Press Release

March 16, 2023

New Keystone Boat Launch will open in June at Fort Casey

Construction will impact boat launch use during 2023 halibut, lingcod fishing season

OLYMPIA – March 16, 2023 – Construction is underway for the new Keystone Boat Launch on Whidbey Island. Located near the Keystone Ferry Terminal, the popular launch is part of Fort Casey Historical State Park.

This project includes removal of previously storm-damaged infrastructure, new guide piles and new floats at the boat launch, a new breakwater and shoreline restoration. The facility and shoreline were damaged by a storm in December of 2018.

Construction began in late 2022 and is expected to finish by June. Much of the work has been completed, and remaining work includes installation of new floats in late May. This timeline will impact use of the boat launch during halibut fishing season, which begins April 6, and lingcod season, which begins May 1.

Depending on weather and other factors affecting construction, the boat launch may open intermittently and with limited use between mid-April and late May. During that time, the launch may be temporarily narrower, and the new floats will not be in place. Parks asks for patience and cautions boaters to make sure they're comfortable handling their vessel without floats. Alternate boat launches on Whidbey Island include Deception Pass State Park near Oak Harbor and public boat launches on the island's south end.

The agency will provide updates through park signage and online alerts. Staff encourage boaters to check for updates online, or by calling the park office at (360) 678-4519 before making plans to visit.

The $2.4 million Keystone Boat Launch project is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). The project is intended to better protect the boat launch and shoreline against future storms.

News media contact:
Meryl Lassen, Communications Office

About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Park Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.