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 a return of 160,400 upriver adult spring chinook to return to the Columbia River this year, 80 percent of the 10-year average. The fishery is open now below the Interstate 5 Bridge, but it usually doesn't catch fire until March.
Meanwhile, there are several other great fisheries and outdoor events available this month including:
Blackmouth salmon: Several marine areas of Puget Sound are open to fishing for blackmouth chinook salmon.
Rainbow trout: Anglers fishing Lake Roosevelt in northeast Washington have been reeling in some nice rainbow trout. Anglers also are doing well at many other lakes open to trout fishing.
Razor clams: An evening dig is scheduled Feb. 7-12, and another is tentatively planned Feb. 24-26. For details, check the WDFW website.
Sport shows: A trio of sportsmen's shows are scheduled in the coming weeks, including the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show, Feb. 8-12 in Portland; the Central Washington Sportsmen Show, Feb. 17-19 in Yakima; and the Wenatchee Valley Sportsmen Show, Feb. 24-26 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 tallies, by species, online at http://gbbc.birdcount.org/. Participants can conduct their count Feb. 17-20 in their own backyards, in neighborhood parks or anywhere they choose.
For more information about fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities available this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.