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Brace For Winter And Enjoy Waterfowl, Steelhead, Views Of Wintering Wildlife


January 1, 2016

For Washingtonians, the start of the new year is a great time to hunt for waterfowl, fish for steelhead, and enjoy the annual spectacle of bald eagles, snow geese, elk, big-horn sheep and other wintering wildlife.

But weather is an important consideration. Preparation is essential for any outdoor activity, especially in winter. Check the weather conditions, river conditions and road conditions – and let people know where you’re going before heading out.

Those hardy souls that do head outdoors this month can enjoy:

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. Success rates for waterfowl hunters typically pick up when storms roll in.

Steelhead fishing: Fishing for hatchery steelhead continues on several rivers on both sides of the Cascades.

Blackmouth salmon: Several marine areas of Puget Sound are open to blackmouth fishing, including the San Juan Islands, which traditionally reward salmon fishers with some of the highest catches during winter months.

Puget Sound squid: Winter is prime time to jig for squid in Puget Sound. Good spots include the Elliott Bay Pier in Seattle and the Edmonds Pier.

Whitefish: Anglers can catch and keep up to 15 whitefish from several rivers in the Columbia River Basin.

Details about these and other recreational opportunities available over the next month are posted on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at The online Weekender report has recently been reformatted to make it easier than ever to find out about the full range of outdoor adventures coming up around the state.


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