Tag Archives: long beach

October’s Not Just For Hunting: Lots Of Salmon Fishing, Clamming Ops — Yuasa

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

Anglers who live in the Pacific Northwest have plenty of year-round fishing opportunities to rave about.

As an outdoor journalist this means my word count on stories never dwindles month-to-month and I’m constantly heading to the pencil sharpener to make sure the end of the No. 2 has enough lead to jot down my “slimy” scribbles on a notepad.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Now let’s keep this writing streak going as there’s still a “boatload” of time to hit your favorite fishing holes before the winter holidays roll around.

Fundamentally it’s all about decisions, decisions on where to go and what you want to catch!

On top of the autumn decision list is salmon in local marine waterways like central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 10) open through Nov. 15 for coho or chum or south-central Puget Sound (11) open through April 30 for a salmon trio of coho, chum and hatchery-marked chinook.

Last month an unexpected nice coho return streamed into Puget Sound creating a fishing frenzy and keep in mind the caboose on this “silver streak” is still sitting somewhere out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

This past winter, WDFW biologists predicted a coho return of 557,149 (249,174 wild and 307,975 hatchery), and the actual run size could be larger than what appeared in the crystal ball.
Add to the fishing equation in the coming weeks a hard-fighting fall chum – better known as dog salmon for their gnarly, toothy jaw line at spawning time – with an expected Puget Sound return of 1,216,031.

We rolled out the red carpet for the Puget Sound hatchery kings this past summer, and there’s no doubt the good times will keep on rolling for our next salmon royalty well into next month and beyond.

Look for coho and chum in Area 10 at Jefferson Head, West Point south of Shilshole Bay, Point Monroe, Allen Bank off Blake Island and Southworth.

Further south in Area 11 anglers can score a hat trick (a coho, chum and hatchery chinook) by hitting Colvos Passage, Point Dalco, the Clay Banks off Point Defiance Park, Redondo Beach and Three Tree Point.

As the days get shorter heading into winter be sure to watch the chum catch rates soar at estuaries off Kennedy Creek in Totten Inlet, Johns Creek in Oakland Bay, Hoodsport Hatchery in Hood Canal, Chico Creek in Dyes Inlet and Curly Creek near Southworth.

Other chum fishing holes are North Bay near Allyn, Perry Creek in Eld Inlet, Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, McLane Creek, Eagle Creek south of Potlatch State Park, and the public-access shores off Highway 101 from Eldon to Hoodsport.

Your other marine salmon options are Hood Canal (13) open now through April 30 and southern Puget Sound (13) open year-round.

Anglers will also begin targeting migrating salmon in local rivers like the Skagit and Snohomish river systems – closed in 2016 and 2017 for coho – as well as the Chehalis, Clearwater, Bogachiel, Calawah, Green, Humptulips, Hoh, Queets, Quinault, Sol Duc and Wynoochee. Anglers should consult the WDFW regulation pamphlet or app for what is open and what types of salmon species you can target in each river.

Winter Dungeness crab outlook

If you like to fish for winter Dungeness crab as much as I do, then pay close attention to a forthcoming announcement from WDFW in the weeks ahead about a possible winter crab fishing season.

“Hopefully we’ll have a preliminary estimate soon so we can make decisions on a winter crab season,” said Don Velasquez, a WDFW Puget Sound shellfish manager.

Fishing areas with crab remaining on their annual allocation, will re-open, seven days a week through the end of this year. However, if the entire annual sport catch quota was taken or if it was closed this past summer, then it’s game over this winter.

“Some said crabbing was fine and others were asking what’s wrong,” Velasquez said. “We had a mixed bag of reports from Area 7 (San Juan Islands) and 8-1 and 8-2 (east side of Whidbey Island) had an average year.”

Velasquez said sport anglers who got out during the July opener in Area 9 (northern Puget Sound) benefitted with good catches as the tribal fisheries didn’t get out until a couple weeks later. Preseason test fisheries conducted by WDFW in Area 10 (central Puget Sound) showed a low abundance of crab thus leading to poor success this past summer.

For more information, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/.

Tentative dates set for first-half of coastal razor clam season

The tentative coastal razor clam digging dates have been set and Long Beach will see a very brief 2018-19 season although WDFW shellfish managers are hopeful it is just be a gap year.
WDFW attribute this decline of razor clams to low salinity levels from Columbia River freshwater run-off along the southern-most beaches.

There is no shortage of razor clams at Long Beach with about 330,000 clams available for harvest in 2018-19, but 80 percent of them are less than 2-inches long.

On the other-hand coastal beaches to the north look robust for the upcoming fall and winter digs.

Twin Harbors is in good shape, and Copalis and Mocrocks beaches razor clam populations are up over last year.

WDFW is working with Olympic National Park staff to assess possible digging dates on Kalaloch Beach.

Upcoming digs are reliant on testing for marine toxins known as domoic acid — a natural marine toxin produced by certain types of marine algae that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

Domoic acid levels remained well under the 20 parts-per-million cutoff ranging from 0.0 to 2.0.

Here are the proposed evening low tide digging dates, and final approval will be announced about one or two weeks before each series of digs:

Oct. 11, 13, 26 and 28 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Oct. 12, 25 and 27 at Twin Harbors and Copalis.

Nov. 8, 10, 23 and 25 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Nov. 9, 11 and 22 at Twin Harbors and Copalis; and Nov. 24 at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.

Dec. 6, 8, 21 and 23 at Twin Harbors and Copalis; Dec. 7, 9 and 20 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Dec. 22 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.

For details, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclam.

NW Salmon Derby Series ends on high note and a look ahead to 2019

It has been an extremely busy 2018 season with the NW Chevy Dealer Silverado truck and fully-loaded KingFisher boat traveling across the Pacific Northwest!

In all we had 14 derbies including our newest – the Brewster Salmon Derby Aug. 2-5 on the Columbia River – and returnees after a two-year hiatus were the Edmonds PSA Coho Derby and the Everett Coho Derby with each drawing thousands of anglers.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

We had a total of 6,585 anglers entered into the derby series, and the winner of the fully-loaded, grand-prize KingFisher 2025 Series boat powered with Honda motor on an EZ Loader Trailer.

Winner of the Everett Coho Derby – which lured 1,694 adult and 201 youth participants with 548 coho averaging 7.04 pounds on Oct. 22-23. Winner was Michael Rien with a 13.27-pound coho worth $10,000! Also congratulations to the youth winner Baron Kuehlwein with a 10.79-pound coho worth $300!

For the second year in a row the winner of the grand prize derby boat hails from the Big One Salmon Derby in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho! Joshua Stokes who is an avid angler from Post Falls, Idaho, has fished the Big One Salmon Derby for as long as he can remember.

A huge “thank you” goes out to all our sponsors that also include Scotty Downriggers; Raymarine Electronics; WhoDat Tower; Dual Electronic Stereo; Tom-n-Jerry’s Marine; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News PSA; Outdoor Emporium/Sportco; Harbor Marine; Silver Horde; Prism Graphics; and Salmon, Steelhead Journal.
We’ve got a lot of exciting news on the plate for the 2019 derby series and we’ll be making announcements very soon so stay tuned!

For details, go to www.NorthwestSalmonDerbySeries.com.
In the meantime, the days may be getting shorter as we head into fall and winter, but there’s nothing like a feisty coho or chum salmon tugging on the end of the fishing line.

I’ll see you on the water!

Yuasa: Silvers Are Gold In September

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

I wish there was a way to slow down how quickly summer comes and goes, especially with the memorable king salmon fishing we got to experience in some parts of Puget Sound.

And while we’re still relishing the “good old days” of the past few months, I can’t help but get geared up for silver being the gold medal winner in September and beyond!

AUTHOR MARK YUASA SHOWS OFF A NICE OCEAN-RETURNING COHO. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Coho salmon – often referred to as “silvers” for their distinct brightly metal-colored body – appear to have crossed the bridge of dire straits from the warm “blob” that plagued the North Pacific Ocean, and the drought-like conditions and warm water temperatures in river spawning grounds that led to a huge decline in salmon survival in late 2013 to 2015.

