Les Davis Fishing Pier, Tacoma
One site that has been overlooked is right in Tacoma. Les Davis fishing pier. Itís a very popular site, and has many of the scrapped pieces from the old Tacoma narrows bridge dumped there creating a nice artificial reef. Lots of classes going on there, but its still not to bad. It also makes a nice place for night diving. As a side note, you do need to be aware of the currents in the hood canal, on high exchanges the current can unexpectedly pick up rapidly, especially at places like sund rock, which by the way, is one of the best shore dives in the entire area and is easily done for free. There are two pull outs next to the road with signs and a short hike down to the water. You have about a hundred yards of surface swimming, and that's when the current comes into play ;). -- BanditoXXX
This site exhibits a healthy marine environment and the pier (to the east of the divers' entry point) is popular with sportfishermen. Divers should have no difficulty avoiding the pier. Access to the beach requires climbing down a pile of concrete blocks that have settled and now provide uncertain footing for a heavily burdened diver. Soon after entry, the diver may see moon snails, sea pens, sunflower stars, blood stars, alabaster nudibranchs, and a great variety of Northwestern marine life. In deeper water, there are sections of concrete roadway that provide hiding places for many vulnerable species and a fortunate diver may find a shy octopus. You will certainly find rockfish, lingcod and cabezon. As the diver moves away from shore, the bottom slopes more sharply and depths will exceed 100 feet. This is a deservedly popular site for recently certified and advanced divers alike. -- Edward J. Palumbo
The Les Davis Pier is located in Perce County (WA) in the city of Tacoma near the Dalco Passage. Take I-5 to Hwy 705, exit northwest to Ruston Way and follow it past the old fire boat station to the Les Davis Pier.
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09/23/2010 Peter from Acme (Avg: 3.63 Review) - I've been diving Les Davis Pier every other day for the last two weeks starting on 13 Sep. 10. Visibility has been anywhere from 5' to 25'. I've heard from some that visibility has been the best it has been in years. All I know is, I've been having fun. I've seen three different octopuses, two small ones. The first was about a foot long. The second about two feet, this one got its butt kicked. It crawled on my hand and three of its tentacles were a few inches shorter than the others. The wounds were healed. So it lost the fight but won the battle. The last one was in its den. Don't know how big it is but, the suckers were bigger than quarters from ten feet away. On a night dive on Sunday the 19th of September I saw my first sail fin suclpin. Lots of different size rat fish, White-Lined Doria, the picture at the wall calls it a Gold Doria but the book I have said something different. Lots to see, White and Orange Plumoses, shrimp, Sea Stars, all sorts of different types of Star Fish and rock fish, ling cod, kelp greenling, crescent gunnels, perch, red rock, kelp and Dungeness crabs, no keepers though. This is a popular spot to dive; there hasn't been a day or night when someone else wasn't there. There's plenty of place to hang out. Nice grassy area and picnic tables. I even got invited to a BBQ by some Air Force people who are divers but had to fly the next morning (good job on the ribs). The current, tides and surf were almost nothing. In the evenings the water has been almost like glass. Water temp been anywhere from 44 to 53 degrees. Overall, I have not been disappointed diving here.
01/15/2010 Mark Denyer (Avg: 3.43 Review) - This is a great site, easy entry and next to no currents. The vis can be very poor during strong river run off, but can get up to 35-40' in the fall before the rains start. See my two maps I completed in my Dive Master training in the Dive Site Links below!
11/10/2008 Peter (Avg: 3.61 Review) - First time I dove this site and I did it twice on 9 Nov. 08. It was right after the big rain storm and vis wasn't all that great. About 15' the first dive and at high tide the sediment seemed suspended and vis went down to about 10' or less. H2O temp was 50 degrees. There was a class of about eight people and other than visiting with them on the beach I didn't see them on either of my first two dives. We did two dives during the day and two after it got dark. Didn't notice anything difficult about the current or surf that hindered us. Started out at the stairs and headed out on a 20 degree bearing. There's a bench out at 30' that's about 50' to 75' wide. After that the bottom starts dropping. The deepest I got was 97' the deepest in our group was 112'. Right around the 30' mark at the end of the bench old concrete pieces of Tacoma Narrow Bridge are there, aka Galloping Gerty. Lots of perch and lingcod, on, around, under, and hiding inside the holes in the concrete. Bring a back up light in the day. Anenomies, starfish, rockfish, shrimp, and crabs are everywhere. Saw my first octopus on my first dive. It was at 60' about 100' out, and 200' west of the stairs. Look for crab bodies in a pile. It was hiding in its den. The suckers were about the size of a quarter. We were daring each other to stick our hands in the den and yank it out. No takers. There's a lot around Les Davis Pier for relaxing after diving. Dozens of people were jogging on, lots of restaurants and parks. We did a lot of goofing off between day and night diving. Parking was not an issue all day. The lot was less than half full all day long. It wasn't raining either.
