Tag Archives: Washington Coast

Yuasa: I-5 Fall Trout Releases Boosted, Plus Squid, Crab, Salmon Ops In November

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

We’ve been hanging our salmon fishing lines in the water for more than five months, and I’d like to switch gears and set sights on another exciting opportunity to get through the impending holiday madness.

Yes, take some time to let go of your snobbish salmon attitude and harken back to days when you pursued trout with nothing more than high hopes, a jar of salmon eggs, Power Bait or a container of worms.

Now is the time to hit the refresh button and replay those memorable moments or share it with someone new to fishing.

“We’re trying out a couple of pilot programs, which allowed us to be creative on how we structure trout fisheries in our region, and we’ve kept intact a couple others that have been successful,” said Justin Spinelli, a WDFW biologist in Mill Creek.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Earlier this year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) strategized ways to boost trout prospects at a time when many have holiday plans or shopping on their minds.

According to Spinelli, WDFW hatchery staff had space in some hatcheries and funding to raise thousands of rainbow trout to catchable size (8 to 11 inches) this past spring and summer.

“During this pilot program, we plan to monitor and conduct creel surveys so we can get an idea on participation and success,” Spinelli said. “Keeping fish in hatcheries longer was expensive. We need to make sure for budget purposes that it’s worth our effort to provide this special opportunity.”

WDFW is planting 27,000 rainbow trout along the I-5 corridor in 12 lakes within Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and King counties.

“I’m really excited and hopefully it leads to getting more people into the sport,” he said. “We’re trying this out in urban centered areas. We know a lot of people in the cities may be interested in getting outside and going fishing.”

Spinelli says this offers easy access to nearby lakes and it’s not too complicated of a fishery to learn, doesn’t take a whole bunch of expensive fishing gear and provides fish that are willing to bite.

Two popular local lakes where late-season annual plants have become the norm are Beaver Lake in Issaquah and Goodwin Lake in Snohomish County.

Beaver was expecting a plant – possibly as soon as this week – of 1,250 trout averaging 2 pounds apiece and another 1,250 just prior to Thanksgiving. Goodwin will receive 5,000 in December.

Here are other scheduled plants (most lakes are open year-round except two have seasonal dates):

King County – Green, 3,600 (1,611 planted last week); Steel, 1,600 (open Nov. 1-Jan. 5 only and 804 were planted last week); and Fivemile, 1,200 (616 were planted last week). Snohomish County – Gissburg Ponds, 2,000; Tye, 2,000; Silver, 2,000 (1,005 were planted last week); and Ballinger, 1,600 (804 were planted last week). Skagit County – Clear, 1,500; and Cranberry, 1,750. Whatcom County – Padden, 1,750 (open Nov. 1-Jan. 5 only and 1,000 were planted last week).

“Some lakes we plant will have fish biting for quite a while,” Spinelli said. “I’m thrilled with this new program and hope we can demonstrate that this can be a stimulus for our trout fisheries at a time when choices of fishing activities are much slimmer.”

The popular “Black Friday” trout fisheries also give anglers a chance to get out and burn off the calories from a Thanksgiving feast. This includes thousands of beefy trout averaging 1 to 1.3 pounds going into more than a dozen southwest Washington lakes.

Clark County – Klineline, 2,000; and Battle Ground, 2,000. Cowlitz County – Kress, 2,000. Klickitat County – Rowland, 2,000. Lewis County – Fort Borst Park Pond, 2,000; and South Lewis County Park Pond, 2,000. Pierce County – American, 2,000; and Tanwax, 1,000. Thurston County – Black, 1,000; Ward, 300; Long, 1,000; and Offutt, 1,000.

Millions of fry-size trout were planted this past spring in eastern Washington lakes that are open from Nov. 29 through March 31. These fish should have grown to catchable size (8 to 11 inches). They include Hatch, 10,000, and Williams, 12,000, in Stevens County; Fourth of July, 80,000, on Lincoln/Adams county line; and Hog Canyon, 20,000, in Spokane County.

Elton Pond in Yakima County open from Nov. 29 through March 31 will be planted with 2,000 trout averaging 1.2 pounds.

Be sure to check the WDFW website for additional lakes open year-round, which are expected to be planted in late fall and winter. For weekly stocking reports, go to www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly.

Other holiday fishing opportunities

This is a magical time of the year with opportunities blooming for squid, salmon and Dungeness crab just to name a few.

Hitting up many Puget Sound piers has become a nightly affair as millions of tasty squid – known in the culinary society as “calamari” – are pouring into Puget Sound marine waterways from Edmonds south to Tacoma.

Squid jigging is good at the Les Davis Pier in Tacoma; Des Moines Marina Pier; Seacrest Boathouse Pier in West Seattle; Seattle waterfront at Piers 57, 62, 63, 70 or the Seattle Aquarium Pier; Edmonds Pier; A-Dock and Shilshole Pier; Point Defiance Park Pier; Fauntleroy Ferry Dock; Illahee State Park Pier; and the Waterman and Indianola piers in Kitsap County.

Night-time on a flood tide are the best periods to catch squid as they’re attracted to lighted public piers. Squid like to lurk in the darker edges of lighted water and dart out into the light on their unsuspecting prey. The WDFW website has a wealth of information on squid jigging at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/squid/.

Salmon chasers still have opportunities in central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 10), which is open for chum and maybe a late coho through Nov. 15. Target chums around Jefferson Head, West Point south of Shilshole Bay, Point Monroe, Kingston, Allen Bank and Southworth near Blake Island, and the east side of Bainbridge Island.

Southern Puget Sound (Area 13) is open year-round and should be fair game for hatchery winter chinook off Fox Island, south of the Narrows Bridge, Anderson Island and Johnson Point.
Hood Canal (Area 12) is often an underfished location in the winter for hatchery chinook around central region at Misery Point and Oak Head.

A reminder the daily catch limit is two coho, chum or hatchery chinook in southern Puget Sound (Area 13). The daily limit in Areas 10 is two salmon but only one may be a coho (you can retain chum, pink and coho but need to release chinook).

Central Puget Sound (Area 10) and south-central Puget Sound (Area 11) reopens Jan. 1 for hatchery chinook. Northern Puget Sound (Area 9), San Juan Islands (Area 7) and east side of Whidbey Island (Areas 8-1 and 8-2) reopens Feb. 1 for hatchery chinook.

There’s nothing sweeter than having a plate of Dungeness crab sitting on the holiday dinner table and fishing has been fairly good since it reopened back on Oct. 1. Dungeness crab fishing is open daily through Dec. 31 at Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (Marine Area 4); Sekiu area in western Strait of Juan de Fuca (5); Port Angeles area eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (6); San Juan Islands (7); and northern Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet (9) except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff. The east side of Whidbey Island in Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay (8-1); Port Susan and Port Gardiner (8-2) has closed for crabbing.

Sport crabbers are reminded that setting or pulling traps from a vessel is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset. For more information, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/.

Can you dig it? Coastal razor clam success very good since opening in late September

The coastal razor clam digs have gotten off to a stupendous start and be sure to get some for the holiday dinner table.

The first digs of the 2019-2020 season began Sept. 27-29 at Long Beach and success was excellent with 18,000 diggers taking home 296,000 clams.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

“Digging went really well during the first series opener at Long Beach,” said Dan Ayres, the head WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “It was as close to limits as you can get (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition is a daily per person limit).”

Digging this week also was off-the-charts good at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. There’s still a last chance on tonight (Nov. 1) at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis (minus-0.2 feet at 10:38 p.m.). No digging is allowed during PM low tides only.

Many night-time low tide digs are planned in the weeks ahead on Nov. 1, 11, 13, 15, 17, 24, 26, 28 and 30 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis; and Nov. 12, 14, 16, 25, 27 and 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. Dec. 10, 12, 14, 16, 23, 27 and 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Dec. 11, 13, 15, 26 and 28 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis.

Final approval is announced by WDFW about one or two weeks prior to each series of digs and are dependent on marine toxin levels being below the cutoff threshold.

WDFW shellfish managers are saying this could be one of the best seasons seen in quite a while for many digs planned from winter through spring. For details, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams.

New name and new events happening in 2020 during the NW Fishing Derby Series

A quick look back at the 2019 derby season saw a total of 6,176 anglers entered into 13 derbies (one was cancelled) which is up from 4,690 in 2018 and there’s plenty of excitement coming up in 2020.

We’ve now hit the refresh button and renamed it the “Northwest Fishing Derby Series” with a tentative 18 derbies scheduled. It will include two lingcod/rockfish “For the Love of Cod Derbies” in Coos Bay, Charleston and Brookings, Oregon in March 21-22 and March 28-29 respectively, and the Something Catchy Kokanee Derby at Lake Chelan in April.

The highlight is a chance enter and win a sleek $75,000 fully loaded, grand-prize all-white KingFisher 2025 Series Hardtop boat powered with Yamaha 200hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ Loader Trailer. Our newest sponsor of the derby – Shoxs Seats (www.shoxs.com) – has provided a pair of top-of-the-line seats that are engineered for maximum comfort in the roughest of seas.
The good news is anglers who enter any of the 18 derbies don’t need to catch a fish to win this beautiful boat and motor package!

A huge “thank you” to our other 2020 sponsors who make this series such a success are Silver Horde and Gold Star Lures; Scotty Downriggers; Burnewiin Accessories; Raymarine Electronics; WhoDat Tower; Dual Electronics; Tom-n-Jerry’s Marine; Master Marine; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News; Outdoor Emporium and Sportco; Harbor Marine; Prism Graphics; Lamiglas Rods; KIRO/ESPN 710AM The Outdoor Line; Salmon, Steelhead Journal; Rays Bait Works; and Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine.

First up in the series are the Resurrection Salmon Derby on Feb. 1-2; Friday Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 6-8; and Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 13-15. For details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

In the meantime, take a break from holiday shopping and hit up a lake or open saltwater areas for a feisty fish tugging on the end of your line.

I’ll see you on the water!

Razor Clam Digs OKed At Mocrocks, Copalis; Info Friday On Twin Harbors, Long Beach

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

Razor clam diggers can return to Mocrocks and Copalis beaches for a seven-day opening beginning Oct. 26.

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 on Copalis and Mocrocks beaches.

COPALIS, WHERE THESE RAZOR CLAMMERS ENJOYED A NIGHT DIG, IS ONE OF TWO WASHINGTON COAST BEACHES THAT WILL OPEN IN THE COMING DAYS. (DAN AYRES, WDFW)

At this time, Twin Harbors and Long Beach remain tentative and not approved, but additional domoic acid tests conducted by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH) will provide a final determination on those beaches by Friday morning.  WDFW will announce whether these beaches have also been approved on Friday as well.

“In the last few days, we’ve seen increasing levels of the algae that can cause domoic acid in ocean water at Long Beach and Twin Harbors,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “Our first priority is safety, and we, working alongside the Department of Health, are reserving judgment on opening of these areas in order to ensure safety for all those who enjoy this activity.”

While an unexpected increase in domoic acid in razor clams has been observed in clam samples collected from the surf zones at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, similar increases have not been observed in samples collected at Copalis and Mocrocks.

The upcoming dig is for the following dates and low tides as of Tuesday.

  • October 26, Saturday, 5:59 pm, 0.0 feet; Copalis
  • October 27, Sunday, 6:47 pm, -0.8 feet; Mocrocks
  • October 28, Monday, 7:33 pm, -1.2 feet; Copalis
  • October 29, Tuesday, 8:18 pm, -1.4 feet; Mocrocks
  • October 30, Wednesday, 9:03 pm, -1.2 feet; Copalis
  • October 31, Thursday, 9:50 pm, -0.8 feet; Mocrocks
  • November 1, Friday, 10:38 pm, -0.2 feet; Copalis

No digging is allowed before noon for allowed digs, where low tide occurs in the evening.

For a list of proposed razor clam digs on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches through December, please see WDFW’s razor clam website. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings of all digs depends on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

Additional safety considerations are important to those who engage in digs near dusk and at night.

“Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly at this time of year when low tides come at dusk and after dark,” said Ayres.

WDFW is also asking for razor clam fans around the state to weigh in on the perennial question: Which is better, clam or shovel? To register support for a favored digging method, clam diggers can post a photo or video, complete with hashtag #TeamClamShovel or #TeamClamGun on any social media before the end of the season.

“Razor clam digs are a major source of livelihood for coastal communities, bringing out hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to enjoy all we have to offer, including terrific nature, food, entertainment and fun on the beach for the whole family,” said Andi Day, Executive Director at Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. “We value and appreciate WDFW’s work to manage this terrific resource for our communities.”

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 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 and from license vendors around the state.

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.

3-day Late Sept. Long Beach Razor Clam Dig Proposed

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

Razor clam diggers may be able to return to Long Beach for a three-day opening beginning Sept. 27, pending favorable marine toxin results later this month.

WDFW SHELLFISH GURU DAN AYRES IS FORECASTING SOME “TERRIFIC RAZOR CLAM DIGGING” DURING THE UPCOMING SEASON, WHICH MAY KICK OFF AS EARLY AS LATE SEPTEMBER AT LONG BEACH. (DAN AYRES, WDFW)

The upcoming dig is proposed for the following dates and morning low tides:

  • Sept. 27, Friday, 5:52 a.m. -0.9, Long Beach only
  • Sept. 28, Saturday, 6:36 a.m. -0.8, Long Beach only
  • Sept. 29, Sunday, 7:19 am -0.6, Long Beach only

Final approval of the scheduled opening will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. No digging would be allowed after noon.

“We know people have been looking forward to digging razor clams at Long Beach, and we’re pleased to say we believe based on our surveys that the beach is going to enter the line-up more frequently this fall and winter,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 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.

“There will be some terrific razor clam digging in the months ahead,” said Ayres. He and his crew completed the final clam population survey of the summer on Friday, Aug. 30 in Ocean Park.

WDFW is currently assessing additional digs for Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks in October, but has not yet finished those assessments, nor set dates.

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.

Neah Chinook Retention To Close; La Push King Limit Dropping To 1

THE FOLLOWING ARE  WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICES

Anglers must release Chinook in Neah Bay beginning Sunday, July 14

MARK BACKMAN SHOWS OFF A NEAH BAY CHINOOK FROM LAST SEASON. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONT

Action: Closes Chinook retention.

Effective date:  July 14, 2019.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location:  Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay).

Reason for action: Marine Area 4 is expected to reach its Chinook guideline at current catch rates, which would require closure of the fishery in the area; this rule should extend the fishing season to provide opportunity to access harvestable coho in the area.

Additional information: Waters of Marine Area 4 east of a true north-south line through Sail Rock are closed. The daily limit for salmon in Neah Bay remains at two salmon.

Anglers are reminded to always check for emergency rule changes prior to fishing. Rule changes can be found on the website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ or by calling the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500.

Change to daily limit for Chinook in La Push

Action:  Anglers may retain only one Chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit

Effective date:  July 15, 2019.

Species affected:  Chinook salmon.

Location:  Marine Area 3 (La Push).

Reason for action:  Chinook retention in adjacent Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) will end July 14.  Adjustment of the Chinook daily limit in Area 3 will help ensure that Area 3 stays within its subarea guideline even if fishing effort shifts from Area 4 to Area 3.

Additional information:  Anglers are reminded to always check for emergency rule changes prior to fishing. Rule changes can be found on the website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ or by calling the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500.

 

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Big Bump In Possible Washington Coast Coho Quota, But Chinook Could Be Similar To 2018

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

Fish managers have developed options for Washington’s ocean salmon fisheries that reflect concerns over chinook stocks and optimism about improved returns of coho projected this year.

The three options for ocean salmon fisheries were approved Tuesday for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

JENN STAHL SHOWS OFF A COHO SHE CAUGHT OUT OF WESTPORT WHILE FISHING WITH JOHN KEIZER. (SALTPATROL.COM)

The three alternatives are designed to protect the low numbers of chinook expected to return to the Columbia River and Washington’s ocean waters this year, said Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“With these alternatives in hand, we will work with stakeholders to develop a final fishing package for Washington’s coastal and inside waters that meets our conservation objectives for wild salmon,” Adicks said. “Anglers can expect improved opportunities to fish for coho salmon compared to recent years while fishing opportunities for chinook likely will be similar to last year.”

