Brace for winter and enjoy steelhead, razor clams, views of wintering wildlife

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

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

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.

“So far this season, waterfowl hunters have done well thanks to a series of storms that have blown through,” said Dave Ware, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “That should continue into January, when more wet and windy weather is expected.”

But winter weather is an important consideration in other outdoor activities as well. Ice fishing is a dicey proposition in most parts of the state and heavy rains can render a river “unfishable” – even dangerous – virtually overnight.

“Preparation is essential for any outdoor activity, especially in winter,” said Mike Cenci, deputy chief of enforcement for WDFW. “Check the weather conditions, river conditions and road conditions – and let people know where you’re going before you head out.”

Good advice for those planning to dig razor clams on ocean beaches over the New Year’s weekend. The dig gets under way Dec. 31 and runs through Jan. 7 at select ocean beaches. More information on those digs is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

January is also a great time to fish for hatchery-reared steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula, squid in Puget Sound and whitefish in the Yakima, Naches and Cle Elum rivers.

Meanwhile, WDFW is reminding big-game hunters and Puget Sound sport crabbers that deadlines for reporting their harvest in 2014 are drawing near. Hunters have until midnight Jan. 31 to report their success in hunting deer, elk, black bear, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and turkey during the past year. Those who file their reports by Jan. 10 will be entered into a drawing for one of five deer permits or four elk permits. Sport crabbers have through Feb. 1 to report their catch during the winter season.

For more information about the full array of fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing available over the next month, see the Weekender Regional Reports posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/. These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.

More in Life

Prepare to dive into the inner workings of a library

The possibilities seem endless. Row upon row of books awaits you, each… Continue reading

Living life deliberately | SoHaPP

Bonney Lake resident Sue Z. Hart will be doing some laughter therapy Dec. 8th at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Enumclaw library.

Santa to ride through Buckley

Find out when Saint Nick will be arriving in your neighborhood next week.

This book is sure to put you in the Christmas mood

You thought you knew what was inside the box. Though it was… Continue reading

How to maximize your Social Security benefits | Pierce County

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is hosting the workshop on Dec. 3.

‘Real’ Christmas trees are big business, quite a bargain

Here are 10 interesting facts about live holiday trees.

The perfect book to read while snuggling

A dog says “woof.” Cats meow, horses neigh, cows go “Mooooo,” sheep… Continue reading

Photos with your pets and Santa | Tractor Supply Company

Celebrate the holidays by taking a photo with Santa.

Be thankful for your septic system | Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Have you ever heard of Brown Friday? Many plumbers have.

Dealing with grief during the holidays

The workshop is being hosted at Auburn’s Wabash Church on Monday, Nov. 19.

Photos, maps, fun facts make this book addicting

You know? Of course you do, because you’re no dummy. You’re on… Continue reading

Children’s entertainer Eric Ode to lead workshop

Register now, because space is limited.