Puget Sound anglers who haven’t seen a viable early-fall silver salmon fishery since 2014 will be giddy to know that we’ve turned the corner and opportunities should be decent from the Strait of Juan de Fuca clear into southern Puget Sound.

WDFW biologists are predicting a coho return of 557,149 (249,174 wild and 307,975 hatchery) this season, which is down slightly from 595,074 (294,360 and 300,713) in 2017, but well above 2016 when coho runs tanked faster than the financial crisis in 2008.

Forecasts for the five Puget Sound wild coho stocks in 2018 that make or break our sport salmon seasons – Strait, Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish and Hood Canal – are all up big time from years past.

The Skagit wild coho return forecast of 59,196 is up a whopping 350 percent over 2017’s return of 13,235 and up 564 percent of 8,912 in 2016. The Stillaguamish forecast of 18,950 is up 149 percent from 2017’s return of 7,622 and up 584 percent of 2,770 in 2016. The Snohomish will also see a big bounce back with 65,925 up 294 percent from a return of 16,740 in 2016.

When the salmon seasons were signed, sealed and delivered last April, the sport coho fisheries set by WDFW increased dramatically. In all, 30 weeks of total fishing opportunity was closed the past two years to address conservation issues of wild Puget Sound coho stocks and will reopen based on the stronger 2018 forecasts.

Some early indicators leading to this “happy face emoji” was the great June resident silver fishery in central Puget Sound (Area 10) that carried on well into August, and some early migratory coho began to show up in catches during the late-summer hatchery chinook fishery. In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sekiu was also seeing some decent early hatchery coho action in late August.

Hatchery coho are fair game Sept. 1-30 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles (Areas 5 and 6). It is a given at this time the “no vacancy” sign will be flashing at resorts in the Strait and marinas will be filled to the brim with boats as hordes of anglers pursue feisty, big ocean-run coho.

In the San Juan Islands (Area 7) anglers can keep all coho through Sept. 30. The northern section of Whidbey Island’s east side (Area 8-1) is open through Sept. 30 for all coho, and the popular southern portion (Area 8-2) – Ports Susan and Gardner – are open until Sept. 23. Popular fishing spots will be from the south part of Camano Island clear down to the Shipwreck and Possession Bait House areas.

Shore-bound anglers can also get in on the action at the Bait House where coho were present when it opened last month. Other “go to” locations from shore are west side of Whidbey Island at Bush and Lagoon points, Fort Casey, Point No Point, Marrowstone Island, Point Wilson near Port Townsend, and various piers, docks and shorelines from Edmonds to Seattle and as far south as Tacoma.
The two marine areas that will be glittering with silvers are northern (Area 9) and central (Area 10) Puget Sound. Hatchery coho salmon fishing will be open in Area 9 through Sept. 30, and in Area 10 anglers can keep all coho through Nov. 15.

South-central (Area 11) and southern (Area 13) Puget Sound and Hood Canal (Area 12) are all open for coho through Sept. 30, and then each location remains open beyond that date for salmon fishing. Anglers should consult the regulation pamphlet for what salmon species you can target in each area.

Marine locations like Sekiu in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca were good coming into the end of last month as was popular coho places like east side of Whidbey Island from Mukilteo south to Shipwreck; Possession Bar; west side of Whidbey Island from Bush Point to Fort Casey; Jefferson Head; Edmonds oil dock; and Meadow Point south to West Point near Shilshole Bay.

Lastly, anglers will also have a chance to fish certain sections of the Skagit and Snohomish river systems – closed in 2016 and 2017 – for coho salmon in September.

2018-19 coastal razor clam outlook is a mixed bag

This coming fall, winter and spring will see some highlights and lowlights for coastal razor clams depending on what beaches you choose to dig.

WDFW have finished summer razor clam population assessments and places like Copalis, Mocrocks and Twin Harbors while Long Beach looks somewhat dismal and Kalaloch is still in a rebuilding stage.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Expect this to be a gap year for Long Beach where a loss of juvenile razor clams and poor digging success in 2017-18 will lead to another season of struggles where abundance levels are the lowest seen in the past 25 years.

One theory in the population decline is poor salinity levels on a good portion of Long Beach and freshwater run-off from the Columbia River aren’t favorable for young clams to thrive in.

Preliminary postseason estimates coast-wide from 2017-18 for 27 digging days showed 257,004 digger trips produced 2,731,461 razor clams for 10.6 clam per person average – the first 15 clams is a daily limit regardless of size or condition.

The good news is a marine toxin known as domoic acid – a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities – is very low.

The latest testing showed levels between 1 to 2 parts-per-million and the action level is 20 parts-per-million.

Fall and winter razor clam digs occur during evening low tides while spring-time digs occur during morning low tides.

Dates haven’t been determined by WDFW although looking at the calendar it appears the best low tides start date will occur on Oct. 26-29 and Nov. 8-10. Exactly how much digging time hinges on discussions between WDFW and tribal fishery co-managers.
State Fish and Wildlife plans to have the public comment review period should ready by the middle of September. For details, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

NW Salmon Derby Series culminates this month with boat raffle

It has been a very busy summer with the NW Chevy Dealer truck and KingFisher boat traveling across the Pacific Northwest!

Angler turnout and fishing success has been delightful in July and August at the Bellingham PSA Salmon Derby; Big One Salmon Derby at Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho; Brewster Salmon Derby; South King County PSA Derby; Gig Harbor PSA Derby; and Vancouver, B.C. Canada Chinook Classic.

SOME LUCKY ANGLER IS GOING TO WIN THIS BOAT THIS MONTH! (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Now it’s time to rev up the trolling motors for the PSA Edmonds Coho Derby on Sept. 8, and the biggest derby on West Coast – the Everett Coho Derby on Sept. 22-23.

We’ll be drawing the lucky name at Everett on Sept. 23 to win a grand-prize $65,000 KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series boat powered with Honda 150hp and 9.9hp motors on an EZ-loader galvanized trailer. It is fully rigged with Scotty downriggers, Raymarine electronics, a WhoDat Tower and a Dual Electronic Stereo. Details: www.NorthwestSalmonDerbySeries.com.

I’m just as stoked about the weeks ahead filling the cooler with silvers like I was back in June for kings in Area 11 off Tacoma. I’ll see you on the water with a few cut-plug herring spinning fast off the stern of my boat!

 

Washington’s Last Razor Clam Dig Of The Season Coming Up April 19-22

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

Clam diggers have one last chance to dig razor clams this season during the final opening set to begin April 19.

LED BY THEIR “RAZOR CLAM MASTER” GRANDFATHER, WALLY SANDE (LEFT), CORBIN, LEXI AND AUSTIN HAN, THEIR PARENTS JERRY AND BRITT, ALONG WITH WALLY’S WIFE CAROL, ENJOYED A GREAT DIG A COUPLE APRILS AGO NEAR WESTPORT, LIMITING IN JUST HALF AN HOUR OR SO. AFTERWARDS, JERRY ALSO ENJOYED CATCHING REDTAIL SURFPERCH ON CLAM NECKS. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

Mocrocks will be open for digging for four days, April 19-22, joined by Long Beach and Twin Harbors during the weekend of April 21-22. Copalis will be open only on Saturday, April 21.

“Since this is likely the last dig of the spring season, we expect a good turnout,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW’s coastal shellfish manager. “The opening also coincides with the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on Saturday.”

For the first two days of the opening, digging must be completed by noon. That is not the case, however, for the final two days, when low tides occur close to noon those days, Ayres said. WDFW has extended digging times for April 21-22, as listed below.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and morning low tides:

  • April 19, Thursday9:46 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Mocrocks
  • April 20Friday10:37 a.m.; -0.7 feet; Mocrocks
  • April 21Saturday11:34 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis (digging hours will be extended to 1 p.m.)
  • April 22Sunday12:38 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks (digging hours will be extended to 2 p.m.)

Under state law, diggers 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 2018-19 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.

During the dig, 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 website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

South Coast Razor Clam Digs Coming Up March 16-17, More Pencilled In For April 19-22

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

Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a two-day opening beginning March 16.

(JASON BAUER)

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

“Last weekend, we had a great turnout for the dig at Mocrocks,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW. “We’ll have more beaches open for this upcoming dig and expect to draw some crowds, especially with the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival on Saturday.”

With daylight savings coming up, Ayres noted the best digging will take place before sunset each night of the opening. Typically, Ayres encourages people to dig an hour or two before low tide for optimal results. Digging is not allowed at any beach before noon.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • March 16Friday7:03 p.m.; +0.2 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
  • March 17Saturday7:36 p.m.; +0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Under state law, diggers 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.

Another dig is tentatively scheduled on various ocean beaches April 19-22. State shellfish managers typically announce whether a dig will go forward about a week before the opening. For updates on upcoming digs, see WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Yuasa: Tons Of Blackmouth Fishing, Razor Clam Digging Ops In March

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

The feeling of excitement started to build in the middle of last month when the days were getting a little longer, spring felt just that much closer, and most of all more fishing options are now coming into play throughout the Pacific Northwest.

It was back during the Seattle Boat Show – our most successful in attendance and boat sales – after logging 90-plus miles on my sneakers and putting in 12- to 15-hour days where people came up to chat with me on all things fishing. But, in particular it was one man who said, “Hey you’re Mark Yuasa and I just loved your columns, but miss you not being in the newspaper.”

AUTHOR MARK YUASA REPORTS THAT FAMED POSSESSION BAR HAS BEEN PRODUCING BLACKMOUTH SINCE IT REOPENED FEB. 16. (NMTA)

I replied, “Well thank you for the kind words, but no need to miss out on my column.”

That drew a rather perplexed look, which in turn I told him you can still find me in places like the Reel News and other outdoor publications. His response was “Wow that is great and I’m stoked! So where should I go fishing in the next couple of months?”

That last comment got his head swirling faster than a jig fluttering to the bottom of Puget Sound as I spoon fed him with plenty of fishing choices.

Even if you could stay “Sleepless in Seattle” there wouldn’t be enough time to hit every spring-time fishery on the must do list, but there’s no doubt with a little homework that an angler who uses their free time wisely can score an A+ in the fishing gradebook.
In order to keep everyone’s grade above the standards here are the possibilities for success.

After months of delays, the northern Puget Sound and east side of Whidbey Island (Marine Catch Areas 9, 8-1 and 8-2) finally reopened for hatchery chinook.

It appears hitting the pause button did work to some extent as the catch of sub-legal chinook – those under the 22-inch minimum “keeper” size limit – were less abundant as they had been way back before the Christmas holidays.

The first few days of the fishing season – which began on Feb. 16 – saw nasty weather with winds 10 to 30 knots blowing, but by President’s Day (Feb. 20) the situation calmed down enough that anglers managed to dial-in on success.

Hit the usual spots like Possession Bar, Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend, Point No Point, Marrowstone Island; Double Bluff off south west side of Whidbey Island; Hat Island at the “racetrack”; Columbia Beach; Onamac Point; and Elger Bay.

Still on top of list, but not quite as grand as it had been in January are the San Juan Islands (Area 7) where catches of nice-sized fish were still coming from places like Thatcher Pass; Peavine Pass; Speiden Island; Spring Pass; Obstruction Island; Clark and Barnes Islands; Parker Reef; Point Thompson; Peavine Pass; Doughty Point; Obstruction Pass; Waldron Island; Lopez Pass; and Presidents Channel.

Even more exciting is the fact that the Strait of Juan de Fuca comes into play for hatchery chinook this month.

Sekiu in the western Strait harkens me back to the “good old days” of salmon fishing, and it’s open March 16 through April 30. The good news here is that don’t expect any premature closure with hungry chinook from the Caves to Eagle Point, and west from Slip Point-Mussolini Rock area to Pillar Point. The eastern Strait off Port Angeles to Freshwater Bay is another stop off for chinook through April 15.

Closer to Seattle, the doors to salmon fishing in central Puget Sound (Area 10) have closed, but south-central Puget Sound (Area 11) and Hood Canal (Area 12) are open through April 30, and southern Puget Sound is open year-round.

This month also marks a special time for coastal communities who come out of a winter slumber as the bottom-fishing season kicks into high gear.

