The “Welts Property” segment of the Skagit Wildlife Area, popular the past few years with local waterfowl hunters, has more than doubled in size with the acquisition of 230 additional acres by the state Fish and Wildlife Department. Skagit WA manager John Garrett said the agency has purchased about 80 acres north of the existing segment and 150 acres to the east, for a total current size of 414 acres, and has renamed it the “Samish Unit.” The area fronts on Samish Bay and has been one of the more productive hunting units in the WA so far this season, Garrett said.
Because federal hatchery personnel on the Hoh River had problems a year and a half ago clipping their winter steelhead smolts, only about 45 percent of the catchable hatchery fish returning to the river and its South Fork this winter will have a clipped adipose fin. So the state, trying to maximize recreational and tribal harvest of hatchery fish, will allow either an adipose clip or a dorsal fin measuring 2 inches or less in height (remember that one?) when fully extended, in the two-steelhead daily winter limit. The dorsal fin measurement is based on the fact that a lot of hatchery steelhead have stunted and/or deformed dorsal fins.
Duck hunt: The “duck taxi” service for waterfowl hunters on Potholes Reservoir is on tap again this fall and winter, ferrying hunters daily from MarDon Resort to sand dune islands and other choice spots on the reservoir. Unguided “drop-off” hunts include the boat ride, a blind, and decoys, for $125 per person, two-person minimum. Fully guided hunts go for $175 per person, three-person minimum. Call 1-800-416-2736.
Boat show: The 2001 Lake Union Boats Afloat Show comes to Seattle Jan. 12-21, at Chandler’s Cove, billed as the largest floating boat show on the west coast. The lakefront location in the heart of Seattle, according to Jane Love of the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association, allows brokers and dealers to display many of their largest sail and power boats. Show hours will be 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends. Boarding passes are $10 for single day pass, or $20 for multi-day pass. A free shuttle service will connect the Lake Union site with the indoor displays at the Seattle Boat Show, located in the Stadium Exhibition Center just north of Safeco Field. For more information call Love at 206-748-0012, or visit www.boatsafloatshow.com.
Razor clams: Remaining recreational razor clam openings this fall and winter, afternoon tides only, are as follows: Dec. 8-9, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Dec. 10-12, Kalaloch only; Dec. 13, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Dec. 14, Kalaloch only.
Puyallup sportsmen’s show: The 2001 Washington Sportsmen’s Show is set for Jan. 24-28 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup, 1-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 1-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, free for children under six, and $5 for juniors 6-16. Discount coupons good for $3 off adult admission will be available at participating Western Washington AM/PM stores. Call 503-246-8291, or visit www.oloughlintradeshows.com. Heading this year’s long list of featured experts is Ray Scott – known among bass anglers around the country as “Mr. Bass.” The Alabama native founded the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and transformed bass fishing forever. He will be talking bass and autographing copies of his biography, “Bass Boss,” on Jan. 26-27.
Steelhead contest: Jim Strege at Triangle Beverage in Snohomish (360-568-4276) has announced the 12th annual edition of his winter steelhead contest, running now through the end of the season, for fish from either the Snohomish (includes the Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Pilchuck, etc) or Stillaguamish river systems. Free entry. Weekly drawing for $5 in tackle, and season-end prizes for the 10 heaviest fish, plus a couple of mystery weights.
Steelhead contest too: MacDaniel’s Do-It Center, 510 2nd Street, Snohomish, hosts its annual winter steelhead contest again this year, offering a $10 certificate for the heaviest fish entered each week. All entries are then eligible for a grand prize season-end drawing. No cost to enter, simply bring your fish by and have it weighed. Phone number is 360-568-1544.
????Hunter ed: Successful completion of a certified hunter safety class is required in order to obtain a first Washington State hunting license for those of a certain age, or for those planning on hunting as a non-resident in any of several other states. For information on upcoming classes, call certified instructors Dick Abbey, at 206-542-2792 (leave a message if no answer), or Jim Elliott at 425-353-2211, after 5 p.m.
Fly cast: Hook, Line &Sinker in Smokey Point offers a basic fly casting class, Dec. 9 at 9 a.m., for a fee of $20. Participants must have own equipment. Pre-pay and pre-registration required by calling 360-651-2204. Address is 3507A 168th St. N.E., Arlington.
Boating class: The Coast Guard Auxiliary presents a boating and seamanship course, starting Jan. 23, 7 p.m., to run 14 sessions in seven weeks. Place is Everett Alternative High School, 3516 Rucker Avenue, and cost is $33. Call 425-252-7980.