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A card is only required when operating boats with motors of 15 horsepower or greater, which include all personal watercraft (e.g. Jet Skis). State law does not require operators of manually powered boats such as canoes, kayaks, rowboats, drift boats and sail-only boats to carry a card.
Whether you cruise, sail, kayak, fish, or do yoga on a stand up paddle board, you need to know the laws and basics of boating safety. Even if you are not required to carry the card, we strongly recommend you to take a boating safety education course.
Exemptions are listed in RCW 79A.60.640. The following people are exempt from carrying a card:
You must pass a state-approved boating safety course or equivalency exam. A variety of courses are available, ranging from online to in a classroom. People with a lot of experience and knowledge may choose an equivalency exam. After passing the course exam, you will receive a certificate of completion. Your certificate serves as proof of qualifying for a Boater Education Card.
Your lifetime Boater Education Card will cost $10, payable by check or money order. However, an online course provider can charge a $.50 handling fee.
Yes. The fine is $99.
Campsite fees vary depending on the type of campsite and time of year. You can find a range of campsite fees online. The actual fee for your desired campsite is shown in the site description on the reservations website.
Rates are established after careful evaluation of the cost of operating state parks and then balancing revenue and public service objectives.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, a panel of private citizens from across the state appointed by the Governor, has the authority under law to set the fees.
The $8 online or $10 call center reservation fees cover services such as a secure online reservation system, software, in-park hardware and a call center. The fees are non-refundable.
Washington State Parks encourages campers to make cancellations as soon as possible so others may reserve and use any unoccupied sites. The policy was developed after many years of experience to make the reservation process work as smoothly as possible. There is a sliding charge for cancellation penalties; the penalty increases the closer the cancellation occurs to the arrival date. The complete cancellation policy is online.
The agreement made when a reservation is booked provides for a partial refund depending on the date of cancellation. A full refund is not offered because of the possibility that the site will not be used by others since it had been reserved. Campers are encouraged to be certain about their plans when selecting reservation dates and to make any changes or cancellations as soon as plans change.
You may see a code on your confirmation form, such as “CampDepPartial-P-S-WD” or “CampDep-Weekend-NoServ-P.” Here is a quick key to understanding the codes:CampDep means camping depositFollowing that is the site type:Prim – PrimitiveNoServ - Standard (tent) sitePartial – Partial hookupFull – Full hookupThe first letter is the site designation:P – PopularB – BasicE – EconomyThe second letter is the season:P – PeakS – ShoulderW – WinterThe third set of letters is the day of the week:WD – stands for weekdayWeekend – stands for weekend
Please call the State Parks Information Center at (360) 902-8844 during regular business hours.
Many of our mailings are shipped via FedEx (the state’s current contracted parcel delivery service) and cannot be delivered to a post office box. If you also have a P.O. box for mail service, please provide that additionally, and when our mailings are small enough or not high priority they can be sent to you via USPS (United States Postal Service).
Yes. Washington State Law requires that contractors are licensed and bonded at the time of bid opening. You must also be properly registered to do business in the state of Washington. For those particular requirements, check with Labor and Industries, the Secretary of State’s Office, and the Department of Revenue. Some projects may require additional expertise, experience, or prequalifications. This happens most often in specific areas such as bridge engineering, bridge construction, or historic preservation, for example. These are project specific and are plainly included within the respective plans, specifications, and instruction to bidders.
Yes. If it is before the deadline, you can change your bid one of two ways.
First, if there is enough time before the bid deadline, you can submit an amended bid and it will take precedence over your initial bid. You can do this as many times as necessary as time will allow, and the latest bid will be considered the final bid proposal.
The second way is to modify via fax. In order to be allowed to modify via fax, you must first call the Contracting team at (360) 902-8554 and request permission to fax modify. Once you receive permission, you must advise them of the incoming fax (that they will take to the bid opening), and then you must deposit the original modification documents at your local post office so they will be postmarked prior to the bid deadline. The fax modification is only a tentative modification until the original documents are received and the postmark verified that it was indeed submitted prior to the official bid deadline.
As of June 4, most state-managed public lands have reopened for day-use.
Camping is reopening in many counties that have moved to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.
State-managed boat launches and marinas at state parks in Phase 2 counties also are open.
To find out the current status of campgrounds, parks and other state-managed recreation lands visit:
Note: Some parks in Phase 2 counties may not open for camping immediately, based on direction from county officials. Washington State Parks supports and continues to work with these communities to find the best approach to reopening camping.
Yes. The Discover Pass is required to park your vehicle at state recreation lands and water-access sites managed by Washington State Parks and Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These lands include state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, DNR campgrounds, trails and trailheads and all DNR-managed uplands. The Discover Pass is required at state parks for day-use visits only.
A Discover Pass is also required on lands managed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). This includes water-access and wildlife areas, unless you already have a Vehicle Access Pass issued with the purchase of an eligible hunting or fishing license.
State Park playgrounds are closed until further notice to reduce exposure to COVID-19.
We are not refunding or extending time on Discover Passes.
The annual Discover Pass costs $30. The price of a day pass is $10, so the annual pass pays for itself in just three visits.
Divided by 12 months, that is a monthly cost of $2.50. State lands were closed from March 23 to May 5, just over five weeks.
State Parks has experienced dramatic revenue losses this spring — on top of steep cuts in the last Great Recession.
However, we urge you to enjoy Washington state parks and state lands often this summer and beyond to get the greatest value possible from your pass.
Yes. In parks that are open, restrooms will be available in open day-use areas and areas where campgrounds are open. Restrooms may be closed at some locations and in closed campgrounds.
Be prepared. Please bring your own personal protective equipment, water, soap, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, and pack out anything you bring in with you.
Park offices are still closed to the public, as are visitor centers and park buildings.
Dock use is allowed, and moorage is available at parks that are open. People using docks should practice physical distancing with people who are not part of their household.
Marine state park restrooms will open on a limited basis. Please pack out your waste, and do not expect drinkable water on the islands.
Anchoring will be monitored and regulated as they were prior to the COVID-19 closures. No special regulations are in place.
The few pumpouts located within state park are open.
Most pumpouts in Washington are located at public or private marinas. Boaters should check with marinas to find out if they’re open and pumpouts are operating. For Washington pumpout locations, visit: parks.state.wa.us/657/Pumpout
Day-use parks close at dusk.
If you have a question about your current camping reservation, please call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
We thank you for your patience as we deal with this changing situation. We know your vacation plans are important, and we hope you’ll be able to camp at your favorite Washington state park this summer.
For that reason, we hesitate to cancel reservations until we’re near certain the park will not reopen for camping by the date you have booked. So, you may not hear from us until a few days before your planned stay.
If we need to cancel reservations at a park that has stayed closed for camping, we will contact you by email, and you will receive a full refund.
For specific questions about your reservation, please contact our reservations team at 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688).
As we reopen lands, we are asking people to continue practicing social distancing. If we notice large groups gathering or people not social distancing, we may have to look at closing parks or areas within parks.
If new COVID-19 related safety concerns develop, the Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Natural Resources (DNR) and State Parks may close areas with limited notice to protect public health and safety.
People can report issues on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Not at this time. We appreciate our volunteers and their hours of hard work. However, no volunteer activities will be taking place until further notice. State Parks is working to restart the camp host and other volunteer programs later this summer. Check for updates or contact the Volunteer Program by email or call (360) 902-8583.
Many cabins, yurts and rustic shelters are now open and available for reservation. Reserve online at washington.goingtocamp.com or by phone: 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688).
Group camps are closed until further notice.
Many vacation houses are open. And we update the list as soon as they reopen. An updated list of vacation homes available for rent is here. Reserve online at washington.goingtocamp.com or by phone: 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688).
Yes, on a limited basis and with a permit. Find more information on our permit page.
Hunting on State Parks land is prohibited. While hunters are traversing state parks in order to gain access to properties that do allow hunting, if they have dogs with them, hunters are reminded they must keep their dogs on an 8-foot leash and under control at all times.
If a park has a phone monitored by park staff, the phone number is listed on the park page. If you have general questions, you can also call the State Parks Information Center at (360) 902-8844 for information. The information center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
One and five-year disability passOffered to Washington state residents who are legally blind, profoundly deaf, developmentally disabled, or meet the disability definition used by the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Disabled Veteran Lifetime Pass:Offered to Washington state residents with a documented service-connected disability of at least 30%.
To receive an application, visit the nearest region or Tumwater headquarters office, call (360) 902-8844, send an email or mail your request to Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission P.O. Box 42650, Olympia WA 98504-2650..
You can view a map online with general state park locations, or request a copy of the State Parks main agency brochure by calling (360) 902-8844.
Contact the Dept. of Enterprise Services Office of Risk Management at (360) 407-9199 or write to:
Office of Risk ManagementDepartment of Enterprise ServicesPO Box 41466Olympia, WA 98504-1466
To file a tort claim in person:
Department of Enterprise Services1500 Jefferson Street SEOlympia, WA 98504-1466
Business hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit the Dept. of Enterprise Services tort claims web page.
No, only fishing line that is a single filament, nylon product may be recycled. Fishing line that is braided or contains wire cannot be recycled.
It is best to always recycle fishing line. However, if you throw out fishing line you are still keeping it out of the environment, but make sure the trash receptacle has a lid and be sure to cut the line into lengths 6 inches or shorter. Once line goes to a landfill, longer pieces may be scavenged by animals trying to eat it or build nests out of it. Animals may become entangled and the line can be brought right back into the environment.
Most of the fishing line that ends up in the water is the result of a hook getting snagged on unintended objects such as rocks or tree limbs and the line breaking when pulled. Sometimes the line can rub against a sharp object and break. Additionally, large fish can sometimes break lines while they are being reeled in.
Even fishing line that has been thrown in the garbage can end up in the environment - either by blowing out of the garbage can, being taken out by birds for nest-building materials or removed by other animals. Some people also just throw the line right into the water when they are done with it.
Monofilament is not biodegradable and can last hundreds of years depending on environmental conditions. Because it is thin and often clear, it is very difficult for birds and animals to see. They can easily become entangled resulting in injury, drowning, strangulation or starvation. Many animals also mistakenly ingest fishing line.
It is also difficult for people to see as well. People often drive their boats over floating line and damage their engines. Divers and swimmers can also be affected since they unable to see line when they are in the water.
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Many types of wildlife are harmed by discarded fishing line, including birds, fish and even humans. However, almost any type of animal can be entangled in line or try to consume it.
Phone calls must be taken in the order received. If reservation staff have pending messages to be returned when the phone rings during business hours, they are unable to answer. Reservation requests are returned in the order received, however, staff will do their best to return emergency or other non-reservation calls prior to reservation calls if necessary. Calls are generally returned within one business day. Calls are not returned on weekends or holidays.
State Parks allows priority booking for returning user groups from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Any user group may request to be added to the summer mailing list for an opportunity to book dates with priority groups. Letters are sent out in March to the mailing list and groups have until the end of April to submit their requested dates. Requests are processed by order of seniority and then by postmark date. Being on the mailing list is not a guarantee that your requested dates will be booked for any group.
Yes. Tours may be scheduled when the facility is not in use by another group and staff are available. Please contact the park directly to schedule. Contact information is located on each facility’s page.
Availability for retreat centers is now accessible online at https://washington.goingtocamp.com/. Reservations may not be made online. Below are the details for navigating the site to locate availability on a calendar.
Yes. A watercraft launch site is any facility used for putting a watercraft vessel into or retrieving it from the water.