State Fish and Wildlife is celebrating Washington’s first wildlife area 11 a.m. on Saturday (June 7) at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area , which covers 14,314 acres in Okanogan County in northeastern Washington.
The event at the wildlife area headquarters on Sinlahekin Road south of Loomis is open to the public, and will host guest speakers, a barbecue lunch sponsored by the Mule Deer Foundation, dedication of a hiking trail, and fishing clinics.
Director Phil Anderson will attend along with local, state, tribal and federal officials, including Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
At 1:30 p.m., a hiking trail will be dedicated in the memory of Dave Brittell, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist and former head of the Wildlife Program. Brittell was instrumental in the development and stewardship of the department’s 33 wildlife areas across the state.
Anglers can get tips on how to fish the lakes in the Sinlahekin as part of Washington’s annual Free Fishing Weekend on June 7-8, when no licenses are required. State fisheries staff will host a bait casting session at 2 p.m. at Reflection Pond, and a fly-fishing session a Blue Lake.
State Fish and Wildlife Lands Operations Manager Dale Swedberg will facilitate along with wildlife area managers and staff a Sinlahekin Memories Sharing Session at 2 p.m.
The wildlife area will also host free field trips, events and presentations through the summer. Dates are: June 14-15, July 5-6, July 26-27, Aug. 23-24, and Sept. 6-7.
The party will come to a close with a fun run through the wildlife area and events recognizing Washington’s hunting and fishing heritage on Sept. 27, which is National Hunting and Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day.
For details, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/sinlahekin/.