Tag Archives: april 2017

Twin Harbors Opening Tomorrow For Start Of 5-day Razor Clam dig

THE FOLLOWING IS A WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE

State shellfish managers have given the OK for a five-day razor clam dig at Twin Harbors starting April 5, and have tentatively scheduled the beach to open again later this month.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening after marine toxin tests showed clams at Twin Harbors are safe to eat.

RAZOR CLAMMING WAS THE SUBJECT OF AN ARTICLE BY BRIAN ROBERTSON IN THE APRIL 2016 ISSUE OF NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN MAGAZINE. (BRIAN ROBERTSON)

Razor clam diggers should be aware that the first four days of the dig are on evening tides, whereas the last day’s dig is on a morning tide, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

“We know diggers are looking forward to returning to Twin Harbors and we are happy to announce these new opportunities,” Ayres said.

The first four days of digging are approved on the following dates and evening low tides:

  • April 5, Wednesday, 3:06 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 6, Thursday, 4:08 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 7, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 8, Saturday, 5:46 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors

The fifth day of digging will be conducted on morning tides, as will other digs through the end of the season:

  • April 9, Sunday, 6:25 a.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

State shellfish managers also added Twin Harbors to a tentatively scheduled dig in mid-April that includes openings at Copalis and Mocrocks. The planned opening depends on the results of marine toxin tests, which generally take place about a week before the dig is scheduled.

The proposed razor clam digs, along with morning low tides and beaches, are listed below

  • April 12, Wednesday, 8:08 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 13, Thursday, 8:43 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • April 14, Friday, 9:18 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • April 15, Saturday, 9:55 a.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • April 16, Sunday, 10:36 a.m., 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Long Beach remains closed to digging, Ayres noted. However, the beach could open soon if the next round of toxin testing shows the clams there are safe to eat.

During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand on the southern section of Twin Harbors beach and at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula. The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”

To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.

More details on how to avoid disturbing nesting birds can be found on the WDFW’s webs

San Juans Blackmouth Fishing Report (4-3-17)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS WRITTEN AND SUBMITTED BY KEVIN KLEIN, PUGET SOUND ANGLERS

Chinook fishing has been fair to good in the San Juan Islands. It really depends on tide and location. There have been larger numbers of Blackmouth on the outer banks, but larger fish inside. This is not uncommon, but seems to be more pronounced this Spring. I’ll stay inside and work spots I know can produce larger fish, even if it means just working for one or two bites.

Picture:

(KEVIN KLEIN)

Kevin Klein with a ‘teener Blackmouth. This fish fell to a Silver Horde 3″ Kingfisher Herring Aid spoon, 48″ behind a green and glow flasher.

Floor: April Time To Rediscover Sekiu Blackmouth Fishing

Editor’s note: The following is Tony Floor’s monthly newsletter and is run with permission.

By Tony Floor, Fishing Affairs Director,Northwest Marine Trade Association

I’ve got the Cheshire Cat grin on my face as I’m sitting in front of my computer screen thinking about the month of April.

Just over my shoulder, most of us have survived in some form, the fire and damnation of the last few months, whether it be the ongoing battles in the legislature, early blackmouth fishing closures in too many marine areas, or the dreadful winter weather of rain, snow and relentless winds. It will be a winter I will easily forget.

And now, with April here, we are looking down the barrel of the ongoing salmon fishing season negotiations in the North of Falcon process, which will try any angler’s patience.

While we wait for the final decisions to be made at North of Falcon that determine our fishing opportunities, I’m thinking about the high road of laying the wood to a hatchery-produced blackmouth before the final chapter of this year’s season slides onto the bookshelf. Clearly, as dictated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, it’s been a winter season filled more with what you can’t do, versus what you can do. Don’t get me started.

Big Sekiu blackmouth are not uncommon during April as Brett Ferris, Tumwater, hoists this nice 15 pound Chinook caught in Clallam Bay. Put me in coach! (NMTA)

For the last four years, I have re-discovered quality fishing at Sekiu in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca during the month of April. It has been money for this salmon angler.

While I have witnessed everything from slow catching to lights-out fishing at Sekiu in April, the quality of the fish is impressive. Most of the blackmouth in the Straits of Juan de Fuca are beginning to sexually mature and will evolve into summer and fall kings bound for Puget Sound hatcheries. I like it when that happens.

The Sekiu fishery performs on both tides as these maturing fish will go on and off the bite throughout the day. On an ebb, I like to start my troll near the Cave, immediately west of Olson’s Resort, working water from 100-140 feet, attempting to troll my gear in the bottom five feet of the water column. I’ll continue the troll pattern west down to Eagle or Hoko Point and repeat, taking note of where I find schools of feed (usually herring). Shortening the distance of my troll patterns to stay on top of the bait is a money strategy.

When the tide floods, I like to set up around Slip Point immediately east of Clallam Bay and troll east, past Mussolini Rock, the Coal Mine and all the way to Cod Fish Bay. It is very rare to see any boats in either direction fishing this region. I might troll a quarter mile or so, in the same depths noted above until “Boom – blackmouth hook-up!” I continue the troll pattern and another “Boom!” as an April quality blackmouth just ate my worm!

It has been my experience that just about anything works in this fishery. Whole and plug-cut herring, Silver Horde traditional spoons or even a white hoochie will get the job done. Ace Hi-Flies are also in the repertoire for this fishery. Mix it up and see what works best.

When I’m fishing three anglers, I’ll put two twelve pound downrigger balls near the deck from each side of the boat, and drop the third rod out the back to mid-depth. Last year my biggest fish, a high-teener, came off the mid-depth rod.

The fact of the matter is that the Sekiu fishery does not take a high fishing skill level to get the job done. And the bottom is extremely forgiving, both east and west, composed of sand and mud. Anglers who are rewarded simply just have to have gear in the water and the fish will come.

Sekiu is not easy to get to. It’s a four hour drive towing my boat from my digs in Olympia. I do not fish Sekiu for a day trip. Considering the distance, I go for several days.

There are two fishing resorts in Sekiu. Olson’s, located on the very west end of town, and Van Riper’s, about a quarter mile east of Olson’s. Most rooms have a gorgeous view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Van Riper’s has a few rooms located 20-30 feet from the water with docks immediately out front and a boat ramp. Perfect!

My message is plain and simple. I have no intention of sitting around lighting my hair on fire with thoughts of limited fishing opportunities. I’m headed for Sekiu and that grin on my face is becoming permanent. See you on the water!