DescriptionRockport is located near the confluence of the Skagit and Sauk rivers. Each winter one of the largest seasonal concentrations of bald eagles in the U.S. outside of Alaska congregates along these streams to feed on the carcasses of spawned-out salmon. The eagles start arriving in late November, their numbers reaching a peak in January.
The Washington State Wildlife Department has set aside a stretch of the Skagit River from Rockport to just upstream from Marblemount as a bald eagle sanctuary. The birds and their feeding habits can be observed from several roadside pullouts along SR 20. Designated sites include Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport; Washington Eddy, 1 mile east of town on SR 20; and the Sutter Creek Rest Area, 1.3 miles farther east. Mornings offer the best viewing opportunities (from dawn until about 10 a.m.).
The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center (in Howard Miller Steelhead Park at 52809 Rockport Park Rd.) opens for the season in early December and offers naturalist presentations, guided hikes and advice on spotting bald eagles. The center is open Sat.-Sun. 10-4, December through January; phone (360) 853-7626.
Several outfitters offer bald eagle float trips from December through February, including River Recreation Inc., phone (800) 464-5899, Skagit River Excursions, phone (888) 675-2448, and Wildwater River Guides, phone (800) 522-9453.
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