After days of dodging torrential storms, snow, rain and wind, it’s time to refocus on all the options blooming across the state.
Expectations for the upcoming coastal razor clam digs should be excellent, and near limits of 15 clams daily per digger has been the norm for much of the fall/winter season.
“It looks like the (weather outlook) will get better by this weekend, and digging should be very good,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “They’re predicting an easterly wind and that will lay down the surf, but it will be chilly.”
Digging dates are: Thursday, Friday and Sunday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Saturday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; and Monday at Twin Harbors. Digging is allowed from noon to midnight only.
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More evening digs are planned March 26-29. Then digging will switch over to morning low tides on March 30-April 3 and April 14-20. Digging could also possibly be extended into May.
Razor clam lovers can also make plans to attend the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival and Seafood Extravaganza on March 21-23. For details, go to www.oceanshores.org/clams.html. The Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on April 19-20. For details, go to http://longbeachrazorclamfestival.com/
Salmon anglers will also be gearing up for the Bill Hayes Hot Plug’s Derby this Saturday on Camano Island. Cost is $50, and entry deadline is Friday. Details: 425-308-9437 or email@example.com.
Salmon action in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca has been good at times. A check last Saturday at the Ediz Hook boat ramp in Port Angeles saw 14 boats with 23 anglers landing 20 hatchery chinook, including a 15-pounder.
The northern coast has picked up for winter steelhead fishing in the Bogachiel, Calawah, Sol Duc and Hoh rivers. In southwest region, the Satsop, Washougal and Wynoochee river are fair for steelhead.
|Marine areas||Hatchery chinook fishing is fair at Point No Point, Double Bluff off Whidbey Island, Pilot Point, San Juan Islands, Port Townsend, Mats Mats Bay and Possession Bar. Slow for salmon in the Tacoma area, and fair to good in Hood Canal off Misery Point. Sekiu in the western Strait is open for salmon, but no effort this past week due to stormy weather. Fair for hatchery chinook in Saratoga Pass, Camano Head, Hat Island, Elger Bay and Columbia Beach.|
The commercial smelt fishery in the Lower Columbia on Monday produced some catch, and that could be good news for this Saturday’s 6 a.m. to noon sport bank dip-net opener in the Cowlitz River. The daily limit is 10 pounds.
“We did get some landings on the commercial fishery, and three boats had about 2,400 pounds in the Wakiakum County area of the Lower Columbia,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Water temperatures in the Lower Columbia and Cowlitz look good for smelt migration, but there were no signs of smelt in the Cowlitz yet.”
Still no reports of spring chinook caught in the Lower Columbia below I-5 this past week, but angler effort continues to increase and a few were caught by commercial fishermen in Youngs Bay. Slow for winter steelhead in the Cowlitz, but fair to good in the Wenatchee. Fair for walleye in the The Dalles and John Day pools of the Columbia. The Tucannon closes for fishing on March 1.
|Statewide lakes||Go sooner than later for fairly good cutthroat trout action in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish as the fish begin to head upriver for their annual spawning time. Many eastside lakes open Saturday for trout fishing, but Quincy and Burke look doubtful with ice covering the water. The Quincy Trout Derby at Quincy and Burke lakes has been delayed until March 8. Organizers are hopeful the lakes will be clear of enough ice by then. Details: www.quincyvalleytourism.org. Klineline Pond was planted earlier this month with 2,355 catchable-sized trout. Rufus Woods Reservoir is fair for rainbow trout. Look for fair trout action in the Puget Sound region at Green in North Seattle; Lone on Whidbey Island; Flowing, Blackman’s and Goodwin in Snohomish County; and American in Pierce County. Lake Roosevelt is fair to good for trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout.|
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org