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Originally published Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM

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Outdoors notebook: Outlook good for razor-clam season

If you are a fan of razor clams, it's time to start thinking about the upcoming fall coastal season. "Razor-clam populations look good...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Reel Time Northwest

Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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If you are a fan of razor clams, it's time to start thinking about the upcoming fall coastal season.

"Razor-clam populations look good, and we're pleased with what we saw this summer, and it looks like we'll have good digging this fall," said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist.

State Fish and Wildlife has set some public meetings to gather input on the digs scheduled to begin in mid- to late October. Biologists will discuss how the 2008-09 season went, and their recently completed razor-clam stock assessment.

Ayres says the summer assessment showed an increase in the number of harvestable clams on four of five ocean beaches, which could mean more clam digging.

"We're looking forward to offering some additional harvest days," Ayres said.

As for marine toxin levels, which could hinder or stop digging, Ayres says preliminary reports have the levels looking fine.

Digging last fall, winter and spring generated some excellent opportunities on most coastal beaches.

There were nice-sized clams with a lot of diggers reaching 15-clam daily limits on many beaches, which was a boost to local economies.

"As far as clams harvested it was about 3.2 million by 249,000 digger trips," Ayres said.

Based on the recent economic multiplier, Ayres says it was a $12.4 million boost to the economy on the coast, "so it is a big deal to have these kinds of seasons."

Upcoming meetings begin at 7 p.m. — Sept. 21, at the Ocosta High School Library, 2580 Montesano St. in Westport; Sept. 22, at the Shilo Inn (Pacific/Rainier Room), 707 Ocean Shores Blvd. N.W. in Ocean Shores; Sept. 23, at the Super 8 Motel, 500 Ocean Beach Blvd. at Long Beach; and Sept. 24, at Fife High School in the school administration building, 5802 20th St. East off I-5 in Fife. Another meeting will be announced later in Forks.

Written comments will also be accepted through Oct. 5. Mail to: Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091 or e-mail fishpgm@dfw.wa.gov.

Top fly-fishing spots by readers

Last week, we asked the public to vote on its top fly-fishing destinations in North America after Forbes magazine published its choices.

To view the Forbes picks, go to www.forbes.com/2009/08/19/trout-fishing-trips-lifestyle-sports-fly-fishing.html.

If you missed the top picks from Leland Miyawaki at the Orvis Store in Bellevue; Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu; former Seahawk Matt LaBounty; Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle; and R. Peter Van Gytenbeek, president of the Federation of Fly Fishers, go to http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/othersports/2009813459_outn06.html.

Here are the readers' nominees in no certain order:

In Washington: Rocky Ford Creek, Methow River, Yakima River, Dry Falls Lake, Banks Lake, Crab Creek, Sauk River, Skagit River, North Fork Stillaguamish River, Cedar River, Ross Lake, Klickitat River, Lake Lenice, Olympic Peninsula rivers and Snoqualmie River, Lake Lenore and Grande Ronde River.

In North America: Cape Cod, Mass.; Big Horn River, Mont.; Situk River, S.E. Alaska; Rock Creek, Mont.; St. Joe, Idaho; Owyhee River, Ore.; East Cape, Baja, Mexico; Gallatin River, Mont.; Chesapeake Bay, Mass.; Mulege, Baja, Mexico; Togiak, Kvichak, Moraine and Kenektok rivers, Alaska; Ascension Bay, Mexico; Deschutes River, Ore.; Skeena River, B.C.; Arolik River, Alaska; South Fork of Snake (Swan Valley and Henry's Fork), Idaho; Teton River, Idaho; Ruby River, Mont.; Madison River, Mont.; and Gibbon River, Firehole River, Slough Creek, Gros Ventre River and Grey's River, Wyoming.

Notes

• The Eastside Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the North Bellevue Community Center, 4063 148th Ave. N.E. Guest speaker Kent Alger of Three Rivers Marine and Tackle in Woodinville will discuss Puget Sound coho fishing. Details: 425 408-1930.

• The Seattle Poggie Fishing Club meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Seattle City Light Building, 93rd Ave. North and Stone Ave North. Guest speaker Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad's Guide Service will discuss fishing for trout in Lake Chelan and Rufus Woods. Details: www.seattlepoggies.com.

• The Overlake Fly Fishing Club is celebrating their 35th Anniversary 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Holiday Inn in Issaquah. Cost is $26. Details: 206-243-1182 or e-mail lorywat@cs.com.

• The Coast Guard Auxiliary of Edmonds Flotilla offers two 12-week public boating classes for experienced and novice boaters. The Weekend Navigator Course begins Sept. 15, and the Boating Skills and Seamanship Course begins Sept. 17. Details: 206-546-4171.

• The Washington State Parks and Recreation is hosting a public International Coastal & Underwater Cleanup Sept. 19-20. On those days shore patrols will gather litter and debris left on beaches from Ilwaco north to Ocean Shores. Details: 360-902-8581 or www.coastsavers.org.

• The Cascade Bicycle Club Urban Ride to Restore Our Waters Cascade Spawning Cycle is 8 a.m. Sept. 20 at Myrtle Edwards Park, 3130 Alaskan Way West in Seattle. Cost is $25 for adults ($20 by Sept. 16), $5 for children age 6-12 and free for children under age 6. Details: 206-522-3222 or www.cascade.org.

• The Sloop Tavern/Ballard Elks Lodge Coho Salmon Fishing Derby is Sept. 20. Cost is $20 by Sept. 19. Purchase tickets at the Sloop Tavern, 2830 N.W. Market St., or Ballard Elks Lodge, 6411 Seaview Ave. N.W. Fishing allowed in Area 10 only. Details: 206-227-0851.

• The new nonprofit Cascade Musky Association is looking for members. Cost is $25 or $35 for a couple/family membership. Details: www.cascademuskyassociation.com or www.wafish.com.

• The Washington Fly Fishing Club meeting is 5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the Seattle Tennis Club. Please RSVP to attend meetings. Details: www.WFFC.com.

• The Mount St. Helens Institute offers a free Sunday Hiking Program in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, now through Oct. 25. The hikes range from easy to difficult, and are 4 to 10 miles round-trip. Space is limited and reservations are required. While the hikes are free, a $5 donation is suggested. Details: www.mshinstitute.org.

• The Western Bass Club meets every third Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Kennydale Hall in Renton. Details: www.westernbassclub.comor www.nickbarrfishing.com.

• The Washington Trails Association offers statewide trip reports and trail conditions. Details: www.wta.org.

• The Northwest Fly Anglers offer various public classes through the year. The public also is invited to club meetings on the third Thursday of each month, at the Haller Lake Community Center, 12579 Densmore Ave N., in North Seattle. Details: 206-684-7524.

• The Emerald Sea Dive Club offers year-round activities, including the big buddy program and weekly and monthly dives. The club meets on the first Wednesday of every month, 7-9 p.m. at Alfy's Pizza, 4820 196th SW in Lynnwood. Details: 425-775-2410 or www.emeraldseadiveclub.org.

• The Seattle Audubon Society offers field trips and classes every month. Details: 206-523-4483 or www.seattleaudubon.org.

• Northend Bassmasters is accepting new members who want to learn more about bass fishing. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Crystal Creek Cafe, 22620 Bothell-Everett Highway (Canyon Park) in Bothell. Details: 206-789-4259 or e-mail Gary Millard at glmillard@comcast.net.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

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