Licenses

Whether you purchase a license in Oregon or Washington, you’ll have the choice of printing it at home, getting a printed version from a licensed vendor or state office, or downloading it to a special app. If you choose the app, you’ll need to have your smartphone on you at all times, including the license for young anglers.

Fishing in Oregon

Start your journey at odfw.huntfishoregon.com. There, you’ll need to create an account. This will allow you to purchase a license and endorsements for yourself and your kids or grandkids.

The Oregon resident annual tag is $44 for adults and $10 for youth ages 12-17. Daily adult licenses are $23 with a $1 fee for the Columbia River Basin Endorsement. A parking pass will run you $10 for a single day.

When fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the mainstream Columbia River or in any river or tributary that flows into the Columbia River, you’ll need a valid Columbia River Basin Endorsement. These are $9.75 for the 2021 season. The youth $10 license includes the Columbia River Basin Endorsement.

Download the Oregon Sport Fishing Guide here. This 100-page document is packed with rules, regulations, and tips. The important parts to note are on pages 8-9 (licenses and fees) as well as 28-92 (zone regulations). Use the guide to pinpoint where you plan to go fishing and you’ll get all the information you need, including when you can fish that creek, river, or lake, what can be caught legally, and what types of bait you can and cannot use. Learn about bag and possession limits, as well as hook and weight regulations and harvest methods.

Get your license, tag, and permits here.

You can also come by Coastal and we can help you get the right license for your needs, including daily passes and parking permits.

Fishing in Washington

In Washington, you can get your license and parking (Discovery) passes online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. Simply make an online account and you’ll be able to select the licenses you need for the perfect fishing trip.

For Washington residents, the state has several license options depending on how many days you’ll want to go fishing and what kind of fish you want to harvest.

Please note: all anglers 15 and over are considered adults in Washington. There are no youth passes.

The Fish Washington License ($69.55) is an annual license allowing you to harvest freshwater and saltwater fish. It includes a 2-pole and Puget Sound Dungeness Crab endorsement. Catch record cards are included for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. A Halibut endorsement is another $5.50 for the year.

Other options include the freshwater-only annual pass, saltwater only, as well as single-day passes.

A 1-day Discover Pass, which allows you to park on most public lands costs $11, with an annual pass running $33.

Download the Washington Sport Fishing Rules here. You’ll find the fees listed on page 14, with specific rules and regulations per creek, river, lake, and reservoirs starting on page 24. Other fishing rules and regulations can be found on the WDFW website.

Get your license, tag, and permits here.

You can also come by Coastal and we can help you get the right license for your needs, including daily passes and parking permits.

Where are the Fish Biting?

Both Oregon and Washington share when they stock certain waterways with fish. Check out the schedule for Oregon and Washington, and then plan your trip accordingly.

Get Your Fishing Gear and Licenses at Coastal

You’ll find everything you need for the perfect fishing trip at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. Our pros can help you get the right rod and reel, as well as the gear you need, including licenses for both Oregon and Washington.

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