Ilwaco, Westport and La Push for opens lingcod and other bottom-fish on March 10. Bottom-fish fishing west of the Bonilla Tatoosh Island line off Neah Bay also opens on March 10, and east of the line is currently open year-round. The lingcod fishery on northern coast opens April 16.

Many will begin to make regular trips to the Lower Columbia River in pursuit of spring chinook. The 2018 forecast is 166,700 upriver spring chinook, which is 90 percent of recent 10-year average return. That is compared to 160,400 forecasted in 2017 and an actual return of 115,822, but somewhat down from 2016’s 188,800 and 187,816.

Spring coastal razor clam digs will be down somewhat from previous years, but mark your calendars for tentative dates set through April.

Final approval will depend on further marine toxin testing, which will likely be announced a week before each scheduled dig series. Digs in March occur during evening low tides after 12 p.m. while those in April are during morning low tides until 12 p.m. or until times noted below.

Dates are: March 2-3 at Mocrocks; March 16 at Copalis and Mocrocks; March 17 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; April 19-20 at Mocrocks; April 21 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, digging hours will be extended to 1 p.m.; and April 22 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, digging hours will be extended to 2 p.m.

More digging dates could occur later this spring if sufficient clams remain available to harvest.

The Puget Sound salmon forecasts were released on Feb. 27, and those who’d like to get involved with this rather arduous process should take a seat at some of the upcoming meetings.

Early word on the street is that fishing seasons could resemble last season, but it’s still too early in the game to know exactly how things will pan out. For a list of other meeting dates, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

First three events in Salmon Derby Series start off with decent action

Thousands of anglers converged to San Juan Islands for three salmon derbies – part of the NMTA’s NW Salmon Derby Series – since the New Year with good catches and decent weather conditions.

The Friday Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 8-10 had 100 boats with 329 anglers that weighed-in 122 fish (winning fish was 19.15 pounds).

In Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Jan. 18-20 had 100 boats with 357 anglers weighing in 179 chinook (winning fish was 17 pounds, 11 ounces). The Resurrection Derby on Jan. 5-7 saw 102 boats with 334 anglers reeling-in 50 hatchery chinook (winning fish was 18.28 pounds).

There are 15 derbies in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada. Next up is Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby on March 9-11, and Everett Blackmouth Derby on March 17-18.

(NMTA)

Check out the grand prize $65,000 KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series boat powered with a Honda 150hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ-loader trailer. It is fully-rigged with Scotty downriggers; Raymarine Electronics; custom WhoDat Tower; and Dual Electronic stereo. Drawing for the boat will take place at conclusion of derby series. For details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

Lastly, it was super great meeting everyone at the Seattle Boat Show where our combined net attendance for all three locations was 52,928, up 2.1 percent over last year. Indoor attendance at CenturyLink Field Event Center over all nine days of the show was 46,938, up 0.8 percent compared to last year.

On that note, I’ll see you on the water very soon!

WDFW Pencils In Early, Mid March, Mid-April Razor Clam Digs

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

State shellfish managers have tentatively scheduled razor clam digs through April on four ocean beaches.

Final approval of all scheduled openings at Copalis, Mocrocks, Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

RAZOR CLAM DIGGERS. (WDFW)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) typically announces whether a dig will go forward about a week before the opening, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the department.

Ayres noted the digs in March are on evening low tides while those in April are on morning low tides.

No digging is allowed before noon during evening digs and digging must be completed by noon during morning digs. However, WDFW is making exceptions to that rule on two dates in April, since low tides occur close to noon those days, Ayres said.

WDFW will consider additional dates later this spring if sufficient clams remain available to harvest, Ayres said.

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

March 2, Friday, 6:54 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Mocrocks

March 3, Saturday, 7:34 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks

March 16, Friday, 7:03 p.m.; +0.2 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

March 17, Saturday, 7:36 p.m.; +0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

April 19, Thursday, 9:46 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Mocrocks

April 20, Friday, 10:37 a.m.; -0.7 feet; Mocrocks

April 21, Saturday, 11:34 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks (digging hours will be extended to 1 p.m.)

April 22, Sunday, 12:38 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks (digging hours will be extended to 2 p.m.)

Under state law, diggers 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.

