Friday and Saturday look like good days.
Coastal razor clam fans are getting their Christmas wish, with digging open at Copalis Beach from Thursday to Saturday.
“The weather forecast especially for Thursday looks iffy (17-foot swells were forecast), but it gets better by Friday and Saturday,” Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal-shellfish manager, said of the first digs since marine toxins closed all coastal beaches last spring.
“I’d advise folks to check the forecast before driving all the way down to the coast, and if the weather cooperates it will be great digging,” Ayres said. “Last Monday and Tuesday, the tribes conducted some digs and did all right at Copalis and they’re good-sized clams.”
Beaches open are from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.
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Additional digging won’t occur until after the New Year sometime between Jan. 8-12 when the next good series of low tides occur. Final approval is usually announced the week before the scheduled digs.
Ayres says there is a possibility that Long Beach could be the next candidate to reopen for digging. The toxin level at Long Beach was 16 parts per million — the action level is 20 ppm — and Mocrocks was 25 ppm and Twin Harbors was 50 ppm.
Last May health test samples of coastal razor clams showed domoic acid — a natural marine toxin produced by certain types of marine algae — had jumped well above the action level. Domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
Razor-clam diggers have enjoyed back-to-back excellent seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15 that rank as some of the best seen in more than three decades. The season coastwide estimate from Oct. 7, 2014 to May 7, 2015 was 396,807 diggers with more than 5.49 million clams dug.
Dungeness crab fishing in open areas of Puget Sound is still on the “must do” list as the season winds down soon. Success remains decent with some easily getting their five-crab daily limits off Edmonds, Kingston, Shilshole Bay, Bainbridge Island south to Vashon Island, Tacoma-Quartermaster Harbor area, Anderson Island, and the east- and south-sides of Whidbey Island.
The crabbing season in Hood Canal and a portion of northern Puget Sound north of the Hood Canal Bridge to the Foulweather Bluff to Olele Point line will remain open daily through Feb. 28.
Crab fishing elsewhere is open daily through 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca east of Neah Bay to Port Angeles; San Juan Islands; Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay; Ports Susan and Gardner; and central, south-central and southern Puget Sound. Willapa Bay is open for crabbing, and areas around the Lower Columbia River mouth were productive.
“Squid jigging remains good off the piers, and I have to say it is one of the better seasons we’ve seen,” said Jerry Beppu, owner of Linc’s Tackle Shop in Seattle.
Try for squid along the Seattle waterfront at the Seattle Aquarium Pier, and Piers 57, 62, 63, 70 and 86; A-Dock at the Shilshole Bay Marina; Des Moines Pier; Edmonds Pier; Redondo Pier; Illahee State Park Pier; Seacrest Pier in West Seattle; and the Waterman and Indianola piers in Kitsap County. Stormy weather continues to make it difficult for hatchery chinook fishing, but action remains fair to good in the San Juan Islands, eastern Strait off Port Angeles, and east side of Whidbey Island at Gedney Island, Hat Island, Elger Bay, Langley, Sandy Point and Camano Head. Slow for salmon in south-central Puget Sound off Tacoma and Vashon Island, near Misery Point in Hood Canal and southern Puget Sound.
|Biting: YesRating: ★★|
|Statewide rivers||Slow to fair for hatchery steelhead, but heavy rains have created marginal fishing conditions at Tokul Creek, Skykomish River near Reiter Ponds, Cascade, Satsop and Skykomish mainstem. Anglers may keep hatchery steelhead under general fishing rules in the Stillaguamish mainstem and North Fork. Make a trek to the northern Olympic coast where steelhead fishing is fair to good on the Calawah (38 anglers Dec. 18-20 caught 15 steelhead and released one), and Bogachiel (66 Dec. 18-20 caught 12 and released one), but slow on the Sol Duc. Hoh was in poor fishing condition. Slow in Cowlitz and Coweeman for steelhead, but a few caught in Kalama. Fair for steelhead in Wenatchee, Entiat and Okanogan.|
|Biting: YesRating: ★|
Lake Goodwin in Snohomish County was planted Dec. 15 with 5,000 trout. Maryhill Pond in Klickitat County was planted Dec. 15 with 500 trout. Banks Lake is good for whitefish. Fair to good at Lake Roosevelt for trout and kokanee. Fair to good for cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Slow to fair for trout at American, Angle, Lone, Green, Spanaway, Kapowsin, Rowland, Gissburg and Shoecraft. Fair for walleye and perch in Potholes Reservoir. Good for lake trout in Lake Chelan. Fair to good for trout at Roses near Chelan.
|Biting: YesRating: ★★|