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WASHINGTON'S OCEAN SALMON SEASONS PROPOSALS

posted by Mike on 03/13/2019

Public input sought on proposals for Washington's ocean salmon fisheries

VANCOUVER, Wash. – 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.

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.

TWO DAY RAZOR CLAM SEASON - MARCH 16 & 17

posted by Mike on 03/12/2019

WDFW announces razor clam dates ahead of the Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival

OLYMPIA – 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 (https://www.osrazorclamfestival.org).

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/.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlifeis the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities. WDFW razor clam digs support outdoor lifestyles and coastal economies.

OLYMPIC PENINSULA DERBY RESULTS

posted by Mike on 03/11/2019

Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby Leaderboard

Derby Statistics

Statistics as of: Mar 11, 3:06 pm (Refreshes once a minute)
Total Number of Participants: 762
Total Number of Fish Caught: 237
Total Combined Weight of Fish Caught: 1,883 lbs
Average Weight of Fish Caught: 7.95 lbs


Leaders

Rank Weight Weigh In Participant
1) 19.35 lbs 3/8 10:05 MARK THOMPSON - CLINTON, WA (#2234)
2) 13.90 lbs 3/8 10:31 DON HANSEN - PORT ANGELES, WA (#2719)
3) 13.65 lbs 3/8 10:04 CHRIS GREGERSON - POULSBO, WA (#1119)
4) 13.30 lbs 3/9 10:01 MIKE BARKSDALE - CLALLAM BAY, WA (#2664)
5) 12.90 lbs 3/8 9:11 JEREMY GOLDEN - SNOHOMISH, WA (#2777)
6) 12.20 lbs 3/10 12:38 DAVE BARBIERI - EVERETT, WA (#2175)
7) 11.55 lbs 3/9 8:40 KEN BLANKENSHIP - POULSBO, WA (#2549)
8) 11.55 lbs 3/9 14:16 KIP HOUGHTALING - ORTING, WA (#2456)
9) 11.50 lbs 3/9 13:20 KYLE MADISON - PORT ANGELES, WA (#2656)
10) 11.50 lbs 3/9 13:30 DAVID MOSIER - PORT TOWNSEND, WA (#2845)

NEW GOD'S TOOTH SPOON COLORS

posted by Mike on 03/07/2019

Elgin Fishing, manufacture of the God's Tooth line of spoons that have been quite popular with the trout and kokanee anglers here in our area has come out with four additional colors.

 

Hammered Chrome

Hammered Copper

Red & White

Yellow Trout (Yellow with Red & Black Dots)

 

I'am sure these new colors will make their way into many an angers tackle box this season.

 

OLYMPIC PENINSULA SALMON DERBY - MARCH 8 - 9 - 10

posted by Mike on 03/04/2019

Today will be the last day that we will have tickets for the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby. Make sure to call before coming up to asure we still have them on hand, as the Derby officials are to pick them up sometime today. You will be able to purchase them on line though Wednesday, 6th March. Get them on line at www.GardinerSalmon Derby.org.

 

This is an outstanding derby and the participation is generally quite high. Though we have not had the best fishing conditions over the past month we recently have been getting some good reports out of the Port Townsend and Port Angeles areas.

 

Good luck to all of you that are participating.

WDFW REDUCES SAMON LIMIT TO ONE FISH IN MARINE AREA 6

posted by Mike on 03/01/2019

WDFW reduces daily catch limit to 1 salmon in Marine Area 6

Action: Reduces the daily limit for salmon to one fish in Marine Area 6 (east Juan de Fuca Strait).

The 2018-19 Washington Sportfishing Rules pamphlet erroneously states that anglers can keep two salmon daily.

Effective date:  Immediately.

Species affected:  Salmon.

Location:  Marine Area 6 (east Juan de Fuca Strait).

Reason for action: This corrects an error in the 2018-19 Washington Sportfishing Rules pamphlet. These regulations were agreed to with co-managers during the annual North of Falcon salmon season-setting process.

State fishery managers set the daily salmon limit at one fish to meet conservation objectives and increase the likelihood the winter fishery would remain open for the entire season.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded to release wild coho and wild chinook.

Information contact: David Stormer, Puget Sound recreational salmon manager, 360-902-0058; Mark Baltzell, Puget Sound salmon manager, 360-902-2807.

