Wildlife Area Location

Belinda Rotton
21961 Wylie Road
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 445-4441
(360) 445-2093 fax

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Skagit Wildlife Area
Debay Slough Unit

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.

Skagit Wildlife Area - DeBay Slough
Game Reserve and Hunt Unit Map

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. 

Viewing Opportunities


  • Birds of Prey
  • Eagles
  • Songbirds
  • Waterfowl
  • Mammals

  • Deer
  • Small Mammals
  • How to Get Here
    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.
    Unique Features
    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.
    Other Information
    Swans typically roost during the night on DeBay's Slough. A variety of waterfowl also use the slough and fields on the Reserve.
    Skagit Wildlife Area Waterfowl Hunting Guide
    Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plans
    Weekender Report
    Wildlife Viewing Guides
    Accessing Washington's Outdoors
    Find a Water Access Site
    GoHunt - Interactive Mapping
    Green Dot Maps
    • Bird watching
    • Hunting
    • Wildlife viewing

    If you are Hunting or Fishing, remember to check all current regulations.

    Activities may include restrictions or require permits. Please see Public Conduct Rules for more information.