A group of people fishing from a dock.
Fisherman on a dock at Curlew Lake.
Fishing in the surf at Griffiths-Priday.
Fishing at Ike Kinswa.
Fishing at Lake Sammamish.

Fishing, Shellfishing & Seaweed Harvesting

Head out to one of more than 80 state parks where you can fish or harvest shellfish and seaweed in season. Or, enjoy freshwater fishing and harvesting at regularly-stocked state parks lakes and ponds.

Rules & safety

Make sure you have the right permits. Fishing and shellfishing both need specific permits from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fishing license

Everyone age 15 and older must have a license to fish or shellfish in Washington waters. You do not need a license to fish for common carp, crawfish, bullfrogs, or collecting relic shells. Make sure you have a license from the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in order to fish.

Shellfish and seaweed harvesting license

You must have a Washington state shellfish license to harvest shellfish, squid, octopus, sea cucumbers, and seaweed. For current season openings and beach location visit WDFW website. Shellfish harvesters are urged to check the Department of Health Washington shellfish safety map for health-related closures and advisories on the same day they plan to harvest.

For all license information, visit the WDFW licensing webpage or call (360) 902-2464.

Getting started with Fishing, Shellfishing & Seaweed Harvesting


Many state park lakes and ponds, such as Cascade Lake at Moran, are regularly stocked with rainbow, cutthroat, and kokanee trout. Fish for largemouth bass at Curlew Lake in the sunny Okanogan Highlands, or for salmon and trout at Seaquest in the shadow of Mount St. Helens. Triton Cove on Hood Canal, once a small trailer-in fishing resort, is still a great spot for catching offshore salmon, red snapper, and cod.

Shellfish & seaweed harvesting

Edible Northwest shellfish, abundant on many park beaches, can be harvested in season. Visitors may harvest clams, oysters, mussels, goose barnacles, Dungeness crab, red rock crab, shrimp (including sand shrimp), scallops, squid, octopus, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, crayfish and seaweed from approved parks during open seasons.

Clamming and oyster harvesting are excellent at Potlatch and Belfair (south Hood Canal) and Dosewallips (north Hood Canal). Many state parks provide great crab wading or crab pot fishing locations. Other good shellfish-gathering spots include Spencer Spit, Birch Bay, Fort Flagler and Twanoh. Daily personal catch limits apply for all harvestable species.

Seaweed may be taken from Fort Flagler, Fort Ebey and Fort Worden state parks from April 16 - May 15 only. All other state parks are closed year-round to seaweed harvesting.

Map & visitor guide

Use the Find a Park Page to see maps and visitor guides for a specific park.