WASHINGTON COASTAL BOTTOM FISH SEASON OPENS MARCH 9TH

posted by Mike on 03/01/2019

Upcoming coastal bottomfish season reflects growth in two rockfish species

OLYMPIA – Washington state's fishing seasons for coastal bottomfish and lingcod will open March 9 under new rules that reflect stronger growth in two rockfish species in recent years.

State fishery managers say those rules will provide new fishing opportunities for rockfish, Pacific cod, whiting, sole, lingcod, cabazon, and more than a dozen other bottomfish species in ocean waters.

Anglers can catch up to nine bottomfish per day – including up to seven rockfish, two lingcod, and one cabezon – plus three additional flat fish, under rules adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for the upcoming season.

Heather Hall, WDFW coastal policy coordinator, outlined several changes since last year that will provide new fishing opportunities for bottomfish anglers:

  • Fewer depth restrictions: In coastal areas where depth restrictions are in place, anglers will have about one extra month to fish in deeper waters. This is largely due to a higher federal incidental catch limit for yelloweye rockfish, which are rebounding more quickly than expected.
  • Canary rockfish: Anglers can now retain up to seven canary rockfish a day, up from two in previous years. This species is now considered healthy after a 19-year federal rebuilding process, so the previous species-specific sublimit is no longer necessary.
  • Cabazon: The size limit for this species has been removed on the north coast in Marine Area 4 (west of Bonilla-Tatoosh), and the daily limit in all coastal marine areas will be one per day. 

Of these measures, Hall said none will boost fishing opportunities more than a decision made last December by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to increase the sport fishery's incidental catch limit for yelloweye rockfish. The new limit is 17,196 pounds, compared to 7,275 pounds last year.

That action was based on a stock assessment conducted by the NMFS that showed that the yelloweye population is growing faster than previously estimated.

"This is the biggest increase in the incidental catch limit since the council began its rebuilding plan 17 years ago," Hall said. "Not only is the stock more productive than previously thought, but the rebuilding process benefited from action taken by anglers to use descending devices and improve the survivability of rockfish that must be released."

Because yelloweye rockfish are still the focus of a federal rebuilding plan, anglers must release any of those fish they intercept, Hall said. However, year's higher allowable incidental catch limit will increase fishing opportunities for other bottomfish in deepwater areas.

New fishing rules approved for the coming season vary by area from north to south:

  • Marine Area 4 (west of Bonilla-Tatoosh line): The higher yelloweye rockfish limit will allow WDFW to open the lingcod season March 9 – consistent with other coastal marine areas and a month earlier than last year.
  • Marine Areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line): The 20-fathom depth restriction won't take effect until June 1, giving anglers more than three extra weeks to fish for lingcod and other bottomfish in those areas. In addition, anglers fishing seaward of the 20 fathom line in July and August on days open to recreational salmon fishing will be allowed to keep yellowtail and widow rockfish for the first time since 2005.
  • Marine Area 2 (Westport): The 30-fathom depth restriction will be in place from March 9 through May 31, two weeks less than in previous years. Similar to past years, lingcod retention will be allowed seaward of 30 fathoms on days open to the recreational halibut fishery. The deepwater area will then be open from June 1 through June 15, giving anglers the opportunity to target lingcod in that area.

Deepwater fishing rules will remain unchanged in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco), because WDFW does not impose depth restrictions in those waters. However, anglers will be allowed to keep lingcod on halibut trips during the entire halibut season rather than just during the month of May.

More information on Washington's 2019 bottomfish season is available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/halibut/.

FORECAST SALMON NUMBERS FOR WASHINGTON STATE

posted by Mike on 02/28/2019

Forecast indicates improved coho salmon numbers
as managers begin to develop this year’s fishing seasons

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers estimate higher numbers of coho salmon will return to Washington’s waters in 2019 compared to last year, but expect low returns of wild chinook will again make setting fishing seasons a challenge. 

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink salmon – developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes – were released today during a public meeting in Olympia.

The forecast meeting marks the starting point for crafting 2019 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. The annual process for setting salmon fisheries is known as "North of Falcon." Fishery managers have scheduled a series of public meetings through early April before finalizing seasons later that month.

Kelly Susewind, WDFW director, said fishery managers will look to design fishing seasons that not only meet conservation goals for salmon but also minimize impacts on the region’s struggling southern resident killer whale population.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with tribal co-managers and constituents to make sure that we meet our conservation objectives while providing fishing opportunities where possible,” Susewind said. “It’s complicated, but important work.”

The forecasts are based on varying environmental indicators, such as ocean conditions, as well as surveys of spawning salmon, and the number of juvenile salmon migrating to marine waters.

