Octopus Protection Areas
A new rule that provides additional protection for giant Pacific octopuses will take effect Oct. 6, when the recreational harvest of the species will be prohibited at seven popular scuba diving sites in Puget Sound.
"Puget Sound is one of the most popular dive destinations in the nation, and giant Pacific octopuses are one of its main attractions," said Craig Burley, fish management program manager for WDFW. "These new areas provide additional protection for the species and a greater chance for divers to see these fascinating animals."
In August, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission considered options and voted to prohibit recreational harvest of the species at the seven dive sites.
See more information on the giant Pacific octopus rulemaking process and public comments received here.
Find further information on Octopus Protection Areas, Conservations Areas and Marine Preserves by clicking the labels on the map below.
Deception Pass (north of Oak Harbor)
A premier site with steep, spectacular walls covered with invertebrates and home to large fish. It should only be explored by advanced divers with local knowledge, as extremely strong currents make this site dangerous.
This popular urban park near Alki offers three large coves with many different dives to enjoy. There’s little current and a range of depths. From its shallow, rocky breakwater to deep technical diving, with small wrecks and lots of sea life available, everyone can find a favorite dive. Good facilities, access and one of the best views of downtown Seattle make it an ideal place for all levels of divers to experience Elliott Bay.
This site contains an intriguing diversity of various man-made structures, small boat wrecks and urban remains. The artificial reefs run parallel to shore at two depths. Shallow eel grass grows near the shore. Currents are moderate and tend to run southward, it can be dived at times other than slack and is a good destination when south winds are blowing.
This improved site offers a variety of options for all divers. Access is easy down the stairs to the beach on either side of the wharf that houses Highline College’s Aquarium. Swim out and submerge from the ladder on the west end and go down the slope to find small boat wrecks and other man-made reefs, where octopus, sculpins and other fish can be found. The sandy slopes are a good place to spot large skates and dogfish.
Les Davis has been improved and developed for divers in a convenient, urban location along Tacoma’s Commencement Bay. The site consists of large slabs of hollowed concrete roadway gathered in large piles at various depths. Do not swim eastward past the tire reef by the fishing pier.
A fantastic wall dive that features a variety of marine species, including giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, dogfish and sea stars. The wall runs parallel to the shore at depths ranging from 25 to 100 feet. Divers should explore the site during a slack tide because of the area’s strong currents at tidal exchange.
Very limited beach access. Boat dive is recommended for this area.