Tags: Gun Control | fishing in washington | saltwater | license | reciprocity

Which States Does Washington Have Reciprocity on Saltwater/Marine Fishing Licenses?

By    |   Monday, 14 Dec 2015 02:39 PM

Washington State’s only Pacific Coast neighbor on the U.S. side of the Canadian border is Oregon. There is also the Columbia River, which rises in British Columbia and flows southwestward through Washington before defining about two-thirds of the border between the two states and then empties into the Pacific Ocean.

The states have fishing license reciprocity along their boundary waters for freshwater fishing licenses inland, and for saltwater licenses in a defined zone of the Columbia River mouth, out to what used to be considered the three-mile limit beyond which was “international waters” in the days when a nation’s territory extended out as far as its biggest guns could shoot.

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Inside the mouth, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations, those fishing can use either a saltwater, freshwater, or combination license in an area of the mouth of the Columbia defined by an imaginary line from Rocky Point in Washington to Tongue Point in Oregon, and a line defined by a set of navigational buoys.

Fishing from shore, however, you need the license from the state on whose shore you’re standing.

Farther out, from a defined line across the mouth of the Columbia out to the old three-mile limit of international waters, a person in “a vessel or other floating device” may fish for “game fish, food fish, unclassified fish, and shellfish, unless otherwise prohibited” with either an Oregon or Washington saltwater fishing license, according to the laws of both states.

Line in the Sound

Washington’s northern border is with Canada, specifically the province of British Columbia. The international border winds through the Puget Sound, dipping south to go around Canada’s Vancouver Island. On the Canadian side of the border, saltwater anglers, Canadian or not, need a “Tidal Waters Sport Fishing License” from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before fishing.

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Washington State’s only Pacific Coast neighbor on the U.S. side of the Canadian border is Oregon. The states have fishing license reciprocity along their boundary waters for freshwater fishing licenses inland, and for saltwater licenses in a defined zone of the Columbia River mouth.
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