The Sharp-tailed grouse population is increasing in the Scotch Creek basin, however they are still considered sensitive to public viewing. The best time to see Sharp-tails is in winter along the Conconully Highway in the water birch and other riparian vegetation along Scotch Creek. Especially after a heavy snow. Please do not disturb or flush the birds while in their winter habitat.
Mule deer hunting is popular on this unit. You can expect crowded conditions at
all parking areas during the modern firearm deer season, especially opening weekend.
Hunting pressure declines as the season progresses. White tailed deer are also
present on the area so know your rules and identify the species before pulling
the trigger. Upland bird hunting is also available. Natural production of pheasants,
quail, grey partridge (most abundant), chukar partridge, and blue grouse occur
here. Note: All lands in Washington State are CLOSED to the taking of Sharp-tailed
Grouse including all Scotch Creek Wildlife Area Units. The WDFW is very concerned
with the accidental take of this protected species. Again, know your target before
pulling the trigger. Other wildlife species you may encounter include black bear,
cougar, bobcat and, the western rattlesnake. Hunting seasons vary depending on
species, consult Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hunting regulations
for seasons and dates.
Fishing opportunity is limited on this unit. Scotch Creek contains brook trout,
and is open to fishing with-in season, however the largest fish rarely exceeds
6”. Other waters of the unit do not contain fish. However WDFW access
sites within driving distance that offer fishing include, Blue Lake and Green
Lake. Additional fishing opportunities can be found on the Sinlahekin Wildlife
Area to the north and both the upper and lower Conconully reservoirs. Consult
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing Regulations for further information
on seasons and the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area Homepage.
Camping is permitted adjacent to established roads. Firewood can be gathered
from downed dead wood only and must remain on the wildlife area. Fire restrictions
are governed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Okanogan
County. Consult WDNR website for up to date fire restrictions. Length of stay
is limited to 14 days.
Hiking, biking and horseback riding. Non-motorized recreational activities are
allowed, however currently there are no developed trail systems. Established
parking areas (mentioned above) allow easy access for cars, or trucks with trailers,
and each have gate access through boundary fences. Farm roads provide the only
“trail” system on this unit and dispersed riding or hiking is encouraged.
Wildlife Observations and Photography
Wildlife viewing and photography encompasses a vast number of wildlife species.
During the winter, deer can be viewed roaming the hills with eagles and hawks
soaring high above in the sky. Wintering upland birds and waterfowl can be seen
in the riparian areas and ponds, and in the spring numerous songbirds and blue
birds can be heard and seen.