More information on razor clam digging is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishi…/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Another Round Of Razor Clam Digging Coming Up On Washington Coast

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

Seven days of razor clam digging will get underway beginning Sunday, Jan. 28, on various coastal beaches.

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

CADEN AND NATHAN HOLDER SHOW OFF RESULTS FROM A JANUARY 2018 DIG ON THE WASHINGTON COAST. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Four beaches will be open for digging on different days throughout the seven-day period, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with WDFW.

“Not every beach is open every day – so folks need to be sure they know if the beach they are headed for is open,” Ayres said. “We’ve staggered the days various beaches are open to maximize the length of the opening.”

The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide, said Ayres, noting that digging is not allowed at any beach before noon.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Jan. 28, Sunday, 4:06 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Mocrocks
  • Jan. 29, Monday, 4:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Copalis
  • Jan. 30, Tuesday, 5:47 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 31, Wednesday, 6:33 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 1, Thursday, 7:17 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 2, Friday, 8:00 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 3, Saturday, 8:42 p.m.; -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Under state law, diggers 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.

WDFW will review harvest levels after this opening and announce a tentative schedule for upcoming digs in the next few weeks, Ayres said.

For updates on upcoming openings, see WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

 

Washington Razor Clam Bosses Pencil In New Year’s, Midwinter Digs

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

State shellfish managers have proposed the first round of razor clam digs in 2018, starting with the addition of New Year’s Day on two beaches followed by a weeklong dig extending from late January into early February.

A FULL MOON RISES BEHIND A RAZOR CLAM DIGGER AT COPALIS BEACH IN DECEMBER 2017. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will confirm that schedule prior to each dig, provided that upcoming marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

Under WDFW’s plan, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks beaches will open for digging at noon Jan. 1, extending a dig previously scheduled for New Year’s Eve dig at four ocean beaches. Starting Jan. 28, WDFW then plans to open various beaches for razor-clam digging through Feb. 3.

No digging will be allowed at any beach before noon.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the Jan. 1 opening is designed to give families a chance to ring in the new year digging clams on the beach.

“We know that digging razor clams is a New Year’s tradition for many families and we want to help them keep tradition alive,” Ayres said.

That and other digs are proposed on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Dec. 31Sunday5:12 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks (previously announced and pending final toxin results)
  • Jan. 1Monday6:02 p.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 28Sunday4:06 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Mocrocks
  • Jan. 29Monday4:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Copalis
  • Jan. 30Tuesday5:47 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 31Wednesday6:33 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 1Thursday7:17 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 2Friday8:00 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 3Saturday8:42 p.m.; -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

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.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Razor Clam Digs Set For Dec. 1-4 At Varying Washington Beaches

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

Razor clam diggers will have the opportunity to fill their limits during a four-day dig beginning Dec. 1 on various ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the Dec. 1-4 dig on evening tides after marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon.

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

Some areas have a mix of both large and small razor clams. Diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig, regardless of size or conditions, to avoid wasting clams, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

Diggers should also remember to bring a lantern for the digs with later low tides, Ayres said. The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

Dec. 1, Friday, 4:42 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis

Dec. 2, Saturday, 5:29 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 3, Sunday, 6:15 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Dec. 4, Monday, 7:02 p.m.; -1.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

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.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 31. In the coming weeks, the department also will announce planned digs for January and February, Ayres said.

For more information about recreational razor clamming, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

2 Beaches Up, 2 On Hold For WA Coast Nov. Razor Clam Digs

WDFW PRESS RELEASE

A razor clam dig in early November will go ahead as planned at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, but the status of two other ocean beaches tentatively scheduled to open depends on results from additional toxin testing.

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has approved the Nov. 3-5 dig on evening tides at Long Beach and Twin Harbors after marine toxin tests showed that clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said that test results at Mocrocks and Copalis meet state health standards, but the Washington Department of Health has asked for one more test to be sure. WDFW expects to announce the results of the testing early next week.

Tentative dig dates for Mocrocks and Copalis can be found on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html

Ayres reminds people that they have a daily harvest limit of 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Nov. 3, Friday, 6:47 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 4, Saturday, 7:31 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 5, Sunday, 7:16 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

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.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 1-4, pending results of future toxin tests.