License confusion...

Billy McFly

Active Member
I stopped by Cabela’s today to pick up my 2013 fishing license and since I’m not sure what I need, I go by to the Fly Fishing area to get some advice. I told the guy I would be fishing Puget Sound beaches for Sea Run Cuts and fresh water streams/lakes in both Eastern and Western Washington. He told me I only need the Freshwater license. I asked about the adder for the Columbia River and its tributaries and he told me I didn’t need that.

Is it true I don’t need a saltwater license? I want to be sure

Also – since every river on the east side eventually runs into the Columbia don’t I need the adder for the Columbia and its tributaries??

Thanks to everyone for the education :)


Not to be confused with Freestone
In addition to reminding me about getting a new license, I'll be watching the replies close. Figuring out WA's fishing license system is getting absolutely insane...frippin tax codes are easier to understand :eek:

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
You only need the Columbia River endorsement if you're fishing salmon or steelhead in the Columbia or it's tributaries. I think you would need the saltwater endorsement to fish sea runs.

Jim Darden

Active Member
Boy did you get some bum advice! You need to buy the whole nine yards: salt, fresh, and Columbia stamp, don't forget the salmon/steelhead card. The Washington regs are the worst I've ever seen, you need to hire a lawyer before you go fishing.


Active Member
Yes you need a salt water lic. To fish searuns in the salt. You should just get the combo with the Columbia enhancement. You never know where you will end up within the year


Sculpin Enterprises
Also, remember that it is a pink salmon year. You might want to fish for some of those while you are out in the sound.


Bill Aubrey

Active Member
And, don't forget the Discover Pass. You only need it at certain sites, but do you really want to do the research every time you get a chance to chase fish someplace? Basically, my WA resident licenses, fishing only and no shellfish, cost me $92 if I remember right last year. By contrast, my annual nonresident license in Montana is $70, including the sportsman tag. But, hey, Montana doesn't have the great trout fishing we do........wait, forget that part.

Bradley Miller

Dances with fish
If you go out to the O.P to fish for salmon and steelhead some of the rivers are in the park. It is a free catch record card
Oh ok. What about Rainier Nat'l. Park? What does a person have to do to fish
there, any idea? I'd like to try to fish the Ohanapecosh area this year.
Don't know about Ranier but the national parks are inconsistent. Glacier says go fishing, Yellowstone has a license and a boat pass for toons, tubes and boats. And, In YNP, you cannot float the rivers (unless of course you fell and are now acting as "driftwood". I'd get on the website for each park you intend to fish.


"Chasing Riseforms"
This state gives a tremendous DISCOUNT if you are fricking blind and over 76 years of age I think.....:mad::D I think half price too!!!!!!!!!!!