Similar to 2018, this year’s forecast for Columbia River fall chinook is down roughly 50 percent from the 10-year average. About 100,500 hatchery chinook are expected to return to the lower Columbia River. Those fish – known as “tules” – are the backbone of the recreational ocean fishery.

Meanwhile, fishery managers estimate 905,800 coho will return to the Columbia River this year, up 619,600 fish from the 2018 forecast. A significant portion of the Columbia River run of coho contributes to the ocean fishery.

State fishery managers are working with tribal co-managers and NOAA Fisheries to take into account the dietary needs of southern resident orcas while developing salmon fishing seasons. The declining availability of salmon – southern resident orcas’ main source of prey – and disruptions from boating traffic have been linked to a downturn in the region’s orca population over the past 30 years.

“We will continue to assess the effects of fisheries on southern resident killer whales as we move towards setting our final fishing seasons in April,” Adicks said.

The options include the following quotas for recreational fisheries off the Washington coast:

Option 1: 32,500 chinook and 172,200 coho. Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) would open June 15 while marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport) would open June 22. All four areas would be open daily and La Push would have a late-season fishery under this option.

Option 2: 27,500 chinook and 159,600 coho. Marine areas 1, 3, and 4 would open daily beginning June 22 while Marine Area 2 would open daily beginning June 29. There would be no late-season fishery in Marine Area 3.

Option 3: 22,500 chinook and 94,400 coho. Marine areas 1, 3, and 4 would open daily beginning June 29 while Marine Area 2 would be open five days per week (Sunday through Thursday) beginning June 16. There would be no late-season fishery in Marine Area 3.

Fisheries may close early if quotas have been met. For more details about the options, visit PFMC’s webpage at https://www.pcouncil.org/blog/, where information can be found about a March 25 public meeting in Westport on the three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries.

Last year, the PFMC adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas of 27,500 chinook and 42,000 coho.

Chinook and coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2019 salmon-fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those other fisheries.

State and tribal co-managers will complete the final 2019 salmon fisheries package in conjunction with PFMC during its April meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif.

Several additional public meetings are scheduled in March and April to discuss regional fisheries issues. The public will also soon be able to comment on proposed salmon fisheries through WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/, where a list of scheduled public meetings can be found.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

2-day Razor Clam Dig, Seafood Fest On WA Coast This Weekend

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

Razor clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for a two-day opening, Mar. 16-17, which coincides with the Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival in Ocean Shores Washington.

RAZOR CLAM DIGGERS. (WDFW)

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. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

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

  • March 16, Saturday, 3:43 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors Beach, and Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas. (see Map)
  • March 17, Sunday, 4:43 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors Beach, and Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips. (see Map)

“This is a weekend opening that should not be missed,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “The event features live music, clamming tutorials, clam chowder contests, clam-themed art and cooking demos, and of course, some of the best food you can get with a clam gun or shovel.”

For more clamming tips, festival goers can visit Ayres and his shellfish team at their information booth at the event. Ayres will be giving presentations on how to dig razor clams and how WDFW manages the season.

Ayres recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.

In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from the annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing.

The Department sets these dates when possible to coincide with the local razor clam festival, knowing the importance it has for the local economy.

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 (starting at $9.70) 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 and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

More information can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

Early Feb. Razor Clam Dig Dates Set For Washington Coast

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Razor clam digs approved Feb. 1 through Feb. 3

Action: Opens razor clam season.

Effective date: 12:01 p.m. Feb. 1 through 11:59 p.m. Feb. 3, 2019

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

Species affected: Razor clams

The specific low tides for this opener:

Feb. 1, Friday; 4: 48 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis

Feb. 2, Saturday; 5: 28 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Feb. 3, Sunday; 6: 04 p.m.; -.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis

Locations:

Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.

Mocrocks Beach, located between the Copalis River and the southern boundary of the Quinault Indian Reservation (just south of the Moclips River) and includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach, and Moclips.

Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from Cape Shoalwater to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.

Reason for action: Harvestable numbers of razor clams are available for the areas listed above.

Kalaloch Among Washington Beaches Open Next Week For Razor Clams

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

The next round of evening razor clam digs will run Jan. 17-21 at various ocean beaches, including the first opening of the season at Kalaloch.

RAZOR CLAM DIGGERS AT KALALOCH BEACH SEVERAL YEARS AGO NOW. THE COMING OPENER WILL OCCUR IN THE LATE AFTERNOON. (NATIONAL PARK SERVICE)

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. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

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

  • Jan. 17, Thursday; 3:39 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 18, Friday; 4:30 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 19, Saturday; 5:18 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Jan. 20, Sunday; 6:05 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Kalaloch
  • Jan. 21, Monday; 6:51 p.m.; -1.8 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.

“Diggers should always keep an eye on the surf and come prepared with good lighting devices for the digs that occur after dark,” Ayres said.

Ayres said the department has also tentatively scheduled a dig in early February, pending the results of another round of marine toxin tests. If those tests are favorable, that dig will run Feb. 1-3.

More information on planned digs can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

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.

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.

Kalaloch Penciled In Among Tentative January, February Clam Digs

If today’s windy, stormy weather has you rethinking hitting this evening’s Washington Coast razor clam dig, take note of a potential opener a little further down the line this season.

RAZOR CLAM DIGGING COULD OCCUR AT KALALOCH BEACH IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY. (NATIONAL PARK SERVICE)

WDFW has added Kalaloch to its list of tentative January and February dates.

Six days worth of digging would occur at the Olympic National Park beach between the mouths of the Hoh and Queets Rivers from Jan. 19-21 and Feb. 16-18.

Those and 2019 digs at Copalis, Mocrocks and Twin Harbors still do need to get final green lights, but it will be the first time in two years that razor clam harvesting will be allowed at Kalaloch.

January 2017 saw a two-day opener before March digs were cancelled due to “low abundance.”

State shellfish manager Dan Ayres still isn’t sure what happened to all the clams that he and his crews found there during a 2016 assessment but were gone by that winter.

Still, during recent toxin testing at Kalaloch he found improved numbers.

“They’re not the biggest clams, but they’re in the 4-inch neighborhood, with some smaller,” says Ayres. “I think it’ll be OK. I hope I’m not wrong. Folks can go check it out.”

In the meanwhile, there’s a high wind warning at this evening’s open sands, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, through 4 p.m.

Ayres reports 28-foot swells offshore, with both highways to the beaches having been temporarily closed for trees over the roadway, and power out at WDFW’s Montesano office.

If you bail, there are still more openers through the weekend, including Long Beach on Saturday evening.

“It’s been a good season so far,” Ayres reports. “Nothing out of the usual. Clams are on the small side. Some are fine with that. Some expect big ones every time they go.”

He expects to be able to offer more dates, but here’s a look at January and February’s proposed openers and when low tide occurs, per WDFW:

  • Jan. 2, Wednesday; 4:22 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 3, Thursday; 5:06 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 4, Friday; 5:46 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 5, Saturday; 6:23 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Jan. 6, Sunday; 6:59 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 17, Thursday; 3:39 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 18, Friday; 4:30 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 19, Saturday; 5:18 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Jan. 20, Sunday; 6:05 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Kalaloch
  • Jan. 21, Monday; 6:51 p.m.; -1.8 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch (Martin Luther King Holiday)
  • Feb. 1, Friday; 4:48 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 2; Saturday; 5:28 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 3, Sunday; 6:04 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 15, Friday; 3:11 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 16, Saturday; 4:08 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Kalaloch
  • Feb. 17, Sunday; 4:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Feb. 18, Monday; 5:46 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch (Presidents’ Day Holiday)
  • Feb. 19, Tuesday; 6:31 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 20, Wednesday; 7:14 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 21, Thursday; 7:56 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Twin Harbors

 

 

Next Round Of Washington Razor Clam Digs Set

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 four-day opening beginning Dec. 6.

(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. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

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

  • Dec. 6, Thursday, 6:01 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 7, Friday, 6:40 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 8, Saturday, 7:16 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 9, Sunday, 7:53 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.

Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly in the fall when the best low tides come after dark, he added.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 20-23, pending results of future toxin tests. More information on planned digs can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

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.

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.