This 331-acre site is located on the north side of Francis Road, southwest of Sedro Woolley and northeast of Mount Vernon. The property was purchased in 1995-97 to protect a popular swan night roost site and to provide a non-hunted upland reserve for trumpeter and tundra swans where they can feed and rest during the winter. Habitats on the site include lowland riparian forest, a backwater slough of the Skagit River (DeBay’s Slough), and managed agricultural fields.
The majority of the acreage on this Unit is managed as a Game Reserve for swans with restricted access and no hunting. Public access in the Game Reserve area is restricted to the parking/viewing area at the end of DeBay Isle Road and the mowed walking trail in the grass field near the parking area. The Game Reserve parking area includes ADA parking and a raised mound from which to view the field to the west.
Waterfowl hunting is allowed on the eastern side of the property, including the portion of DeBay’s Slough to the north of DeBay Isle Road and a 35 acre field north of the Hunt Unit parking lot on Francis Road and east of DeBay’s Slough. The Hunt Unit field is typically planted with barley and corn. The Hunt Unit is subject to a 15-shell daily limit. According to WAC 232-16-770, “It is unlawful to have in possession more than 15 shotgun shells or to fire (shoot) more than 15 shells in one day” on this Unit. Hunters are not allowed to return to their vehicle for more shells after entering the field with their 15 shells.
Please review the Game Reserve description (WAC 232-16-800) before hunting near this area.
The forage on the site is managed through a lease agreement with a local farmer who produces a commercial crop but also plants corn and other forage crops for swans and other waterfowl to utilize.
Birds of Prey
How to Get Here
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From I-5 northbound, take the College Way exit (#227) in Mt. Vernon, east to La Venture Road. Turn left (north), and continue on this road (it turns into Francis Road) for a few miles as it snakes its way northeast through the flats. At a 90-degree corner, you will see a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sign adjacent to the Hunt Unit parking area, and a short gravel road called DeBay Isle Road. You may turn left down DeBay Isle Road to get to the Game Reserve area. If the gate at the end of the road is closed, you may park in the parking area on Francis Road and walk in.
Parking/Restroom Information There two parking areas at this Unit.
Other Information This Unit is closed during hours of darkness except during legal hunting seasons on the site.
The area to the south of DeBay Isle Road and west of DeBay's Slough is a Game Reserve. The area to the north of DeBay Isle Road and east of the slough is open to hunting, including the fields to the north of the Francis Road parking lot.
Swans typically roost during the night on DeBay's Slough. A variety of waterfowl also use the slough and fields on the Reserve.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov