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
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.