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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.
Yes , if your reservation was for a park stay through May 4. You should be getting an email notification from our reservation system. You will receive a full refund with no cancellation fee. Please give them time to process your cancellation.
All Sno-Parks on state-managed recreation lands are now closed (Washington state parks and lands managed by the state departments of Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources). Washington State Parks stopped grooming and snow removal on all state and federal lands March 25. Sno-Parks on Okanagan-Wenatchee, Gifford-Pinchot, Colville and Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest lands also are closed.
Facilities and services at long-distance trails are closed. We are not prohibiting the public from responsibly using State Parks long-distance linear trails. We encourage everyone to take COVID-wise measures as you seek health and wellness activities outdoors. Staying home is the best way to keep the coronavirus from spreading.
The only thing harder than closing an entire park system is closing it to some, but not others. If we’re going to do our part to help contain the coronavirus and stop the spread of COVID-19, we need to be all in on this.
We appreciate that many folks are full-time RVers and move about from place to place. We encourage you to find somewhere to stay closer to an area that is better equipped to handle this health emergency.
Also, please be aware that RV dump stations at Washington state parks are closed now.
We understand people’s need to get outdoors and find rejuvenation in nature. Please try to find a way to get outdoors in your own neighborhood. Know that this is a temporary situation and your parks will be here when this is over.
No. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all our volunteers, but no volunteer activities will be taking place during the closure.
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.