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Originally published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 5:49 PM

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Next series of clam digs beginning

Don't let the weather scare you away from heading outdoors. The next series of fall coastal razor clam digs begin this Saturday, so look...

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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Don't let the weather scare you away from heading outdoors.

The next series of fall coastal razor clam digs begin this Saturday, so look for excellent digging.

"The ocean conditions (surf and wind) were improving, and overall there was pretty darn good success (on Oct. 13-18 digs)," said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife Department coastal shellfish manager.

A total of 19,036 diggers turned out Oct. 13-18 and harvested 269,568 clams. Diggers averaged 13.6 clams at Long Beach (daily limit is the first 15 clams dug), 14.7 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, and 14.0 at Copalis.

Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks will be open this weekend only, and Twin Harbors from Saturday through Tuesday. Digging on all the beaches is allowed after noon.

Low tides: Oct. 27, plus-0.2 feet at 5:57 p.m.; Oct. 28, -0.1 at 6:36 p.m.; Oct. 29, -0.3 at 7:12 p.m.; and Oct. 30, -0.4 at 7:46 p.m.

Those making the drive north to Copalis and Mocrocks should be ready for traffic revisions on eastbound U.S. Highway 101 in Hoquiam due to work on Simpson Avenue Bridge. This is the only route, so plan for extra time to arrive before low tide.

"We did see some clam wastage, and that tends to happen when there are mix of small and big clams," said Ayres, adding that those caught leaving small clams on beaches could face fines. "People need to remember that you must keep the first 15 clams no matter what size they are."

Other tentative dates: Nov. 13-14 and Nov. 26-28 at Twin Harbors; Nov. 15 and Nov. 29 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors; Nov. 16-17 and Nov. 30 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. More digs are planned for December. Final approval will be made a week before each dig after marine-toxin testing determines whether clams are safe to eat.

A predicted fall chum salmon return of 932,308 began filtering into Puget Sound and Hood Canal, with anglers scoring some nice early catches of fish.

A check at Kennedy Creek estuary in Totten Inlet had 17 anglers with 15 chum last Friday, and recent reports showed fair action. Fair to good checks for chum also came from Hoodsport hatchery shoreline in Hood Canal and Johns Creek estuary in Oakland Bay.

Other places to target chum are North Bay near Allyn, Perry Creek in Eld Inlet, Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, Chico Creek in Bremerton and Potlatch State Park in Hood Canal.

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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Statewide lakes Good for trout at Jameson Lake, which closes after Oct. 31. Fair for trout in Lone Lake on Whidbey Island, Black Lake in Thurston County and Bradley Lake in Pierce County. Good late fall perch fishing in Lake Washington.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

Statewide rivers Rainfall has river water levels going up and down, but places like Reiter Ponds on Upper Skykomish are fair for late summer steelhead, and Cascade, Lower Skykomish, Wallace and Skagit were good for coho. Fair in Cowlitz and Kalama for coho, chinook and steelhead. Fair in Lewis for coho and steelhead, and try North Fork of Lewis for chinook. Fair for steelhead in Upper Columbia mainstem, Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan. Fair to good for chinook, chum and coho in Humptulips, but crowded especially on weekends. Fair for coho in Chehalis.
Biting: Maybe

Rating: 2 stars

Marine areas Fair for coho off the west side of Whidbey Island at Bush and Lagoon points. Slow to fair for coho and chum off Possession Bar, Mukilteo south to Edmonds, Shilshole Bay south to Redondo Beach and the Tacoma area. Fair for coho, chum and chinook off Freshwater Bay, Sekiu and Port Angeles. Chinook fishing is open through Tuesday in central Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and Sekiu to Port Angeles. Good squid jigging at night off Edmonds Pier and Pier 86 on the Seattle waterfront. Northern Puget Sound and Saratoga Pass to southeast side of Whidbey Island opens Wednesday for hatchery chinook, and decent number of fish being released in coho fishery. Slow for coho in Grays Harbor. Good crabbing in Puget Sound.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

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