02/28/2007 Kieran James (Avg: 3.34 Review) - I went in November, an the visibility was horrible, probably 3 feet. I lost my buddy twice. Other than that, the dive was good and full of life. We found lots of sea stars, crabs and perch. This is a good beginners dive.
01/22/2007 Eric 'Biz' Adsit (Avg: 4.43 Review) - Don't let the cold weather fool you. The Water Feels GREAT. A great place to dive is still Les Davis Pier. With the new stairs going down to the water and the very short walk to the stairs from the FREE PARKING you couldn't ask for more. Out of the 3 times I have dived there, there has been abundant of life. The concrete slabs that lay on the bottom have tons of White Plumoses and Sea Stars. I have even encountered a 3 foot Spiny Dogfish, as well. We dove down and hit an azimuth towards the buoy. We had a great dive recognizing certain perch and sea urchins. As we turned around to head back we had a little visitor. Sammy the Seal decided to poke up and say Hello. He swam between us and only 3 feet away from us. After he was bored with us we decided to swim to shore. The currents are not bad here but always check the Tide Chart before hand. I recommend not diving after a heavy rain here because the run off makes Visibility very poor. That night visibility was an easy 20 feet. I have not dived this site during the day but it is an excellent dive at night. There are fewer fishermen and more parking at night. Besides The Dark Side is so much more fun.
09/13/2005 Edward J. Palumbo (Avg: 3.93 Review) - I regard this popular dive site as a barometer for the health of the area's biosystem, and I usually begin my dive season here each spring. The parking area fills quickly so early arrival is a good idea. Access to the water requires careful footwork on some large rocks that provide shore entry. Classes for basic and advanced O/W are often conducted here. For recently certified divers, the site provides abundant and diverse marine life in relatively shallow depths of 20-35 fsw. For intermediate and advanced divers, the bottom slopes to depths in excess of 100 fsw. We've found red octopus, at least four species of rockfish, ling cod, kelp greenling, cabezon, crescent gunnels, alabaster and lemon nudibranchs, surf and pile perch, moon snails, different species of crabs, geoducks, sunflower and ochre stars, plumose anemones, and many other examples of Northwestern marine life. In 9-10 years, I have not had a disappointing dive here. There are public toilet facilities nearby where divers may change, but no showers. The marina's promenade offers picnic tables and plenty of room to stretch out on the grass for your surface interval, so it's a good choice for a day with the family. Current is noticeable but not intense. Bring a dive float & flag or you invite a fine.
04/23/2004 Mike Z. (Avg: 3.83 Review) - dove this site a million times. Nearby bathrooms and fishing pier. All stuff is about 60' down straight out from shore about 100 feet west of the parking lot.
03/10/2004 Curt Johnson (Avg: 3.50 Review) - We dived Les Davis because a large tidal exchange prevented our diving more interesting spots. With shore side parking, steps down to the water, bathroom facilities nearby, diving it is easy. Since any dive can be a great dive, I suppose this could be as well. The mud/sand bottom deepened with some artificial reef debris on the bottom. We looked under the concrete slaps for octopus but didn't find any. I am sure regular divers here see them off and on. Some lingcod, rockfish, crab, nudibrachs all made it worthwhile.
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* Page 2 of 2 -- Mark Denyer's Dive Master map of Les Davis -- Thank you, Mark!!!
* Page 1 of 2 -- Mark Denyer's Dive Master map of Les Davis
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Number of reviews for this site: 8