The start of the new year is a great time to hunt for waterfowl, fish for winter lakes, and enjoy the annual spectacle of bald eagles, snow geese, elk, and other wintering wildlife.
Be prepared for winter weather this January – it’s essential for any outdoor activity. Check the weather conditions, river conditions, and road conditions – and let people know where you’re going. Review the #RecreateResponsibly winter tips before heading out.
Check out some activities you can enjoy outdoors this new year:
- Waterfowl hunting: Winter storms are good news – up to a point – for waterfowl hunters, who welcome the surge of ducks and geese that comes with wet, blustery weather.
- Sturgeon: Retention fishing for white sturgeon opens Jan. 1 on the three pools of the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam.
- Puget Sound squid: Winter is a great time to jig for squid in Puget Sound. Squid fishing is a fun, family-friendly activity that is easy to learn and doesn’t require a boat. Remember to keep six feet of physical distance between you and others.
- Bird watching: Now is a great time to see congregations of wintering birds, from snow geese in the Skagit Valley to bald eagles along the Snake River.
- Share your volunteer photos: We want to see the outstanding work you’ve done to benefit fish and wildlife! Submit your photos of volunteer time with us on our website.
For more information about fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: (Fish) 360-902-2700
As Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, Todd Elsworth promotes outdoor recreation and brings community together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. His decades of extensive event production, marketing and writing experience propel this passion. You might bump into him and his daughter Violet while they’re biking, hiking, paddling or skiing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.