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Octopus Hole facts for kids

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Octopus Hole is a designated conservation area on the Washington's Hood Canal. It is located immediately off of Highway 101, just over three miles North of Hoodsport. The site is marked with conservation signs, an old sign from Mike's Dive Shop (now closed), and two very small parking areas on both lanes of the highway. Similar to the close-by Sund Rock conservation area, Octopus Hole is very popular with Scuba divers who enjoy diving the walls associated with the site to view various underwater creatures, including but not limited to Lingcod, Giant Pacific Octopus, Wolf Eel, sea cucumber, and nudibranch. The walls on this site are accessible as shore dives. To access the dive sites on the Hood Canal from the highway, divers must straddle the Highway 101 guard rail, then walk down the crude steps to the shore, some 20–30 feet below. There is no fee to access this site, which is publicly accessible.

The most popular wall to dive in this area is about 200 yards long and starts at roughly 40 fsw, going down to roughly 50-60' fsw, depending upon the tide. At one time, a floating dock, or platform, marked the beginning of the wall. This is no longer present. Many divers now use a large, fallen snag (i.e., downed tree) that has partially fallen out towards the water as a reference point to help find the beginning of the main wall. The snag is located roughly 100 yards south of the steps that lead from Highway 101 to the water's edge. Once divers finish the surface swim to this snag, they then swim out roughly 30 yards, submerge, then turn south to dive the wall. A second snag exists to the south of the first. If divers remain in between these two markers while swimming roughly 25 yards out into the Canal, they will reach the wall. It is possible to walk to the snag at moderate to low tides.

The main wall and associated reef described is estimated to be roughly 150 yards long. Another, smaller wall is accessible at roughly 90 fsw. This second wall lies roughly 50-60 yards from shore, half-way out to the first snag. Go to where most divers climb down from highway 101, then cut a 45-degree angle where most divers first enter the water and swim the 50-60 yards to this wall.

Because Octopus Hole is a conservation area, no hunting or gathering of any kind is permitted.

Like most sites on the mid to southern Hood canal, this area is not current sensitive. However, some noticeable current can occur. Such current is not strong enough to significantly affect dive plans or cause problems, but it is strong enough to slow or speed progress, depending upon the diver's direction.

Google-friendly coordinates for Octopus Hole are as follows: 47.446582, -123.114295.

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