If the sport salmon fishery – that covers an area from Port Townsend south to the Edmonds-Apple Tree Cove boundary line – opened as planned this month, it could result in an early closure due to achieving the threshold of total chinook encounters before the April 15 closure date.

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A slight improvement in the weather forecast – as long as you can handle the bone-chilling cold – has opened the door to some fishing adventures, but one has been put on momentarily on hold.

The northern Puget Sound salmon fishery that targets healthy hatchery chinook stocks was supposed to open Monday, but has been delayed until sometime in mid-February or early March.

“The overwhelming priority we heard (from our sport-fishing advisory group) was to get as many of these winter fisheries to run to the end of the planned fishery,” said Ryan Lothrop, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound recreational salmon manager whose team of biologists wants more time to determine a specific opening date.

If the sport salmon fishery – that covers an area from Port Townsend south to the Edmonds-Apple Tree Cove boundary line – opened as planned this month, it could result in an early closure due to achieving the threshold of total chinook encounters before the April 15 closure date.

The Edmonds Public Fishing Pier will remain open to salmon fishing, and specific rules can be found in the regulation pamphlet.

Despite the closure, there are other options for hatchery chinook fishing, including the San Juan Islands and the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca off Port Angeles to Freshwater Bay.

Central and south-central Puget Sound are also open for hatchery chinook, but fishing has been spotty at places like Allen Bank off Blake Island, Kingston, Jefferson Head, Southworth and the Tacoma area.

The next round of coastal razor clam digs will begin Friday at Copalis and Mocrocks beaches this Friday to Sunday during evening low tides.

“The forecast does look pretty good, but people need to be aware they’ll have to work a bit and the clams just aren’t readily showing,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “That means stomping on the sand to get them to show will help a lot.”

The best digging happens about one to two hours before low tide. Low tide on Friday is a minus-1.4 feet at 7:17 p.m.; Saturday is -1.0 at 7:59 p.m.; and Sunday is -0.4 at 8:40 p.m.

The first razor clam dig at Kalaloch Beach on the northern Olympic coast since the 2011-12 season occurred this past Sunday and Monday, and success didn’t live up to expectations.

On the downside, a second round of marine toxin testing took a turn for the worse at Twin Harbors.

“We had one clean test sample, but one was still high (above the 20 parts per million action cut-off level) and prompted us to keep it closed,” Ayres said.

Testing is done for domoic acid – a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae – that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

Additional tentative dates are Jan. 27-28 at Copalis; Jan. 29-31 at Copalis and Mocrocks; Feb. 7-9 at Copalis and Mocrocks; Feb. 10-12 at Mocrocks; and Feb. 24-26 at Copalis and Mocrocks.

For more information, go to wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas

“Squidding really slowed down along the (Seattle) waterfront, but those putting in the time are still getting some,” said Jerry Beppu, owner of Linc’s Tackle Shop in Seattle. “We are probably toward the end of the season, and catching them will start to fade away by the end of this month.”

Slow to fair squid jigging off Elliott Bay piers like Seacrest, Pier 86 and Seattle Great Wheel; and Edmonds, Des Moines, Les Davis, Point Defiance Park and Dash Point piers. East side of Whidbey Island is slow to fair for hatchery chinook off Columbia Beach, Camano Head, Hat Island and Elger Bay. Hood Canal is open for hatchery chinook, but no recent reports.

Biting: YesRating: ★★  
Statewide rivers Fishing on northern Olympic coast is fair to good on the Bogachiel, where 32 anglers Friday-Monday caught 17 hatchery steelhead and released five. Fishing was spotty for steelhead on the Calawah and Sol Duc with light angler turnout. The Reiter Ponds area of the Upper Skykomish is closed to fishing, but areas up to the forks and the Skykomish mainstem at Cable Hole, Wallace below the railroad bridge and Sultan to Monroe as well as the Snohomish are open for winter steelhead through this month. Slow for steelhead on the Cowlitz.
Biting: YesRating: ★  
Statewide lakes Some lakes in the southwest region received a good dose of trout or steelhead plants Jan. 3-4, and include Kress, 14 steelhead; Maryhill, 500 trout; Rowland, 3,000 trout; Silver (in Cowlitz County), 3,000 trout; and Spearfish, 2,000 trout. Locally, head to Goodwin in Snohomish County, which was recently planted with 5,000 trout. Other good trout spots are Klineline, Lacamas and Battle Ground. Fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Ice-fishing conditions improved at Fish Lake near Leavenworth, with some trout and perch caught. Moses Lake has about 10 to 11 inches of ice with fair to good catches of perch. Slow to fair for trout at American, Spanaway, Campbell and Spencer. Very good for kokanee in Lake Roosevelt. Fair to good for kokanee and lake trout in Lake Chelan.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★