As in past years, salmon-fishing prospects in 2019 vary by area:

Columbia River:  About 218,200 “upriver brights” are expected to return to areas of the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam. That’s similar to the return in 2018 but down more than 50 percent from the most recent 10-year average.

An estimated 905,800 coho are projected to return to the Columbia River this year, an increase of 619,600 fish from the 2018 forecast. About 147,000 coho actually returned to the Columbia River last year.

Salmon fisheries in the Columbia River will likely be designed to harvest abundant coho stocks while protecting depleted chinook and “B-run” steelhead, which return to the Columbia and Snake river basins.

Washington’s ocean waters: Anglers should have more coho fishing opportunities in Washington’s ocean waters this summer compared to 2018, given higher numbers of coho projected to return to the Columbia River and to Washington’s coastal streams.

This year’s forecast of about 100,500 hatchery chinook to the lower Columbia River is down 12,000 fish from last year’s projected return. Those hatchery chinook – known as “tules” – are the backbone of the recreational ocean fishery.

Puget Sound: Increased returns of coho salmon should provide anglers with some good fishing opportunities including in areas in mid and south Sound, said Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for WDFW.

Roughly 670,200 wild and hatchery coho are expected to return to Puget Sound this year, up 15 percent of the 10-year average. However, the total forecast for wild and hatchery chinook is down slightly from 2018.

“We’re again expecting extremely low returns in key stocks such as Stillaguamish and mid-Hood Canal chinook, which will again limit salmon fishing opportunities,” Adicks said.

Meanwhile, this year's run of pink salmon, which mostly return to Washington's waters only in odd-numbered years, is expected to be 608,400 fish. That’s roughly 10 percent of the 10-year average of 5.7 million fish.

Southern resident killer whales

While developing fishing proposals, the department will consider the dietary needs of southern resident killer whales as well as ways to protect orcas from disruptions from fishing vessel traffic, Adicks said.

The declining availability of salmon – southern resident orcas’ primary prey – and disruptions from boating traffic have been linked to a downturn in the region's orca population over the past 30 years.

WDFW is working with the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop tools to assess the effects of fisheries on available prey for orcas.

Public meetings and comment opportunities

A meeting schedule, salmon forecasts, and information about the salmon season-setting process are available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

WDFW intends to livestream several public meetings, including those scheduled on March 19 and April 3. The department will provide links to those upcoming livestreams,  as well as to the archived video from Wednesday’s forecast meeting, on the website listed above.

Upcoming meetings include:

  • Ocean options: State, tribal and federal fishery managers will meet March 7-12 in Vancouver, Wash., with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for this year's commercial and recreational ocean chinook and coho salmon fisheries. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.
  • Regional discussions: Additional public meetings have been scheduled into April to discuss regional fishery issues. Input from these regional discussions will be considered as the season-setting process moves into the "North of Falcon" and PFMC meetings, which will determine the final 2019 salmon seasons.
  • Final PFMC: The PFMC is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 11-15 meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif. The 2018 salmon fisheries package for Washington's inside waters is scheduled to be completed by the state and tribal co-managers during the PFMC's April meeting.

Beginning in mid-March, fishery proposals will be posted on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/, where the public can submit comments electronically.

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.   

COLUMBIA RIVER SHAD / SHAD DARTS

posted by Mike on 02/21/2019

This seasons upcoming Columbia River shad run is predicted to be another outstanding season, though numbers have not been stated. Now predictions are just that and until the fish are here we really don't know exactly what the run size will be. Last seasons return far exceded the predicted return. We more than doubled the numbers with almost 6.3 million shad going through Bonneville last season. That far surpassed the 10 year average of 2.1 million. The run for 2019 hopefully will be another good one.

 

Teds is all geared up for this upcoming season and has all the normal gear on hand. We have ample supplies of shad darts and hopefully should be able to make it through the season. Though, I would say it is best to stock up early while the color selection is best, as it does get picked over as we get closer to the end.

 

We have shad darts in the following colors:

Flame / Chartreuse

Lime Green / Chartreuse

Hot Pink / Chartreuse

Flame / Pearl

Lime Green / Pearl

Hot Pink / Pearl

Blue / Pearl

Flame / Glow

Lime Green / Glow

Hot Pink / Glow

Hot Pink / Glow

Blue / Glow

COLUMBIA RIVER SPRING CHINOOK SEASONS

posted by Mike on 02/20/2019

Projections of low spring chinook returns constrain Columbia River fishing seasons

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today approved a sport fishery for spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River that reflects a significant reduction in the number of fish available for harvest this year.

According to preseason projections, about 99,300 upriver spring chinook will reach the Columbia this year, down 14 percent from last year and 50 percent below the 10-year average. Those fish return to hatcheries and spawning areas upriver from Bonneville Dam.

In addition, fishery managers are also expecting much lower returns than last year to several major lower Columbia River tributaries, particularly the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers. On the Cowlitz, this year's spring chinook run is projected to reach just 11 percent of the 10-year average and fall short of meeting hatchery production goals.

Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said those projections are largely the result of poor ocean conditions, which have complicated fisheries management in recent years.

"Anglers will still find some good fishing opportunities in the Columbia River Basin this spring, but conservation has to be our first concern," Lothrop said. "We have a responsibility to protect salmon runs listed under the federal Endangered Species Act and get enough fish back to the spawning grounds and hatcheries to support future runs."

Although salmon fishing is currently open from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Interstate-5 bridge, spring chinook usually don't arrive in large numbers until mid-to-late March. The new fishing regulations approved today will take effect in the following areas:

  • Columbia River below Bonneville Dam: Salmon fishing will open March 1 through April 10 on the Columbia River upstream from Warrior Rock boundary line to Bonneville Dam. Anglers may retain two salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook. The lower river downstream from Warrior Rock will be closed to fishing from March 1 through April 10 to conserve spring chinook returning to the Cowlitz and Lewis rivers.
  • Tributaries: The Cowlitz and Lewis rivers will also close to salmon fishing March 1 to conserve spring chinook for hatchery escapement needs, but will remain open for hatchery steelhead retention. The Kalama River will remain open to fishing for salmon and steelhead, but the daily limit of adult salmon will be reduced to one fish on March 1.
  • Columbia River above Bonneville Dam: Waters above Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington state line above McNary Dam will open to salmon fishing April 1 through May 5. Anglers may retain two salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook.

In all open waters, only hatchery salmon and steelhead identified by a clipped adipose fin and healed scar may be retained.

Along with new area restrictions in the lower Columbia, fishery managers also reduced initial harvest limits for upriver spring chinook returning to the upper Columbia and Snake rivers. If those fish return as projected, anglers in the Columbia and Snake rivers will be limited to a total of 4,548 fish, compared to 9,052 last year, prior to a run size updated in May.

Lothrop noted that this year's projected return of 99,300 upriver spring chinook is the lowest since 2007, but still well above the record-low return of just 12,800 fish in 1995.

"Experience has shown that warm-water ocean conditions present a challenge to salmon survival," he said. "As in the 1990s, we have observed that cyclical warming effect during the past few years with similar results. During these times, we have to be especially cautious in how we manage the fishery."

Anglers are strongly advised to review the rules for the waters they plan to fish, available on the department's website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/

MARCH 1ST SEEP LAKE OPENER

posted by Mike on 02/20/2019

Emailed my my friend Chad Jackson with WDFW in Euphrata this moning to see what the prospects were on the Seep Lakes that will open on the first of March. He said the weather we have had the past three weeks have taken a toll on them and virtually all of them are "Frozen" ! After checking the weather prospects for the next ten days or so it looks as if it's going to stay just that! So unless you might want to do a little ice fishing you might consider doing something else.

Here's what Chad had to say in his email.

Regarding the March 1st opening day lakes they are all frozen over, except the north half of Martha Lake which has heavy spring influence.  I’m not sure what ice conditions are like at all the lakes, so I’d say anglers looking to ice fish some of the lakes on the opener should use common sense.  So, unless we get some weather where the lows are above freezing and winds eats the ice up, it looks like we’ll be “iced out”.  If the lakes do open up between now the opener, anglers should have good fishing in Martha, Upper Caliche, and Quincy Lakes and possibly in Burke Lake.  The largest trout will likely be in Quincy Lake.  FYI, Burke Lake received an illegal plant of yellow perch shortly after it was rehabilitated in 2012 and the trout fishery has suffered.  We put ~3,000 catchables into the lake last fall for the opener and are planning rehabilitate it again this coming fall.  Lenice and Nunnally should fish well once the ice comes off.  Lenore should fish fine too, it’s just that extreme north end fishery the “old timers” remember is essentially no more.  Those fish now mill around in a bigger area waiting to enter the spawning channel.  Anglers who have done well in March/April are fishing from some sort of floating device, locating fish, anchoring up, and site casting to fish.

