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Originally published Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 7:10 PM

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Slow start for spring fishing on rivers | Fishing report

The Strait of Juan de Fuca remains the best bet for winter chinook at Sekiu and the Port Angeles area.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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While neither hot nor hopeless, there is a ray of light for salmon, steelhead, lingcod, shellfish and trout enthusiasts.

"There are some spring chinook being caught from the mouth of the Lewis River up to the (Portland Airport) on the Lower Columbia," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

"Places like Cathlamet have been decent at times, but that could change as the Willamette River is up to 80,000 (cubic feet per second) and becomes more turbid," Hymer said. "That would condense fishing to the Vancouver area, and there was also a few more fish caught in the Camas-Washougal area."

The Wind River and Drano Lake open Friday for spring chinook, but don't expect much. Only a dozen fish have been counted at Bonneville Dam.

The lingcod and black rockfish fishery off the coast at La Push, Westport and Ilwaco opens Saturday, and charter boats expect another excellent spring season.

In shellfish news, the Point Whitney Tidelands in Hood Canal is open for clamming until March 31, and Point Whitney Lagoon is open April 1-30.

Coastal razor clam digs are tentatively scheduled for March 24 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; and March 25 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. Final approval will be known by early next week.

The clam and oyster season at Fort Flagler State Park, including a section of the spit west of the park boundary on Rat Island in Jefferson County, opens May 15 to Sept. 30. Surveys indicate the clam population has increased to allow extra harvest time.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca remains the best bet for winter chinook at Sekiu and the Port Angeles area.

"On Monday, we had some of the best fishing I've seen in my life at Sekiu with clouds of candlefish and packs of chinook feeding on them," said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for Northwest Marine Trade Association who fished with Congressman Norm Dicks.

"We caught 18 fish for our group in two days, and four were 12 to 15 pounds and the rest in the 7- to 8-pound range," said Floor, who said the congressman caught the biggest chinook.

On Friday, Floor fished the eastern Strait off Salmon Bank where his group hooked nine chinook and kept three hatchery fish, plus his fishing partner landed a 22-pounder the day before.

Other good Strait bets include Freshwater Bay, Discovery Bay and the Winter Hole area off Port Angeles.

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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Statewide lakes "Blackman's Lake was planted last week with big triploid trout (2 to 3 pounds) by the Snohomish County Fishing Club," said Mike Chamberlain at Ted's Sports Center in Lynnwood. "Lone Lake (on Whidbey Island) and Pass Lake near Deception Pass have been pretty decent fly-fishing for trout up to 21 inches."

The Eastern Washington early season trout fishery remains good at Upper Caliche, Martha, Lenice, Lenore, Nunnally, Burke and Quincy lakes. In Columbia County try for trout at Big Four, Blue, Deer, Rainbow, Watson and Spring lakes. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout.

In Southwest Washington, Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond were each planted on Monday with 3,000 rainbows averaging a half-pound, and Lacamas Lake in Clark County was also recently planted with 4,000 rainbows averaging two-thirds of a pound. Slow for cutthroat trout in lakes Washington and Sammamish. The Kokanee Derby is May 19 on Lake Stevens.

Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Westside rivers Fair to good for steelhead on the northern coast in the Sol Duc, Calawah, Hoh and Bogachiel. In the southwest region, it is fair for steelhead in the Cowlitz, Kalama and Washougal.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Marine fishing Fair to good for smelt jigging at Oak Harbor Marina, but not much happening at Cornet Bay Pier. Slow to fair for hatchery chinook off Hat Island, Camano Head, Elger Bay, Point No Point, Misery Point, Seabeck and the Double Bluff off the south side of Whidbey Island. Slow off Possession Bar, the Tacoma area off Point Defiance Park and San Juan Islands. The Everett Bayside Marine Blackmouth Derby is this Saturday.
Biting: Maybe

Rating:

2 stars

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