Expect a decent start for crabs, razor clams
The focus is now on crabbing and razor clam digging, which are expected to be decent when they open this weekend. The fall and winter Puget...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
The focus is now on crabbing and razor clam digging, which are expected to be decent when they open this weekend.
The fall and winter Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, and while it wasn't a great summer season, fisheries managers say it still ranks high compared to others in the past decade.
"When you look back at the historical data, this summer was a pretty good season and it should be the same heading into winter," said Rich Childers, a state Fish and Wildlife crab manager.
The winter crab fishery will be open daily through Dec. 31 in most of Puget Sound, Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca (Marine Catch Areas 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13).
Fishing is closed in central Puget Sound (10) and south central Puget Sound (11), where the sport-catch quota was taken this past summer.
One of the frustrating things Childers says is the lack of crabbers — 200,711 summer crab licenses were issued — turning in their mandatory catch-record cards.
"The return rate was right around 53 percent, and while we know we'll never get 100 percent, our goal is to definitely get more," Childers said. "It's puzzling because we mail out a reminder postcard to every household at the end of August, and there is also a penalty for not reporting."
Crabbers who don't file catch reports by the deadline face a $10 fine when they purchase a future crab-endorsement license.
The crabbing rules in the regulation pamphlet will apply during the fall and winter fisheries.
Those planning to head to the coast for the first razor clam dig this weekend should be prepared for blustery and wet weather.
"I wouldn't call it a bust just yet, but there are some weather issues," said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. "Right now they're forecasting a 9-foot swell on Saturday, which isn't horrible but it sure won't make things easier for diggers. They're also talking about some pretty stiff 25 mph westerly winds."
Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks are open Saturday and Sunday; Long Beach and Twin Harbors are open Monday; and Twin Harbors only is open Oct. 16-18.
Additional digging dates through December will be announced soon.
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or email@example.com
|Statewide lakes||Good perch fishing in Lake Washington. Fish plants last week were 1,800 one-pound trout in Thurston County's Black Lake, 300 half-pounders at Pierce County's Bradley Lake and more than 10,000 half-pounders in Chelan County's Lake Chelan. Fair to good for trout, bass and walleye in Potholes Reservoir. Fair to good for trout at Jameson Lake.|
|Statewide rivers||The Skagit River coho return is larger than expected, so the daily limit has been raised to three coho. Fair to good for coho in the Lower Snohomish trolling plugs or casting small spoons. Good for kings in Hanford Reach area of Columbia. Fair in North Fork of Lewis for chinook and for coho in mainstem. Fading for chinook and steelhead in Lower Columbia. Fair for coho in Lower Green/Duwamish. Fair for kings in Lower Yakima. Slow in Cowlitz for salmon. Fair in Wind River for coho. Fair in Drano Lake for chinook, and closed Tuesdays at 6 p.m. to Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Look for salmon action to pick up in northern Olympic coast rivers.|
|Marine areas||The expected rainy weather could move many coho up the rivers, but it had remained fair to good for coho and early chum off Possession Bar, Edmonds, Mukilteo south to Browns Bay, the east and west sides of Whidbey Island, Shilshole Bay south to Redondo Beach, the Tacoma area, Freshwater Bay, Sekiu and Port Angeles. Chinook fishing is open through Oct. 31 in central Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and from Sekiu to Port Angeles. The Olson's Salmon Derby at Sekiu is this weekend. Details: 360-963-2311. Improving for squid jigging at night off Bremerton waterfront piers, Edmonds Pier and Pier 86 on the Seattle waterfront. Northern Puget Sound opens Nov. 1 for hatchery chinook.|
|Coastal areas||For those willing to dodge the gillnets in Grays Harbor, anglers were still catching coho in the south and north channels. The La Push bubble fishery is open through Sunday. The Westport Boat Basin Salmon Derby is open through Oct. 31.|