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Reports

COWLITZ RIVER OPENS FOR COLUMBIA RIVER SMELT

posted by Mike on 02/22/2017

One-day smelt fishery set to open on Cowlitz River

VANCOUVER, Wash. – State fishery managers approved a limited sport fishery for smelt on the Cowlitz River for Saturday, Feb. 25.

Under this year's rules, a portion of the Cowlitz River will be open to recreational dip netting along the shore from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. for one day only.

The area open to sport dipping stretches from the Highway 432 Bridge upstream to the Al Helenberg Memorial Boat Ramp, located approximately 1,300 feet upstream from the Highway 411/A Street Bridge in Castle Rock.

Each dip-netter may retain 10 pounds of smelt per day, with no more than one day's limit in possession. Ten pounds is about a quarter of a five-gallon bucket. No fishing license is required to dip for smelt in Washington state.

This marks the fourth year that the state has allowed smelt fishing since 2010, when the species – also known as eulachon – was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) along the Pacific Coast.

NOAA Fisheries, which oversees ESA-listed stocks, supports limited fisheries that contribute to research, said Cindy Le Fleur, regional fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"We're expecting a modest return of about 3 million pounds of smelt to the Columbia River this year," Le Fleur said. "That compares to an estimated 16.6 million pounds in 2014, when the run reached its recent peak."

The sport fishery was also limited to one day in 2016, when the run was estimated at 5.1 million pounds. Le Fleur said these fisheries have a limited impact on the overall smelt return, while providing biological data on the species' abundance.

11TH ANNAUL EVERETT BLACKMOUTH DERBY - SATURDAY, MARCH 18TH 2017

posted by Mike on 02/21/2017

Once again the Everett Blackmouth Derby is right around the corner. The derby will take place in Marine Area 8-1, 8-2 & 9. Tickets run $100.00 / boat with up to four pre-registered anglers. Cash prizes are based upon the number of tickets sold, however it always meets its requirements, so in fact the prizes are as follows.

 

1st Place $3,000.00

2nd Place $1,500.00

3rd Place    $500.00

4th Place    $250.00

 

There will be many additional merchandise prizes.

 

If you have any additional questions, you can go to the derby website www.everettblackmouthderby.com or call Woody Woods at (425) 501-4024.

COLUMBIA BASIN MARCH 1ST OPENER LAKES

posted by Mike on 02/21/2017

March 1st is just aroung the corner, with many anglers awaiting the March 1st opener of a good number of seep lakes in the Columbia Basin. However, this year the opener will be delayed for you bank and boat anglers due to the lakes being iced over and with the weather conditions we have been seeing it just might be awhile before they are free of ice. Now if the ice conditions stay safe there might be a chance of a little ice fishing. Make sure you play it safe as rotton ice is not to be taken lightly. All it takes is a little warmer weather and suddenly ice that was good is no longer such.

 

Anyway, here's a little run down on what you might expect from a few of the Basin March 1st opening lakes. Chad Jackson from WDFW in Euphrata was kind enough to give me a run down on what he expects to see this season.

 

Martha should see limits or near limits for anglers of 11 -13 inch yearlings with a few carryovers.

 

Upper Caliche shoud also see limits or near limits for anglers or 11 -13 inch yearlings with a few carryovers.

 

Quincy is looking better than last year and should have a very good carryover rate of larger fish.

 

Burke will be a wild card as yellow perch were planted illegally sometime after the 2012 rehabilitation and are now competing directly with the trout. Last season did not see outstanding fishing.

 

Lenice and Nunnally should produce well as always with fish averaging in the 14 -16inch range with some larger. These quality lakes usually have high catch rates with 12 - 25 fish being caught and released per angler not out of the question.

 

Lenore should once again see good fishing as there has been the past couple of seasons on Lahonton Cutthroat. Some anglers are catching and releasing as many as 15 per day last year.

 

This is a little run down on things and I will keep you posted as the season progresses.

 

 

CORONET BAY SMELTING

posted by Mike on 02/20/2017

If you have been getting a little cabin fever recently you might want to put a trip to Coronet Bay together for a little smelt jigging. We have finally been getting some reports of fairly good fishing.

This season has been extremely slow for the most part at both Coronet Bay as well as Oak Harbor. With very poor reports most folks just gave up the idea that smelting was just not going to happen this season. However, we have had a couple of folks in today that were up there over the weekend that managed to get some fair numbers of smelt.

This is a great family activity that requires a minimum of gear and provides an outstanding winter outing. Not only is it a great way to spend some time in the ourdoors but eating the results of your efforts is a reward in itsself. Our silver smelt are on of my favorite fish to eat here in the Northwest.

Ted's has all the gear you need for this outing. Feel free to stop by if you have any questions on this fishery, we'll be glad to help you out.

OLYMPIC PENINSULA SALMON DERBY RESULTS FOR 2017

posted by Mike on 02/20/2017

The 2017 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby that took place this past Friday, Saturday & Sunday had a total of 763 participants. There were a total of 208 fish entered with a total combined weight of 1,664 pounds with an average weight of 8 pounds. Not a bad average!

 

Here's a little run down of the top 5 places:

Tony Beam 15.25 pounds

Ben Power 15.10 pounds

Derek Madison 14.85 pounds

Mike Halburg 14.40 pounds

Jurgen Lightle 13.70 pounds

 

Overall, a very successful derby! Hope that everyone enjoyed their time on the water.

CHANGES TO THE OCEAN BOTTOMFISH FISHERIES FOR 2017

posted by Mike on 02/18/2017

WDFW announces changes to 2017 ocean bottomfish fishery

OLYMPIA – Anglers can expect changes to recreational bottomfish fisheries when ocean marine areas re-open March 11 to fishing for species such as lingcod and rockfish.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is making the changes to help ensure rockfish catches align with harvest limits adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The council is responsible for establishing conservation measures in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Changes in effect beginning March 11 for the 2017-18 fishing season include:

  • Rockfish daily limit: Reduces the daily limit on rockfish to seven, from 10, in Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push), and 4 (Neah Bay, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line).
  • Canary rockfish daily limit: Anglers fishing in Marine Areas 1 and 2 can retain one canary rockfish as part of the seven rockfish daily limit.
  • Bottomfish daily limit: Reduces the overall daily limit on bottomfish to nine, from 12, in Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line. Rockfish count toward an angler's overall bottomfish daily limit. Anglers will be able to retain two bottomfish, such as lingcod or cabezon, in addition to their daily limit of seven rockfish.
  • Lingcod minimum size: Removes the 22-inch minimum size for lingcod in Marine Areas 1 through 3 and Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.
  • Deepwater lingcod closure: Reduces the size of the deepwater lingcod closure in Marine Area 1 by moving the southern boundary five miles north (to 46° 28.00' N. Lat. from 46° 33.00' N. Lat.).

WDFW is implementing the changes to daily catch limits to help ensure the conservation objective for black rockfish is met, said Michele Culver, intergovernmental ocean policy manager for the department.

"The black rockfish population remains healthy in Washington's ocean waters," Culver said. "However, we've seen an increasing number of anglers fishing for rockfish in recent years, which means more fish are being harvested than what we had estimated."

Meanwhile, anglers fishing in Marine Areas 1 and 2 now will be able to retain one canary rockfish as part of the daily limit for rockfish. Retention of canary rockfish previously had been prohibited in these areas to protect the species.

"Fortunately, the population of canary rockfish has rebounded and is now sufficient to allow harvest in areas 1 and 2," said Culver. "Anglers are still prohibited from keeping canary rockfish in Marine Areas 3 and 4, but that may change in the future." 

In all four marine areas, anglers will now be able to retain lingcod regardless of fish size. Lingcod are abundant and removing the minimum size requirement is not expected to have any effect on the species' population, Culver said. The change also should benefit the yelloweye rockfish population, which is still rebuilding, by reducing encounters with the species while anglers are fishing for lingcod, she said.

