Fishing Guidance

How much about Fishing in the District of Columbia do you know?

You might be surprised! Check out the information below and if you have more questions, please contact the JBAB Public Affairs office at or by phone 202-404-8863.



The information provided in this message serves as a summary of the Washington DC fishing regulations. Anglers are responsible for reading and understanding, in whole, these regulations placed on them if they desire to fish.   

-          JBAB enforces the Washington DC fishing regulations and requires anglers to obtain a fishing license

o   Fishing regulations, 

o   License can be obtained at MWR or another fishing license vender,  (

o   License required for persons between 16 and 65 years of age


-          Anglers shall adhere to allowed equipment, catch limits, size and seasonal requirements:



o   Striped Bass is a popular and desirable fish, note the requirements: 

§  Unless otherwise posted, May 16 to December 31 of that same year.

§  Two (2) fish between 20” and 28”, OR

§  One (1) fish between 20” and 28” AND one (1) fish greater than 28”.


o   Northern snakehead is a non-native predatory species. If you catch a northern snakehead DO NOT RETURN IT TO THE WATER.  Snakeheads should be immediately killed by removing the head, removing all vital organs, or removing both gill arches.

o   American eel, the minimum size for this species is 9 inches. Possession of undersized American Eel is prohibited.


-          Anglers should adhere to advisories provided by DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE): 

o   Effective 2016, DOEE urges limited consumption of Anacostia and Potomac River fish. PCBs and other chemical contaminants have continued to be found in certain fish species caught in their tributaries, including Rock Creek, within the District's boundaries. Because of these findings, DOEE advises the general public to limit consumption of fish from all DC waters, as follows:

§  Do not eatEel, carp or striped bass

§  May eat: Four servings per month of sunfish, or three servings per month of blue catfish or white perch, or two servings per month of largemouth bass, or one serving per month of brown bullhead catfish or channel catfish

§  Choose to eat: Smaller fish of legal size

§  The practice of catch and release is encouraged


o   See fish preparation guidelines prior to consumption,





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