Skagit Wildlife Area Fir Island Farms Reserve Unit
This managed agricultural land (225 acres on the south side of Fir Island Road) was purchased in 1995 to create a snow goose reserve. This non-hunted reserve provides a winter-feeding and resting area for snow geese adjacent to the Skagit Bay estuary. A local farmer is contracted to plant a cover crop of winter wheat for snow geese after harvesting cash crops. This sharecropper also plants winter wheat on his adjoining property and places his farm in a formal game reserve, providing an additional 295 acres of winter food and resting area for the snow geese. Prior to dike development and conversion to agricultural uses after human settlement, this area was tidally influenced, and the North Fork of the Skagit River flowed through Dry Slough during high flows. This unit is a popular wildlife watching site, and has a gravel road and parking area with access for the disabled.
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From Interstate 5, take Exit 221 (Lake McMurray/Conway) and turn west. Drive 0.1 mile. Turn right (west) onto Fir Island Road. Drive west 3.2 miles. Turn left (south) at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sign. Drive 0.5 mile to parking area.
Parking/Restroom Information There is a parking area on this Unit and restroom facilities during the winter.
Other Information This area is closed during hours of darkness.
The Fir Island Farms/Hayton Snow Goose Reserve attracts tens of thousands of snow geese from October until April. There is a short trail along the dike offering views of Skagit Bay and opportunities for shorebird and waterfowl viewing. No hunting is allowed at this site.
Bald eagles, northern harriers, and red tail hawks are common here throughout the winter. An active bald eagle next is located in a tree on the west side of the entrance road.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov