Aquarium tour and fish feeding offers inside look at Salish Sea creatures

Get a guided tour of life under the Salish Sea — including a pair of fist-size octopi — during an aquarium tour and fish feeding from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Padilla Bay nature center in coastal Skagit County.

“It’s a lot of fun; it’s a special introduction into the aquarium,” said Glen Alexander, education coordinator at Breazeale Interpretive Center, which features aquariums and natural history exhibits that focus on the Salish Sea and nearby Padilla Bay.

Alexander said the tours conducted by the center’s aquarist give visitors a broader perspective of the natural world.

“Developing that relationship helps inspire our sense of stewardship for the environment,” he said. “They will learn about the things in the tanks that they would never learn on their own, and they will see things they never would have seen without the help of an expert.”

A visitor favorite right now is the Eastern Pacific red octopus, and they have two “small, very cute” specimens at the center.

“When they close up, they’re about the size of a tennis ball,” Alexander said.

Breazeale Interpretive Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday at 10441 Bayview-Edison Road, Bay View. Parking is free, and the center has clean restrooms and several miles of trails, including beach access. Admission to the center is free, but donations are accepted.

For details, go to padillabay.gov or call 360-428-1558.