Anglers have reason to celebrate in the days ahead with fairly good fishing choices spread all across the state.
Many rang in the New Year by heading to the coast to dig razor clams, and there will be plenty of more chances in the days and months ahead.
“We’ve had good crowds and digging with lots of happy clam diggers,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.
Digging is open Thursday and Friday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Saturday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; and Sunday at Twin Harbors. Digging is open from noon to midnight each day.
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More digs also are planned Jan. 17-18, Jan. 30-31, Feb. 2 and Feb. 27-28 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Feb. 1 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; Jan. 29 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach; and Jan. 15-16, Jan. 28 and Feb. 26 at Twin Harbors.
In other shellfish news, Hood Canal has beaches open for oysters and/or littleneck clams.
They include Belfair State Park, Dosewallips State Park, Duckabush, Eagle Creek, Point Whitney Lagoons, Triton Cove Tidelands, Wolfe Property State Park, Shine Tidelands, Frye Cove County Park, West Dewatto and Twanoh State Park.
Before hitting a beach, call the shellfish hotline at 866-880-5431 or check the state Fish and Wildlife website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/ for emergency closures or changes.
Trout fishing is another decent line-pulling option in local waterways.
“Flowing Lake (near Snohomish) was recently planted with (5,024) trout, and there are some fish in Green Lake (in north Seattle) and Silver Lake in south Everett,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sporting Goods in Lynnwood.
Lake Sammamish is fair to good for cutthroat trout measuring 14 to 19 inches, and Lake Washington off the Interstate 90 Bridge and south end of Mercer Island is a close runner-up with some as large as 3 to 8 pounds.
Other lakes recently planted were American in Pierce County, 2,547; Lacamas near Camas, 4,648; Icehouse near Bridge of the Gods, 1,000; Little Ash near Stevenson, 1,000; Maryhill Pond, 500; and Silver Lake near Castle Rock, 4,000.
|Marine areas||The San Juan Islands, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and central Puget Sound regions were producing the best catches of hatchery chinook, but slowed down off Port Angeles in the eastern Strait. In central Puget Sound, try Kingston, Edmonds oil dock-Richmond Beach area, Shilshole Bay, Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Jefferson Head, Allen Bank off Blake Island, Manchester and Southworth. Slow for hatchery chinook off Camano Head, Hat Island, Elger Bay and Columbia Beach. South-central Sound and Hood Canal are now closed for salmon and reopens Feb. 1, and North Sound reopens Jan. 16. Off and on for squid at Edmonds; Des Moines; Seacrest; and downtown Seattle waterfront piers. The 10-week Tengu Blackmouth Derby in Elliott Bay ended Sunday with 30 anglers catching three hatchery chinook. Justin Wong had the largest fish of the season, a 9-pound, 7-ounce chinook caught Nov. 24. The derby produced 20 chinook, four chum and one coho. The Tengu Awards Banquet is 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Sun Ya Restaurant, 625 7th Ave. S. in Seattle. Details: 206-722-4748.|
|Statewide rivers||The hatchery steelhead fishery has been pretty much a downer this past month as the peak timing has come and gone. The best locales were the Reiter Ponds area of the Upper Skykomish, Lower Skykomish near Monroe, Snoqualmie, Cascade, Fortson Hole on Stillaguamish North Fork, Lower Hoh, Bogachiel and Calawah. In southwest Washington, steelhead fishing was slow in the Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and Washougal. Winter steelhead returns are way down from same time last year on the Cowlitz with 349 compared to 634; Kalama, 40 to 177; and Lewis, 29 to 283.|
|Statewide lakes||East of the Cascades, ice fishing is good at Moses Lake and Fish Lake near Wenatchee for mostly perch along with a few walleye and trout, and check ice safety conditions before heading out the door. Lind Coulee was fair to good for perch and walleye. Lake Roosevelt is good for trout. Look for trout at Spencer in Mason County, Lone on Whidbey Island, Leland in Jefferson County, Rowland near Lyle, Klineline in Clark County and Goodwin in Snohomish County.|
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or email@example.com