Seattle’s fishing fleet resides at Fishermen’s Terminal, in a wide recess in the ship canal called Salmon Bay on the south side of the Ballard Bridge. Fishermen’s Terminal is a popular mooring spot because the facility is in freshwater, above the Chittenden Locks; freshwater is much less corrosive to boats than salt water.
It’s great fun to wander the piers, watching crews unload their catch, clean their boats and repair nets. Many of these fishing boats journey to Alaska in summer and return to dry dock while they wait out the winter. Outdoor interpretive displays explain the history of Seattle’s fishing fleet, starting with the native inhabitants who first fished these waters in canoes. A statue, the bronze Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial at the base of the piers, commemorates Seattle fishers lost at sea. This memorial is also the site of the ceremonial blessing of the fleet, held annually on the first Sunday in May.
In the two terminal buildings are some good restaurants specializing in the freshest seafood in Seattle, a general store, a ship chandler and a charts and nautical gifts store. Stop at the Wild Salmon Seafood Market to buy the freshest pick of the day’s catch.