Octopus Hole

Octopus Hole
USA West


Site Review by
 Ed Kenney
Date: 02/06/2005


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Ed Kenney Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    3.00
City:   Rainier Reef:    3.00
State:   Washington Animal:    4.00
Country:   USA Plant:    3.00
Diving:   10 years Facilities:    2.00
 Dives:   400 Solitude   4.00
    Roads:    3.00


*Average:    3.46
Since '98 I have seen so many fluctuations at this popular site. At first so many people were grousing about the lack of octopi, supposedly due to this dive op or that tribe poaching. The biggest factor in the fluctuations appears to be annual late summer/early fall oxygen depletion due to lack of natural circulation in this narrow fjord, aided and abetted by human contributions of nitrogen pollution. In any case, I have seen a high of 21 octopi on two dives in the summer of 2002 and several low counts of none at all. I have never failed to see a wolf eel at this site. Sometimes millions of shrimp in early fall are in a narrow band a few feet thick, perhaps gobbling up the remaining oxygen. Squid eggs often decorate the shallow kelp, especially in December. I have not found the tire reef very interesting, but you can reach it by following the line down the north side of the floating wooden platform just offshore. If you get to Octopus Hole when no one is there, you may get to dive with sea lions, something which has happened twice for me. A friend saw orcas there this winter. If you need to change clothes, just north of the site on the cliffy side of the highway there is a cave. I don't know why someone has cut down a lot of the brushy growth that used to protect this spot from the highway.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    2.00
Beginner:    4.00
Intermediate:    4.00
Advanced:    3.00
Night diving:    4.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Year:    2005
Visibility:    3.00
Current:    4.00
Surf:    4.00

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