Some of the best times to explore the wonders of beaches at Cape Disappointment,
Grayland Beach, Griffiths-Priday and other Pacific beaches, are after winter storms
and during low tide. Other favorite places to explore beaches include Joseph Whidbey
and serene Sequim Bay.
Post the "gone fishing" sign on your door and head for one of the 80 plus parks
where you can dangle a hook. 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.
A current Washington state fishing license is required for all but a few game
species. For license information call the Washington State Department of Fish and
Wildlife (WDFW) at (360) 902-2464. For current season openings call the WDFW
Fishing Hotline at (360) 902-2500.
Shellfish and Seaweed Harvesting
Edible Northwest shellfish, abundant on many park beaches, can be harvested in
season. Clamming, crabbing and oystering are excellent at Shine Tidelands (near the
Hood Canal Bridge), while sheltered Camano Island has mussels, clams, crab and shrimp.
Ocean City, Pacific Pines and other coastal parks are the place to dig razor clams.
Other good shellfish-gathering spots include Spencer Spit, South Whidbey, Twanoh and
You must have a Washington state shellfish license to harvest shellfish, squid,
octopus, sea cucumbers and seaweed. For license information call the Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) at (360) 902-2464. For current season
openings call WDFW at (360) 796-3215.
Good scuba diving can be found at more than 20 state parks, including Fort Ward on
Rich Passage and boat-access-only Blake Island. There's an artificial reef to explore at
Saltwater, just minutes away from both Seattle and Tacoma. Divers especially like Potlatch
for its accessible location and its easy diving descent.
Several riverfront parks are of special interest to whitewater kayakers. Big Eddy,
a satellite of Wallace Falls, offers whitewater adventure on the Skykomish River.
Riverside welcomes experienced kayakers with solid local knowledge of the Little
Spokane River; Kanasket-Palmer is strictly for experts only.
Some of the world's best windsurfing is found in the in the scenic Columbia River
Gorge, where more than one half-dozen state parks boast ideal sailboarding conditions.
Doug's Beach is rated for advanced windsurfers, but nearby Columbia Hills (with the
same high winds but no barge traffic or swift river currents) is perfect for beginners.
Other popular windsurfing parks include Crow Butte, Maryhill, Lincoln Rock and Lake
Wenatchee. Saltwater sailboarders catch the wind at Dash Point near Tacoma and Shine
Tidelands on Hood Canal.