Washington State Recreational Boating
Covid-19 Update Beginning June 1 – Updated June 3rd
Washington’s re-opening is a 4-Phase plan with progressively more facilities, businesses, services, and activities allowed in each Phase. Details of each phase are established by State order. Criteria for moving to each successive phase is prescribed by State order, however, each county determines when it will move to the next phase. The State Parks Department and the Department of Natural Resources separately establish rules and regulations for access and use on public lands that may be different than re-opening Phase details. Additionally, some local communities and tribal lands may have restrictions.
Boating during this Covid-19 re-opening requires checking State, County, Parks or DNR, and local allowed activities. Our Waggoner Guide status information seeks to help all of us bring this information together in one location at www.WaggonerGuide.com/Covid-19.
Many Washington State counties remain in Phase 1, while some counties have moved into Phase 2. Each phase allows for outdoor recreational activities with certain limits. These limits are not lifted until Phase 4, which is expected sometime around mid-July. For a description of the State’s Phased Approach, see www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/chart-washingtons-phased-approach.
State and County Phased Approach
San Juan County and Island County are now in Phase 2, which allows for gatherings outside the immediate household of up to 5 people. Professional services may open and restaurants may operate at 50 percent capacity.
Many counties are still in Phase 1, which allows for day-use only recreational activities, including boating, within a local region. These counties include Pierce, Kitsap, King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and Clallam. To view the Safe Start County Map go to: coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/covid-19-county-variance-application-process. Some counties currently in Phase 1 are in the process of making a request to move to Phase 2.
Covid-19 Safe Boating Guidelines
The state proclamation and guidelines ask boaters to use Covid-19 safe practices. See Waggoner Guide’s Safe Boating Guidelines for a complete list of safe boating recommendations, a complimentary free download.
State Parks and DNR Public Lands
State Parks and DNR Lands and marine facilities (including docks, mooring buoys, and linear tie) are open for overnight stays in counties that are in Phase 2, and open for day-use only in counties still in Phase 1. Check the State’s website parks.wa.gov for a list of open and closed parks. When using Parks and DNR public lands that are open for day-use, visitors’ voluntary compliance is requested and they may be asked by park rangers to vacate docks and mooring facilities at dusk. When visiting parks, be sure to self-register and make payment at the park pay stations.
San Juan County Restrictions
As of June 3rd, San Juan County is in Phase 2 and has passed an order allowing overnight stays at marinas and other overnight accommodations. Effective June 3rd, marinas in the San Juan’s may offer guest moorage at 50% of the marina’s capacity. Some marinas are already open, while others are preparing to open very soon. Anchoring out is allowed, and boaters are asked to provision before arriving in the islands. State marine parks in the San Juan’s are open, including the use of park docks, buoys, lineal moorage, upland trails, beaches, and overnight camping.
Fishing is allowed with certain restrictions; for opening dates of fish and shellfish by area, see www.wdfw.wa.gov.
The border remains closed to all non-essential traffic through at least June 21. It remains to be seen if the border closure will be extended or opened to recreational travel come late June. It also remains to be seen if the 14-day quarantine order for those entering Canada will continue to be in effect.
Marinas & Fuel Docks
Nearly all fuel docks are open, but may have limited hours or limited to a few boats at a time. Most marinas are now open for guest moorage in Washington State, with stay-safe protocols and procedures.
Waggoner Guide continues to maintain an up-to-date open/closed status for marinas, parks, borders, and cruising destinations for both Washington State and British Columbia, see www.WaggonerGuide.com/covid-19 for the latest.
We welcome the opportunity to get back out on the water; however, boaters need to make a few changes to their routine to be safe during Covid-19, including social distancing and wearing face coverings. Download the Safe Boating Guidelines that are specifically geared to help boaters, which can be found on WaggonerGuide.com.
Covid-19 Safe Boating Guidelines
Safe boating guidelines specifically geared to help boaters.