No need to wait until spring
to catch fish, observe wildlife
Temperatures are warming, birds are singing and the lower Columbia River will soon be teeming with spring chinook salmon. Spring is still a ways off, but February offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
State fishery managers expect about 299,000 adult spring chinook to the Columbia River this year. The fishery is open now below the Interstate 5 Bridge, but it usually doesn't catch fire until March when fishing expands upriver to Bonneville Dam and beyond. For information about the spring chinook season, see the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) website.See more.
Meanwhile, there are several other great fisheries and outdoor events available this month including:
Blackmouth salmon: More areas of Puget Sound are opening to fishing for blackmouth chinook salmon, including Hood Canal, Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon) and – later in the month – Sekiu.
Rainbow trout: Anglers fishing Lake Roosevelt in northeast Washington have been reeling in some nice rainbow trout. Anglers at many other lakes open to trout fishing also are doing well.
Razor clams: A month-long dig has been approved for Long Beach beginning Feb. 4. For details, check the WDFW website.
Sport shows: A trio of sport shows are scheduled in the coming weeks, including the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show, Feb. 10-14 in Portland; the Central Washington Sportsmen Show, Feb. 19-21 in Yakima; and the Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen Show, Feb. 26-28 in Wenatchee. WDFW will have booths at all three events.
Great Backyard Bird Count: Birders of all levels of experience are invited to count the number of birds they see in a 15-minute period and enter their tally, by species, online. Participants can conduct their count Feb. 12-15 in their own backyards, in a neighborhood park or anywhere they choose.
For more information about these and other opportunities to enjoy Washington's great outdoors, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW's website. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.