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Resources for boaters

Slow down and give Southern Resident orcas space

Recent legislation changed the approach distances and speeds around Southern Resident orcas. Before heading out on the water, visit Be Whale Wise. Learn about the latest regulations and guidelines in the US and Canada. These changes aim to reduce the noise and disturbance the orcas experience around boats, allowing them to better:

  • Hunt for salmon.
  • Care for their young.
  • Communicate with one another.

Registration and fees

Getting ready

  • Mandatory boater education (Washington State Parks)
    Find out how to get the Washington State Boater Education card required by state law.
  • Buy a Discover Pass (discoverpass.wa.gov)
    Get an annual or 1-day pass to enjoy state parks, water-access points, and trails.
  • Get a fishing license (Department of Fish and Wildlife)
    Use the WILD System to buy your license online.
  • boat.wa.gov (Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office)
    The 1-stop portal for boating education, weather and tides, fishing licenses, and more.
  • Boater safety (Washington State Parks)
    Get boating safety tips and learn about requirements for life jackets or vests.

Launch, moorage, and pumpout locations


  • Aquatic invasive species (Department of Fish and Wildlife)
    Learn how you can prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
  • Clean, green boating (Department of Ecology)
    You can help keep our waters clean by making sure fuel goes only in your tank, not in the water.
  • No Discharge Zone (Department of Ecology)
    Puget Sound officially designated No Discharge Zone. This will protect shellfish, public health, and water quality.
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