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  More to do Outside!
 
 

January 2019
Region 4: North Puget Sound
(Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcomcounties)
Young woman holds up squid she caught off a pier in Tacoma.
Young woman holds up squid she caught off a pier in Tacoma.

Jig for squid: Winter is a great time to jig for squid in Puget Sound. Squid fishing is a fun group activity that is easy to learn and doesn’t require a boat. Good spots include the Elliott Bay Pier in Seattle and the Edmonds Pier. Visit WDFW’s squid fishing webpage for tips on how to fish for squid and tasty recipes.

Blackmouth salmon: Several marine areas are open to salmon fishing in January, giving anglers an opportunity to reel in blackmouth salmon (immature chinook).

  • Marine Area 7: Open Jan. 1 with a daily limit of one salmon. Anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
  • Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2: Open for salmon fishing with a daily limit of two fish. Anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
  • Marine Area 9: Open Jan. 1 with a daily limit of two salmon, one of which can be a hatchery chinook. Anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
  • Marine Area 10: Open Jan. 1 with a daily limit of one salmon. Anglers must release wild chinook.

Report your crab catch:  The Puget Sound crab season closed Dec. 31, and crabbers have until Feb. 1 to report their winter catches to WDFW. If crabbers don’t submit their catch record card, a $10 administrative fee will be applied to their next license purchase.

Crabbers can report their catch online or send their catch record cards to WDFW by mail to WDFW CRC Unit, PO Box 43142, Olympia, WA 98504. For more information, visit the catch record card webpage.

Washington Sportsmen’s Show: The Washington Sportsmen’s Show (Puyallup), Jan. 23-27, will feature hundreds of products from the best brands, including the addition of the Kayak Pavilion, Garmin Electronics Theater, live walleye tank, and the first-ever Washington Sportsmen’s Show Outdoor Cooking Competition. WDFW staff will have multiple booths at the show, so stop by to ask us questions or just to say hello! Visit the show’s website for more details. 

A hunting dog retrieves a duck
A hunting dog retrieves a duck. Photo by Richard Eltrich

Waterfowl: Waterfowl hunters have through Jan. 27 to hunt ducks and geese. Winter weather conditions drive birds inland, leading to increased periods of flight and higher success rates.

Hunters can find some great sites to hunt ducks and geese through WDFW’s Waterfowl Quality Hunt Program, which includes properties in Whatcom, Skagit and north Snohomish counties. Other waterfowl hunting opportunities (including reservation only hunts) are also available. Hunters should check the private lands access webpage for more information.

For hunting tips, techniques, and other waterfowl resources, visit the Waterfowl Spotlight webpage.

Report your big game harvest: Most big-game hunts in the region will be closed by the start of January, so now is the time to file your report. All hunters, whether successful or not, are required to submit hunting reports for each black bear, cougar, deer, elk or turkey tag they purchased by Jan. 31. Failure to meet the deadline can result in a $10 fine, due before a hunter can purchase a 2019 license.

Reports may be filed by phone at 877-945-3492 or online. Hunters should be prepared to note the game management unit they hunted and their individual WILD identification number, which is printed on license documents. Whether reporting online or over the phone, hunters should follow the prompts until they receive a confirmation number for each report.

Spring bear permit applications: The application period for special spring bear hunting permits begins Jan. 2 and runs through February. More information is available on the Spring Black Bear Permit webpage

Washington Sportsmen’s Show: The Washington Sportsmen’s Show (Puyallup), Jan. 23-27, will feature hundreds of products from the best brands, including the addition of the Kayak Pavilion, Garmin Electronics Theater, live walleye tank, and the first-ever Washington Sportsmen’s Show Outdoor Cooking Competition. WDFW staff will have multiple booths at the show, so stop by to ask us questions or just to say hello! Visit the show’s website for more details. 

Bald eagle perched in a tree
Bald eagle perched in a tree. Photo by Sandee Waddoups

Guided nature walks: The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center near Rockport will give guided nature walks every Saturday and Sunday in January. Some of the nature walk themes include:

  • Hiking in the Bellingham, Mount Vernon and Anacortes Areas
  • Salmon and Trout of the Skagit River
  • For the Love of (Bio)Diversity
  • Glaciers of the North Cascades

In addition to presentations and nature walks, visitors can enjoy observing the many bald eagles in the area.

Enjoy a winter hike: The Sehome Hill Arboretum in Bellingham provides 180 acres of forested area supporting a wide variety of native plants and trees. Hikers can enjoy 5.5 miles of gravel trails through wooded terrain and climb an 80-foot observation tower for a bird’s eye view of the greater Bellingham area and bay. Wildlife watchers have a chance to see black-tailed deer, coyotes, raccoons, black-headed grosbeaks, northern flicker, red-breasted sapsuckers and pileated woodpeckers.

Snow geese wintering: Thousands of snow geese congregate in the Skagit Valley each winter, and can be found in the area from mid-October through early May. A great place to view the snow geese on upcoming weekends is at the Fir Island Farms Reserve Unit of WDFW’s Skagit Wildlife Area. In addition to snow geese, birders may also spot raptors, eagles and hawks throughout the winter.

Volunteer to restore habitat: Forterra is hosting a variety of volunteer opportunities this month to plant native trees and shrubs along Puget Sound waterways to restore critical habitat. For a full list of volunteer events, visit the Forterra website.

First Day Hikes: Washington State Parks invites the public to start the new year off with a First Day Hike on Jan. 1 at more than three dozen state parks, including Camano Island State Park, Saltwater State Park, and Wallace Falls State Park. Jan. 1 is also the first of 12 “free days” – Jan 21 is another – when visitors will not need to display the Discover Pass to gain access to state parks.

Christmas Bird Count: The Audubon Society continues to compile bird sightings from the 119th annual Christmas Bird Count through Jan. 5. This compilation of sightings provides important information about bird populations in Washington and throughout the Americas. Unlike previous years, online registration will not be available, and county compilers will be taking tallies by email. For more information on the annual bird count, visit the Audubon’s website.

Region One: Eastern Washington Region Two: North Central Washington Region Four: North Puget Sound Region Six: South Sound/Olympic  Peninsula Region Five: Southwest Washington Region Three: South Central Washington