Lastly, Culver said anglers should be aware that beginning July 1, they'll need to have a descending device onboard their fishing vessel in all marine areas, including the coast. Descending devices are used to release rockfish back to the depth of capture and significantly improve the survivability of fish that are released.  More information about these devices can be found on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/bottomfish/rockfish/mortality.html

SIX DAYS OF RAZOR CLAM DIGGING ON COASTAL BEACHES STARTING FEBRUARY 23RD

posted by Mike on 02/17/2017

Razor clam dig begins Feb. 23, more proposed through April

OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can count on evening digs starting Feb. 23 and begin planning trips this spring to Washington's beaches after state shellfish managers today announced a schedule of proposed digs through April.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening at three ocean beaches later this month after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

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

  • Feb. 23, Thursday, 4:42 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 24, Friday, 5:21 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 25, Saturday, 5:58 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 26, Sunday, 6:34 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 27, Monday, 7:11 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 28, Tuesday, 7:48 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors

State shellfish managers recommend that diggers hit the beach an hour or two before low tide.

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 2016-17 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 also announced a list of proposed digs in March and April, subject to the results of additional marine toxin tests. Shellfish managers will announce a final decision on those openings about a week before each dig is set to begin.

Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW, noted that the current schedule does not include proposed digs this spring for Twin Harbors or Long Beach.

"We're waiting to see how the next few rounds of marine toxin tests go before we set a schedule for those beaches," Ayres said.

Toxin levels on Washington's southern beaches – Twin Harbors and Long Beach – have been declining. Twin Harbors opened earlier this month when levels of domoic acid met public health standards. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

If toxin levels at Long Beach continue to drop, the beach could open in March for digging, Ayres said.

Razor clam diggers also should be aware that WDFW plans to alternate digging between Copalis and Mocrocks during March and April. Those two northern beaches will not be open on the same days in the coming months.

"We wanted to maximize the number of days that diggers would have out on the beaches," Ayres said. "We hope that diggers will pay close attention to the schedule and stay off whichever beach is closed for the day."

Copalis beach includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas while Mocrocks includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips. Maps of the beaches can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html

Tentative razor clam digs in March and April:

  • March 9, Thursday, 4:28 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Mocrocks
  • March 10, Friday, 5:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis
  • March 11, Saturday, 5:54 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • March 12, Sunday, 7:31 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Kalaloch
  • March 24, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Mocrocks
  • March 25, Saturday, 5:44 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Copalis
  • March 26, Sunday, 6:24 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks

Seasonal switch to morning tides

  • March 30, Thursday, 8:58 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Mocrocks
  • March 31, Friday, 9:47 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis, Kalaloch
  • April 1, Saturday, 10:40 a.m., -0.5 feet; Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • April 2, Sunday, 11:39 a.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis
  • April 13, Thursday, 8:43 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Copalis
  • April 14, Friday, 9:18 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Mocrocks
  • April 15, Saturday, 9:55 a.m.; 0.3 feet; Copalis
  • April 16, Sunday, 10:36 a.m.; 0.5 feet; Mocrocks
  • April 27, Thursday, 7:55 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Mocrocks
  • April 28, Friday, 8:42 a.m.; -1.8 feet; Copalis
  • April 29, Saturday; 9:32 a.m.; -1.7 feet; Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • April 30, Sunday, 10:24 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Copalis, Kalaloch

LAST CHANCE TO PURCHASE OLYMPIC PENINSULA SALMON DERBY TICKETS

posted by Mike on 02/14/2017

Ted's will be selling Olympic Peninsul Salmon Derby tickets until closing (6:00pm) tomorrow, Wednesday February 15th. There will be "NO" last minute sales this year. You must purchase your ticket by the end of the day.

 

Good luck to all of you that are fishing the derby this year!
 

30TH ANNUAL BILL HAYES HOT PLUG'S BLACKMOUTH DERBY FEBRUARY 25TH, 2017

posted by Mike on 02/14/2017

It's once again time for the Annual Bill Hayes Hot Plug's Derby taking place on February 25th. This is a popular local winter blackmouth derby taking place in Marine Area 8-1 & 8-2.

 

Tickets are $50.00 per person and everyone in the boat must have a ticket.

 

Prizes are as follows:

1st Place 50% of total entry fees

2nd Place 20% of total entry fees

3rd Place 15% of total entry fees

4th Place 10% of total entry fees

$100.00 cash prize will be drawn for 2 ticket holders, fish or no fish! (Must be present to win)

 

Weigh in will be between 3:00 - 4:30 pm at the Stanwood Eagles. Call (360) 629-3224 for directions.

 

Entry Fees can be paid at the following locations:

Stanwood Eagles

Elger Bay Store

Camano Marine

Holiday Sports

Johns Sporting Goods

 

For additional information call Ed Keller (425) 308-9437 or email edkeller829@gmail.com

LAST CHANCE FOR PUGET SOUND STEELHEADING THIS WINTER

posted by Mike on 02/14/2017

Puget Sounds last remaining steelhead fishing opportunities will close after tomorrow, February 15th. The few terminal hatchery area will close to fishing until they reopen June 1st. (Providing the North of Falcon process proceeds normally). After tomorrow we all will have to travel to the Olympic Peninsula, Grays Harbor, Willapa Harbor or Columbia River tributaries to chase steelhead. Make sure to consult your regulation phamplet before venturing forth. As long as you are willing to travel there are many streams that will provide you action. Two of the most popular streams that will be coming on line with later "B" run winter steelhead will be the Cowlitz as well as the Skookumchuck. Both of these streams provide good steelheading starting shortly and running to the end of April.

LAKE CHELAN FISHING REPORT FOR 2/11/2017 FROM ANTON JONES

posted by Mike on 02/11/2017

LAKE CHELAN AREA FISHING REPORT FOR 2/11/17

    And the beat goes on…  Lake Chelan continued hot, trolling for Mackinaw in the Trench and Kokanee on Colyar Ledge. 

 

    Trolling for suspended Kokanee continues terrific.  Pull Mack’s Lure’s Mini Cha Cha Squidders in Orange on a short leader behind their Double D Dodgers in the 7.6 size.  Bait the Mini Cha Cha’s Corn soaked in Pro Cure’s Bloody Tuna scent.  We have caught these landlocked sockeye anywhere from 45 to 200 feet deep. 

 

    Laker fishing has been terrific in the Trench.  Fish within 3 to 5 feet of the bottom and keep your speed around .8 to .9 mph.  Jeff Drift rigs in glow colors fronted with a Mack’s Smile Blade and baited with a piece of Northern Pikeminnow has been our best pattern. 

 

    Your fishing tips of the week is to keep track of small details when fishing kokanee.  The most important of these is depth.  You see the fish on your sonar at 115’.  How do you know your gear is there?  If you don’t have your downrigger ball showing on the screen it might be a challenge to know.  Sometimes the balls being in the sonar cone can be too much and obliterate fish signals.  So you adjust your transducer to eliminate the downrigger balls you better “zero” your downriggers.  Maybe touch the balls on the bottom at a known similar depth and change your counter to match your depth.  Then you only have “Kentucky Windage” to adjust for as you increase depth or speed…  To be precise can be difficult.  More importantly, keep your mind open to the “less is more” doctrine.  If you are trolling through an area that holds a large number of fish for an extended distance, fishing the maximum number of rods makes sense.  If you are trying to hit a small area very precisely, minimizing the number of rods could actually improve your catch.  Where we know certain small spots hold concentrations of fish, we will troll through working one rod precisely, and another rigged and ready to go.  Hook a fish on the one rod, make your turn and drop ready rod down.  Net the hooked fish, hook another fish, re-rig that one, etc.  Sometimes less rods can allow you to fish more precisely and effectively. 

