Planning to launch in Port Angeles for halibut in April? Read on…

By on March 8, 2024
Ediz Hook floats

A heads-up for those of you planning on launching in Port Angeles for halibut fishing starting April 4th, or salmon fishing later in the year…

If you plan to launch on Ediz Hook, you’ll have to do it without the use of floats (their floating docks) – so bring your waders or prepare to get wet! Otherwise, if you prefer to use floats, you’ll need to launch at the Port of Port Angeles’ Boat Haven West Boat Ramp in the harbor.

The City of Port Angeles-controlled Ediz Hook boat launch has (supposedly) damaged floats and it sounds like the city will not be installing the floats at all this year. In fact, it sounds like the existing floats will not be installed again, and will likely be replaced, along with a seawall – a project for which one figure given was $800,000 — which the city has not budgeted for. To me this sounds like lots of permitting and environmental studies, etc. will be needed – which means there will likely be no floats here for an extended time – perhaps years.

Styrofoam float

uncontained Styrofoam

I had heard some rumblings about this, so last week I drove out to look at these floats and take a few pics – the existing floats are sitting on the parking lot near the Ediz Hook boat ramp. Most of them look in pretty good shape, they don’t look damaged. What I did notice, and what not many people are talking about is that the flotation under these floats is Styrofoam-filled car tires.

There’s a new WA State Foam Docks and Blocks law that states that starting in 2024, “polystyrene foam used in docks, floating blocks, or overwater structures must be fully enclosed in a shell made of plastic (at least 0.15-inches thick), concrete, aluminum, or steel.” The used-tires-filled-with-foam flotation on these City of PA floats appears to have some unenclosed Styrofoam, and therefore would not conform to the new law… perhaps this is the true reason these floats will not be installed… but it seems they could be retrofitted for a fraction of the $800,000 price quoted?

As far as the Port of Port Angeles-controlled West Boat Ramp at the Boat Haven – I’ve spoken with a Port of Port Angeles commissioner and I’ve been assured that the Port of Port Angeles will have their floats installed at the Boat Haven West Boat Ramp soon – prior to the halibut opener on April 4th. The problem here is that this one Boat Haven ramp will likely not handle the volume of boats / trailers that normally is launched during halibut and salmon seasons in Port Angeles… so get there early!

To view info on the WA State Foam Docks and Blocks law, go here:
Foam Docks and Blocks Law

For more info, see this recent article in the Peninsula Daily News (one free article, then a paywall):
Limited boat launch options in Port Angeles

Ediz Hook boat Launch

Condition of the City of PA Ediz Hook boat ramp on March 3, 2024

Ediz Hook boat launch float

Some of the dock sections look new, unused.


Norm Nelson
Norm Nelson is the inventor and co-founder of Salmon University, and launched the SU website in 2001. From 2003-2020 Norm pursued other projects, but in 2020 he returned and purchased SU back from Tom Nelson, and became the sole owner. Norm has a been a lifelong fisherman.