Pending marine toxin testing, digging will proceed there Jan. 8-9.

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More tentative dates have been set for coastal razor clam digs after the New Year that includes Kalaloch on the northern Olympic coast, which hasn’t been open since the 2011-12 season.

“There was a decrease (of clams at Kalaloch) during assessments taken in July, (but) it is strong and the biggest we’ve seen in the last 13 years,” said Dan Ayres, the head State Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “They are small (averaging 3½ inches), and when you have a lot of them, they don’t grow as much since they’re all competing for feed.”

The last time Kalaloch had a season was in 2011-12, when it was open for three days of digging.

If marine toxin testing – usually conducted a week before the digs – show clams are safe to eat, then digging will proceed Jan. 8-9 at Kalaloch; Jan. 13-15 at Copalis and Mocrocks; 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.

Diggers will most likely be able to ring in the New Year with digs at Copalis and Mocrocks on Dec. 30-31.

“We will gather another test sample (on Monday), and I anticipate it will be good,” Ayres said.

The only downside this winter season has been the continued closures of Long Beach and Twin Harbors due to marine toxin levels that remain above the 20 parts per million action level.

“It is discouraging at this point, and it wasn’t a near miss, but a complete miss,” Ayres said. “Between the two beaches we tested a total of seven different areas (three at Twin Harbors and four at Long Beach), and only one of those areas tested below the action level. We will continue to test all the beaches, and open (them) as soon as we can.”

State fishery officials are baffled by this since there is nothing new as far as plankton issues in the water.

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.

During digs on Dec. 10-11, a total of 5,500 diggers at Copalis and Mocrocks beaches averaged 12.2 clams per person – the daily limit is 15 clams per person and the first 15 must be kept regardless of size or condition.

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Dungeness crab fishing will come to an end after Dec. 31, which is open in some areas of Puget Sound. Fair to good catches have reported along both sides of Whidbey Island, and points in between as well as Hood Canal’s northern section and the San Juan Islands. The Strait of Juan de Fuca between Sekiu and Port Angeles is also open for crabbing.

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas San Juan Islands is slow to fair for hatchery chinook. Squid jigging picked up again off Elliott Bay piers, Edmonds Pier, A-Dock at the Shilshole Bay Marina and Des Moines piers, but slow to fair at Les Davis, Point Defiance Park, Redondo and Dash Point piers. East side of Whidbey Island is slow to fair for hatchery chinook off Columbia Beach, Camano Head, Hat Island, Sandy Point and Elger Bay. In central Puget Sound try for hatchery chinook at Allen Bank off Blake Island, Jefferson Head, Kingston, Point Monroe, West Point south of Shilshole Bay and Rich Passage.
Biting: YesRating: ★★  
Statewide rivers Slow for coho in Cowlitz, and don’t expect the steelhead action to pick up until later next month as the planting has shifted to a later-timed run. A few winter steelhead were caught at Reiter Ponds on the Upper Skykomish and Wallace. On the northern Olympic coast, try for winter steelhead in the Bogachiel and Calawah.
Biting: YesRating: ★★  
Statewide lakes In Clark County, Battle Ground Lake was recently planted with 4,000 trout, and Klineline Pond received 2,500. Year-round lakes worth wetting a line in are American, Tanwax, Offutt, Spanaway, Kitsap, Kress, Rowland, Campbell, Spencer, Green and Goodwin. Fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Fair to good for trout and kokanee in Lake Roosevelt. Fair to good for kokanee and lake trout in Lake Chelan. Fair for walleye and perch in Potholes Reservoir. Rufus Woods Reservoir is fair for trout. Lacamas Lake in Clark County was planted with 9,840 trout on Dec. 12. Also, 30 steelhead weighing 6-10 pounds were released into Horseshoe Lake in Woodland this past week.
Biting: YesRating: ★★