Just about any way you look at it, the early spring options abound including digging for razor clams or fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout.

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Just about any way you look at it, the early spring options abound including digging for razor clams or fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout.

“It was a spectacular weekend for (razor) clam digging with lots of happy diggers,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “It was easy digging and many were done with limits of big clams in 10 minutes.”

An estimated 39,600 digger trips were taken coastwide (23,000 trips last Saturday) and 594,000 clams were harvested for an average of 15.0 clams per person (the first 15 clams dug are a daily limit).

Ayres says clam wastage (where diggers leave clams dug on top of beaches in search of bigger ones) was a big issue especially at Twin Harbors.

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“It is not unusual when you have a mix of big and small clams,” Ayres said. “The law says you must take your first 15 clams dug regardless of what you get.”

The next dates are: Tuesday to Thursday at Twin Harbors; and April 12-14 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. More digs are also planned for April 24-30.

Record chinook catch at Anacortes Derby

The Anacortes Salmon Derby, hosted by the Fidalgo-San Juan Islands Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers, was last weekend, and 1,100 anglers weighed in 256 hatchery chinook (188 were caught on Saturday), which was the most fish caught in the derby’s history.

Scott Fowler of Burlington caught a 21.52 pound fish on Saturday, and took home the first place prize of $15,000. Second place was Rich Olson of Everett with a 19.42 pound fish worth $5,000.

Proceeds fund scholarships to benefit young adults pursuing a career in fishery management and related fields. The event has generated more than $163,000 in scholarships and grants in the past six-years.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

Fishing report
Location Comment


Slow to fair for spring chinook in Lower Columbia. From Feb. 1-March 31 an estimated 47,145 angler trips produced 1,519 chinook kept and 463 released. Mark (adipose clipped fish) rate is 76.6 percent. Fair to good for steelhead Sol Duc, Bogachiel, Calawah and Hoh. Improved for steelhead in Cowlitz. Fair in John Day Pool for walleye and bass.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

Statewide lakes Angle in King County was planted with 3,294 trout on March 27, and others recently planted were Beaver, Green, Alice, Meridian and Sawyer. In Snohomish County try for planted trout in Ballinger, Cassidy, Flowing, Gissburg, Ketchum, Loma, Shoecraft, Lost (Maltby), Martha Warm Beach, Panther and Silver. In Island County try for planted trout in Cranberry and Lone. The statewide lowland-lakes trout opener is April 27. Riffe Lake is good for landlocked coho. Good for kokanee and lake trout in Lake Chelan. Good for kokanee in American and Stevens. Good for trout in Upper and Lower Hampton, and North and South Teal in Grant County. Try Widgeon, Pillar, Snipe, Gadwall, Shoveler, Cattail, Poacher, Lemna, Hourglass and Sago. Dry Falls Lake, located southwest of Coulee City in Grant County is a popular trout spot. Caliche, Martha, Quincy, Burke, Dusty, Lenice and Nunnally are fair to good for trout. Rufus Woods Reservoir is fair for trout. Potholes Reservoir is good for trout and walleye.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Marine areas Best spot for chinook is Sekiu in Strait of Juan de Fuca, and fair at Freshwater Bay, Hein Bank, Coyote Bank and Port Angeles area. Lingcod and black rockfish fishing off Westport remains excellent, and Ilwaco and La Push are also open. Neah Bay opens April 16 for lingcod. Slow in Tacoma area and South Sound for chinook, but fair in Saratoga Pass, Hood Canal and North Sound.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars