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Lake Washington - Cedar River

Renton Airstrip
Lake Washington, Mouth of the Cedar River
Renton, WA

Type: Lake
Snorkling, Beginner

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Debris, Kelp Forest


This is an interesting, and shallow freshwater dive site located at in Lake Washington, right at the mouth of the Cedar River. The bottom is mostly barren sand or silt with large fields of milfoil directly at the mouth of the river. You'll find logs and tree stumps scattered around.

The real attraction for this site is the salmon run in late mid-late September, and through October. The salmon gather together in this portion of the lake before heading up the river, giving a unique experience of swimming with them in open water. Besides the salmon (or if you come when they aren't running) you can find bass, bluegill, carp and tons of crayfish.

You can anchor or tie up boats to the logs or stumps at the mouth where the water is waist deep or less. wade or swim directly out to about 5-10' where the bottom drops off steeply down to 25-35' where the descent become much more gradual. You can continue downward but the temperature drops and there isn't much to see.

Special Restrictions:

There is a sign warning people to stay at least 1500 ft from the direct end of the airstrip to avoid hazardous jet wash and so that you don't get in the way of float planes, so stay to either side of the airstrip and fly a dive flag.

The water coming out of the river is significantly colder than that of the lake. there is some current directly at the mouth of the river. Less experienced divers may find it more comfortable to the sides of the river.

How to get there:

This site is located at the most Southern tip of Lake Washington at the mouth of the Cedar River, right at the end of the Renton Municipal Airstrip. It is only accessible from a boat or human powered craft such as canoe or kayak. There is a small boat launch a couple hundred yards from the mouth of the river on Nishiwaki Ln for small craft, or you can start at Coulon Park and head west about 1/2 mile.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
  Reviews Leave Review  
ChevaYEA10/18/2014Rating: 3
This was a fun exploration dive. Not a breathtaking location but interesting, especially if you come when the salmon are running.


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