Pacific Northwest
Daniel Kim spends the afternoon of Feb. 28, 2020, fishing at Seacrest Park in West Seattle. Kim was a regular at the Elliott Bay Fishing Pier before it closed indefinitely in 2017. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

WA - Seattle’s vanishing piers leave a vibrant fishing community reeling

The Elliott Bay Fishing Pier was a diverse hub where locals connected with surrounding nature. Will it ever come back?

When Daniel Kim moved from central Texas to Seattle in 2016 to attend the University of Washington, he didn’t know anyone. The 23-year-old still called his elders “ma’am” and “sir,” and school and Seattle traffic frayed his nerves. Fishing was always one of the main ways Kim stayed “sane” under stress; it helped him feel closer to his grandfather.

“It was the last thing I did with him before he passed, so it’s something very dear to me,” Kim says. He started looking for a saltwater fishing pier like the ones he’d fished on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Kim needed fishing gear, so it felt like a stroke of luck when he went online and located the Elliott Bay Fishing Pier, just north of the downtown waterfront, and the FishOn! bait-and-tackle shop at its foot. He called and a guy named Ronn answered, confirming in a friendly baritone that Kim could come down and start fishing right away.

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