Serving Franklin County, WA

Free Fishing Weekend on tap statewide

License now required for some species

PASCO – Want to go fishing on the Snake or Columbia River but don’t have a license?

Well, this weekend you’re in luck as “Free Fishing Weekend” opens state waters for anglers who don’t have a license.

But if you don’t have a license, be careful what you catch this Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11.

Game wardens will be on the lookout for fishermen catching salmon, sturgeon and steelhead in Eastern Washington waters without a license.

That’s because state bureaucrats in Olympia have changed the rules relating to Free Fishing Weekend.

Any species that requires a catch card is now off limits to non-licensed fishermen.

Those without a license can still catch trout, bass, perch, crappie, catchfish, walleye and pike, among other warm-water species.

“Free Fishing Weekend can’t be as ‘free’ as it has been,” state Department of Fish and Wildlife fish manager Kirt Hughes said. “This event is still a great opportunity to be out on the water and enjoy fishing for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, without having to buy a license up front.”

Hughes claimed the change is necessary to balance fishing with conservation, purportedly because of “excessive pressure” on some fisheries.

Fishermen heading to the water this weekend also are not required to have a vehicle access or Discover passes or a two-pole endorsement.

Free Fishing Weekend is required by the state Discover Pass law


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