U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Willapa
National Wildlife Refuge


Dunlin are softball-sized shorebirds that spend the winter feeding on the rich mudflats within Willapa National Wildlife Refuge/Photo courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach
3888 State Route 101
Ilwaco, WA   98624
E-mail: willapa@fws.gov
Phone Number: 360-484-3482
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/willapa/
Dunlin rest on the mudflats of Willapa Bay/Photo courtesy of Dr. Madeline Kalbach
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Over a three-day period in late spring, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge hosts students from regional schools. Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge annually co-sponsor this educational event as part of their 4th grade environmental education program staffed by volunteers from the Friends and Refuge staff.

The field trip is a culmination of an on-going program where fourth graders learn about the refuge system, habitat, adaptations, bird identification, food webs, and habitat change and management as Friends volunteers and Refuge staff visit classrooms. All activities are hands-on and aligned to Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASLs). Each classroom activity takes about one hour. If you are a school in the southwestern Washington or northwestern Oregon area and would like to get your classroom involved, please contact us at willapa@fws.gov or 360/484-3482.

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Fishing
Although it surrounds much of southern Willapa Bay, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is not considered a prime fishing location. However, fishing is permitted from the shores of Willapa Bay. Most visitors interested in fishing on the refuge are in search of sturgeon. Occasionally, other species such as chum salmon are also attempted. Fishing is not permitted on the refuge streams or interior sloughs.

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Hunting
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge provides opportunities for both big game and waterfowl hunters.

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Interpretation
The Salmon Art Interpretive Trail was created to commemorate the restoration of a small stream near refuge headquarters. Historically, this small stream was home to sea-run cutthroat trout, chum salmon, and many other species. Approximately seventy years ago, a tide gate was installed which blocked access to the stream for fish returning to spawn. About the same time, a dam was installed near the headwaters which prevented gravel from washing downstream. This gravel was needed by many species as spawning beds.

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Wildlife Observation
For optimal birdwatching opportunities, plan your visit to Leadbetter Point during the fall (October) and spring (April) migrations. Wildlife are more active in the morning and late afternoon.

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Hours
The refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk. Refuge headquarters is open 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

 
 
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