Salmon season, recreational crab fishing, and all-around freshwater and saltwater fishing are some of the most enjoyable pastimes in Washington State. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that fishing is possible along a combined 500 mile stretch of the Pacific Ocean, as well as another 2,000 miles of shoreline made up of--among other bodies of water--Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Other opportunities include more than 4,000 rivers and 7,000 lakes. A fishing license is a must for all anglers 15 years of age or older, and finding out where to get a Washington State fishing license is quite easy to do.
Purchase your Washington State Fishing License Online
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife offers an online option for those in need of a fishing license. Provide your Social Security number or driver's license number, your last name, date of birth, and also specify the season for which you are attempting to purchase a fishing license. There is no additional processing fee for the online purchase of the license, and you may use your MasterCard or Visa for the transaction.
The downside of using the Internet is that there is a 10-day delay between the online transaction and receiving the license in the mail. While you may engage in most fishing endeavors simply by carrying the printed-out proof of the online transaction, you do have to wait until you have your license in hand for sturgeon, salmon, halibut and steelhead fishing, as well as Dungeness crab catching.
Visit Big-Box General Retailers
Visit your local big-box general merchandise and sporting goods retailers to buy a Washington State fishing license. This process is immediate and you may go fishing that very day without restrictions. Bring along proof of your Social Security number or driver's license number, just as you would for the online process. Examples of these retailers include Wal-Mart, Sports Authority, Sportsman's Warehouse, Kmart, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and Fred Meyer.
Buy a Fishing License at a Resort or Bait Shop
Another option open to anglers is the local bait shop or resort office. Resorts provide fishing licenses as an added service, alongside boat rentals and gear purchases. Bait shops specialize in offering fishing-hole-specific bait and also the fishing licenses that make the hobby legal. Examples of such venues are Bunkers Resort, Mallard Bay Resort and Nine Mile Falls Feed and Hardware. Some of these venues do not provide year-round services and oftentimes they are closed after the tourist season. If you plan on doing some post-season fishing, contact your local bait shop ahead of time to ensure that the store is open and still has licenses on hand to sell.