 

The biggest change is Dry Falls Lake now opens March 1st.  This change came during WDFW’s rule simplification process.  The very very short of the long is we got rid of almost all April 1st openers and changed them to either March 1, 4th Saturday in April, or YR.  So, fly guys and gals should be checking on ice condition there and heading out as soon as ice off occurs.

image
So as you read, once the ice does leave the Basin there will be more than a few good fishing opportunities this Spring
Tags: Seep Lakes

MARINE AREA 5 (SEKIU & PILLAR POINT) OPENS FOR SAMON FEBRUARY 16TH

posted by Mike on 02/16/2019

Salmon fishing opens in Marine Area 5 today, February 5th. This is an awsome winter blackmouth area at this time of year. The area is open for a two salmon limit with a 22 in minimum size limit on the Chinook and no size limit on other species. You must release wild Chinook and wild Coho. The season will run through April 30th.

Good Fishing!
 

LAST DAYS FOR WINTER STEELHEAD FISHING ON MANY PUGET SOUND STREAMS

posted by Mike on 02/14/2019

February 15th will be the last day of Winter steelhead fishing on many of Puget Sound rivers. The last remaining fisheries will close tomorrow, February 15th. These last areas to remain open are those hatchery terminal area such as Reiter Ponds, Wallace River, Fortson Hole and Tokul Creek. These areas were left open for a couple additional weeks to mop up the last of the surplus hatchery steelhead. Make sure to consult your regulation pamphlet to make sure of these changes.

WDFW APPROVES 7 DAY RAZOR CLAM DIG - FEBRUARY 15TH - 21ST

posted by Mike on 02/14/2019

WDFW approves 7-day razor clam dig beginning Feb. 15

OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a seven-day opening beginning Friday, Feb. 15. The dig extends over a long weekend and provides a Sunday digging opportunity at Long Beach.

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:

  • 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; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Feb. 18, Monday; 5:46 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • 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

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

“Razor clams are fun to gather and great to eat, and the seven-day schedule should provide opportunities for diggers to find a time to gather their clams for late winter get-togethers with friends and family,” said Ayres.

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.

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 is available on WDFW's razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

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. WDFW razor clam digs support outdoor lifestyles and coastal economies.

DOSEWALLIPS STATE PARK CLAM SEASON CLOSES

posted by Mike on 02/02/2019

Sport clam season closes at Dosewallips State Park

Action: Closes sport clam harvest at Dosewallips State Park.

Effective date: Feb. 4, 2019 until further notice.

Species affected: All clams and mussels.

Location: Dosewallips State Park: The area defined by boundary markers and signs posted on the beach and at beach trailheads.

Reason for action: Surveys indicate the clam population at this beach has declined while recreational participation and catch has increased. The 2019 Dosewallips State Park clam season is structured to meet conservation objectives agreed to with tribal co-managers. This beach will provide a short, late summer clam season projected to open from Aug. 15 through Sept. 7, 2019. The oyster season on this beach remains open year-round. A longer clam season is anticipated in 2020.

Additional information: For more information regarding clam and oyster seasons on public beaches visit our website at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/beaches/.

Information contact: Camille Speck, WDFW Port Townsend Office, (360) 302-3030 ext. 313

PORTION OF N.F. STILLAGUAMISH RIVER TO RE-OPEN TO FOR FISHING

posted by Mike on 02/01/2019

A portion of North Fork Stillaguamish River to re-open to fishing

Action: Re-opens to fishing for hatchery steelhead and other gamefish as listed in 2018/2019 Washington Sport Fishing Pamphlet.

Effective date: Immediately through Feb. 15, 2019.

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead and other gamefish.

Location: North Fork Stillaguamish River, from the mouth of French Creek upstream to Swede Heaven Bridge (includes the Fortson Hole area).

Reason for action: WDFW previously closed the North Fork to allow the Whitehorse Hatchery to complete broodstock collection for early winter steelhead. This opening gives anglers the opportunity to catch any remaining hatchery steelhead now that broodstock collection goals have been met.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded that for this open section the rules are as follows: Trout; statewide min. size/daily limit, except cutthroat trout and wild rainbow trout: min. size 14". Other gamefish (including hatchery steelhead); statewide min. size/daily limit.

The North Fork Stillaguamish downstream of the mouth of French Creek and upstream of the Swede Heaven Bridge remain closed to fishing.

Information contact: Jennifer Whitney, District 13 Fish Biologist, (425) 775-1311, ext. 107.

CLARIFICATION OF FISHING REGULATIONS FOR SKYKOMISH & WALLACE RIVERS

posted by Mike on 02/01/2019

Clarifies fishing rules on the Skykomish and Wallace rivers

Action: Clarifies fishing regulations on the Skykomish and Wallace rivers. A rule change dated Jan. 14, 2019, provided confusing information on the use of a floating device in those rivers. The prohibition of the use of a floating device applies only to the Wallace River and one section of the Skykomish River.

Regulations are as listed below.

Effective date: Immediately through Feb. 15, 2019.

Species affected: All species.

Locations and rules:
Skykomish River: Rules as described in the 2018-2019 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

  • From mouth to mouth of the Wallace River: closed to fishing.
  • From the mouth of the Wallace River to the forks: Gamefish open: Dolly varden/bull trout; min. size 20", may be retained as part of trout daily limit. Other trout; min. size 8" except cutthroat trout and wild rainbow trout min. size 14". Trout daily limit: 2. In the section from 1,000' downstream to 1,500' upstream of Reiter Ponds outlet fishing from any floating device prohibited.

Wallace River:

  • From the mouth to 200 feet above the hatchery water intake: Gamefish open: Dolly varden/bull trout; min. size 20", may be retained as part of trout daily limit. Other trout; min. size 8" except cutthroat trout and wild rainbow trout min. size 14"'. Trout daily limit: 2. Other gamefish; statewide min. size/daily limit. Fishing from a floating device prohibited.

Reason for action: The Wallace River and Reiter Ponds hatcheries have now collected enough early winter steelhead broodstock to meet egg take goals. The early winter steelhead release goals are 140,000 smolt from Reiter Ponds and 27,600 smolt from the Wallace Hatchery.

Additional information: Wallace River Hatchery grounds are closed dusk through 7 a.m. daily.

Information contact: Jennifer Whitney, District 13 fish biologist, 425-775-1311 (ext. 107).

Fishers must have a current W

SALMON LIMIT REDUCED IN MARINE AREA 8-1 & 8-2

posted by Mike on 01/31/2019

Anglers limited to 1 salmon daily in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2

Action:  Reduces the daily limit for salmon to one fish.

Effective date:  Feb. 2 through April 30, 2019.

Species affected:  Salmon.

Locations:  Marine areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner).

Reason for action:  Based on current catch estimates, there is not sufficient salmon available to maintain the fishery through the planned season if the daily limit remains at two fish. The change to a one-salmon daily limit is needed to meet conservation objectives and increases the likelihood that the winter fishery will remain open for the entire season.

Additional information:  Anglers are reminded to release all coho and wild chinook in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2. Chinook minimum size is 22 inches.

Information contact: David Stormer, Puget Sound recreational salmon manager, (360) 902-0058.

 

PORTIONS OF SAUK & SKAGIT RIVERS OPEN FOR C & R STEELHEAD FISHING FEBRUARY 1ST

posted by Mike on 01/28/2019

The Skagit and Sauk Rivers to open to catch and release fishing for Steelhead

 

Action: Opens part of the Skagit and Sauk Rivers to catch and release fishing for gamefish with the following rules:

All gamefish: catch and release only, except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained.

Selective Gear Rules

Night Closure

Skagit River: fishing is prohibited from a vessel that is under power.

Sauk River: fishing is prohibited from a vessel equipped with an internal combustion motor.

Effective date: February 1 through April 30, 2019.

Species affected: All gamefish.

Locations:

Skagit River, from the Dalles Bridge in the town of Concrete to the Cascade River Road Bridge in Marblemount.

Sauk River, from the mouth to the Darrington Bridge (Sauk Prairie Road Bridge).

Reason for action: The Skagit River Steelhead Fishery Resource Management Plan received formal Federal approval in April 2018 allowing the fishery to proceed.

Additional information: The fishery will be actively monitored and may close earlier if the total encounters agreed to are reached. Anglers are asked to cooperate with creel personnel collecting catch information.

Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office, 425 775-1311

THREE DAY RAZOR CLAM OPENER - FEBRUARY 1ST THROUGH 3RD

posted by Mike on 01/25/2019

WDFW approves three-day razor clam dig beginning Feb. 1

OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a three-day opening beginning Friday, Feb. 1.

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:

  • 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

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

"Razor clams are relatively easy to dig, they are very good to eat, and they draw friends and families to some of the most beautiful coastlines and communities in the state," said Ayres.

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.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Feb. 15-21 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 (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.

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