 

    The kid’s tip of the week is to use the open discussion time that fishing affords to help them explore their problem solving skills.  Doing it with open ended questions also develops critical thinking skills.  These are both things that modern life rarely affords us the time to develop appropriately.  For example asking the 8 year old how we should steer around that log up ahead.  Then asking follow ups like,” What do we do if the wind changes, or what about that outside fishing line?” “ Would it catch the log doing that? “ The simplest of life’s situations can be very teachable moments. 

 

    The safety tip of the week is to remember to unplug those electric downriggers before working on the cable.  The cable moving unexpectedly while your hands are on it can be a very unwelcome surprise.

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2/8/17 - Sonny & Pat Clemmer of Springdale, WA with their friends Caroline & Don Renz of Loon Lake and their epic catch of Lake Chelan Mackinaw.

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2/6/17 - The venerable Pepe' out with the intrepid Jeff to get their Kokanee fix.

DARRELL & DAD’S FAMILY GUIDE SERVICE

509-687-0709

www.darrellanddads.com

 

MARINE AREA 7 (SAN JUANS) WILL CLOSE TO SALMON FISHING

posted by Mike on 02/09/2017

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

February 9, 2017

Marine Area 7 salmon season to close temporarily

Action: Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands) will close to salmon fishing Feb. 11.

Effective Date: Feb. 11, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Marine Area 7.

Reason for action: Preliminary estimates and fishery projections indicate that Marine Area 7 will exceed the allowable limit of total chinook encounters – including both retained and released fish – prior to the planned April 30 closure date. The fishery is being temporarily closed until early April to allow the state time to determine a reopening date that will give anglers opportunity through the end of the season.

Other information: WDFW consulted numerous Marine Area 7 anglers and the sportfishing advisors. WDFW will continue to monitor the fishery and will work with the sportfishing advisors and local anglers to determine the re-opening date.

Through Feb. 10, Marine Area 7 has a one hatchery chinook limit. Salmon fishing will remain open in other areas, including marine areas 6, 8-1, 8-2, 11, 12 and 13. Marine area 5 will open Feb. 16 with a two hatchery chinook limit. Marine Area 9 will re-open Feb. 16 with a one hatchery chinook limit. Check the sport fishing rules page for details: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/. The most recent preliminary estimates can be found at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports_plants.html.

Information contact: Ryan Lothrop, (360) 902-2808 or Mark Baltzell, (360) 902-2807.

MARINE AREA 9 WILL OPEN TO SALMON FISHING EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 16TH

posted by Mike on 02/09/2017

Marine Area 9 salmon season re-opening Feb. 16

Action: Marine Area 9 will re-open Feb.16.  The daily limit for hatchery chinook salmon in Marine Area 9 will be 1 chinook, with an overall 2-salmon limit.  All coho and wild chinook salmon must be released. 

Effective Date: Feb 16 through April 15, 2017.

Species affected: Salmon

Location:  Marine Area 9 within Puget Sound, excluding year-round fishing piers.

Reason for action: Test fishery data collected during January and February indicate there are fewer juvenile (sublegal-size) chinook salmon present in these waters.  In addition, sufficient capacity exists to re-open the fishery within the guideline of 6,081 "chinook encounters" – including both retained and released fish – agreed to by the tribal co-managers before this year's fishery began.  Delaying the opening to mid-February allowed the state time to determine a reopening date that will give anglers opportunity later into the spring. 

Other information:  WDFW will continue to monitor the fishery and will work with sportfishing advisors to determine if any other modifications are necessary to achieve a maximum season in Marine Area 9. Edmonds Public Fishing Pier is unaffected by this rule change and specific regulations for the pier can be found in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Ryan Lothrop (360) 902-2808

CHINOOK LIMIT LOWERED TO 1 IN MARINE AREA 6 - EFFECTIVE FEBUARY 16TH

posted by Mike on 02/09/2017

Anglers limited to 1 chinook per day in Marine Area 6

Action: The daily limit for hatchery chinook salmon in Marine Area 6 will be reduced to 1 chinook, with an overall 2-salmon limit.  All coho and wild chinook salmon must be released.  

Effective locations and dates:  Feb.16, through April 15, 2017.

Species affected:  Chinook salmon.

Reason for action:  Before the salmon fishing season started, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and tribal co-managers agreed to a limited number (3,975) of "chinook encounters" – including both retained and released fish – that anglers will be allowed in Marine Area 6.

To stay within the agreed number of encounters, the department is modifying this fishery to increase the likelihood of providing season-long fisheries.  WDFW consulted with its Puget Sound sportfishing advisors in making this change.

Other information: WDFW will continue to monitor and evaluate Marine Area 6 fishery.

Information contact: Mark Baltzell, (360) 902-2807 or Ryan Lothrop, (360) 902-2808.  

 

OLYMPIC PENINSULA SALMON DERBY FEBRUARY 17 - 18 - 19, 2017

posted by Mike on 02/02/2017

The very popular Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby will be coming up on the 17th, 18th & 19th of this month. Tickets are $40.00 per person and everyone on the boat must have one. This year all ticket sales will end on Wednesday February 15th, so make sure not to wait until the last minute.

 

As far as prizes go here's a little run down...

First Prize - $10,000

Second Prize - $2,000

Third Prize - $1,000

Four "Mystery Fish" Prizes $500 each (From All Entries Of 6 Pounds Or More)

Lots of additional merchandise prizes.

 

Ted's has tickets for sale through Wednesday 15th, February - $40.00 Cash!

COLUMBIA RIVER SMELT SEASON ON HOLD FOR THE TIME BEING

posted by Mike on 02/02/2017

Fishery managers delay decisions on smelt, other Columbia fisheries

OLYMPIA – Washington state fishery managers have delayed setting a recreational smelt-fishing season on the Cowlitz River until they can better gauge the size of this year's run.

In a joint meeting Tuesday with their Oregon counterparts, they also postponed setting an end date for sturgeon fishing in the Bonneville Pool because anglers took just 16 of the 325-fish catch guideline in January.

"In both cases, we just don't have enough data to make an informed decision," said Ron Roler, a Columbia River fishing manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "We're going to keep a sharp eye on the indicators in the weeks ahead."

Last year, recreational smelt dipping in the Cowlitz River was limited to one six-hour period, during which 16,700 dippers took approximately 141,000 pounds of the species, also known as eulachon. Smelt were listed under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2010, but a small fishery is allowed to help monitor the size of the return.

To help assess smelt returns, the two states today approved a series of eight commercial fishing periods in February. If the daily catch reaches 150 pounds, WDFW will consider open a short sport fishery.

"We know there's a lot of interest in this fishery, but we have to make sure the run can support it," Roler said.

Unlike smelt fishing, the retention fishery for white sturgeon is already under way on the Columbia River upriver from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam. After a month of fishing, catch levels in Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools ranged from 5-14 percent of allowable catch levels.

Fishery managers will continue to track catch levels and revisit those fisheries in mid-February to early March, Roler said.

On Feb. 23, they also expect to set seasons for the spring chinook salmon fishery. The salmon season is currently open through March 31, when the bulk of the run begins to arrive.

"We fully expect to announce new seasons for spring chinook well before the fish arrive in earnest," Roler said.

RAZOR CLAM DIGS SCHEDULED FEBRUARY 7TH - 12TH ON WASHINGTON COASTAL BEACHES

posted by Mike on 02/02/2017

Razor clam dig starts Feb. 7 on 3 ocean beaches

OLYMPIA – State shellfish managers have approved a six-day razor clam dig beginning Feb. 7 on three ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening on evening tides at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

This is the first dig at Twin Harbors since late November when domoic acid levels spiked there, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

"Toxin levels have been dropping over the last several weeks at Twin Harbors and now meet public health standards," Ayres said. "This is great news for razor clam diggers."

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

  • Feb. 7, Tuesday, 3:53 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 8, Wednesday, 4:46 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 9, Thursday, 5:33 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 10, Friday, 6:16 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 11, Saturday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 12, Sunday, 7:34 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors

Razor clam diggers should note that Copalis will be closed the last three days of the dig, when Mocrocks and Twin Harbors remain open, Ayres said.

WDFW often opens Copalis and Mocrocks for the same dates due to the proximity of the beaches. "We're able to provide more opportunities by opening Mocrocks separately for a few days this dig," Ayres said.

Copalis beach includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas while Mocrocks includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips. Maps of the beaches can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

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 2016-17 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.

Long Beach remains closed to razor clam digging due to elevated levels of domoic acid. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

LAKE CHELAN FISHING REPORT FOR 1/26/2017 FROM ANTON JONES

posted by Mike on 01/27/2017

Lake Chelan continues to be hot, trolling for Mackinaw in the Barrens and for Kokanee along Colyar Ledge.

    Trolling for suspended Kokanee is terrific.  Pull Mack’s Lure’s Mini Cha Cha Squidders in Orange on a short leader behind their Double D Dodger in the 7.6 size at about 1mph.  Bait the Mini Cha Cha’s with Corn.  Jeff has a lot of confidence in Pro Cure’s Bloody Tuna while Anton likes the color variation that Pautzke’s Fire Corn provides.  We have caught these silver bullets anywhere from 45 to 200 feet deep.  You may catch some Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout with this pattern.  Remember that unclipped Cutthroat Trout must be immediately released, unharmed.

   Laker fishing has been terrific in the Barrens and the Trench.  Fish within 3 to 5 feet of the bottom and keep your speed around .8 to 1.3 mph.  Jeff’s Drift Lures fronted with a Mack’s Smile Blade and baited with a piece of Northern Pikeminnow has been our best pattern. 

    Your fishing tip of the week is to remember to take it slow and easy when fighting Kokanee.  It is easy to overpower when reeling.  That is how you lose fish.  When they are thrashing, stop reeling and enjoy the tug.  Pulling hard against them will pull the hooks.  In general, if you are getting 2 of 3 or 3 of 4 you are doing fine.  If you are catching under 50% work on your technique.  Sizing up to #4 or even #2 hooks seems to help the landing percentage too.

    The kid’s tip of the week is to get them on the rod when a fish jumps on.  They will be reluctant at first.  Fear of the unknown.  They will learn a lot from losing fish.  When they lose a fish, don’t make a big deal out of it, in fact, don’t say anything about it for a while.  Then just review with them what happened.  If the fish simply won, say that.  If they did something wrong, just provide the corrective information.  But, with experience, they will get better.  We call it “a self-correcting program”.

    The safety tip of the week is to be prepared for icy conditions pulling your boat out of our lake.  A shovel, sand or kitty litter and chains would be a good idea.

    Winter is finally letting up a bit so get out and enjoy our fishery.  Remember, we have a canvas enclosure and propane heat on our North River, so you don’t have to be tough to come out and enjoy it with us.

 

LAST WEEKEND FOR STEELHEADING FOR MANY SECTIONS OF PUGET SOUND RIVERS

posted by Mike on 01/27/2017

If you are wanting to get out and steelhead fish this will be the last weekend to do such with the vast majority of Puget Sound rivers closing to fishing at the end of this month. We will still have a few chances to fish in some of the hatchery areas through the 15th of February. Make sure to read your regulations well if you are not certain of the guidlines.

 

We have been seing and hearing of some very nice wild steelhead being caught and released. Though they are not numerous at least you have a chance. The fish that we have been seeing have been in the mid teen catagory.

DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN THOSE WINTER CRAB CATCH RECORD CARDS

posted by Mike on 01/27/2017

Make sure to get those winter crab catch record cards turned in by February 1st! Otherwise be prepared to pay the $10.00 Administrative Fee when you renew your license for this next year. I am sure you would be happier spending $10.00 on something you want rather than donating to the state!

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