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Originally published Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

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Ski areas hoping to open sooner rather than later

The chilly and somewhat wetter weather finally arrived in the mountains, and now all ski and snowboard areas need is enough snow to open for operation.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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While many head out after Thanksgiving on Black Friday shopping sprees, others will be packing a turkey sandwich and making plans for a special trout fishery.

Six southwest Washington lakes will each be planted with 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 1 ¼ pounds apiece.

Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County; Kress Lake in Cowlitz County; Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County and Rowland Lake in Klickitat County will all be closed to fishing Nov. 19-22, and then reopen Nov. 23.

"The water has cooled down in all the lakes and ponds, and they should provide pretty good trout fishing," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

Klineline Pond located just west of I-5 and north of Hazel Dell has good bank access. Battle Ground Lake is located about two miles northwest of Battle Ground off Heisson Road, and has some bank access and a pier.

Kress Lake near Kalama has a small boat launch but no gas motors are allowed, and ample bank access. Fort Borst Park Pond on the west side of I-5 in Centralia is open for anglers age 15 and under only, but adults can assist kids in fishing.

South Lewis County Pond just southeast of Toledo has great shore and pier fishing, plus a boat launch. Rowland Lake is split into two lakes between Highway 14, and tends to produce good fishing.

Those in Greater Seattle region, can head to Beaver Lake near Issaquah, which was recently planted with 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 2 to 3 pounds.

Word this past week indicated good fishing at Beaver from the shore in the adjacent park and by small-boat (no gas motors allowed) anglers. Daily limit is five fish, and only two may be longer than 15 inches.

Lone Lake on Whidbey Island is a good late fall trout fly-fishery. Other year-round lakes producing fair trout action are Goodwin, Blackmans and Ballinger.

Ski areas ready to open at moments notice

The chilly and somewhat wetter weather finally arrived in the mountains, and now all ski and snowboard areas need is enough snow to open for operation.

The Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort remains steadfast on opening Nov. 23, and it could be earlier depending on conditions. That's a change from last week when the plan to hit the slopes was Nov. 24.

"We actually started our snow-making (this past Wednesday), and already have 3 to 4 inches of real snow on our base (through Friday)," said Jordan Lindstrom, the Mission Ridge marketing manager.

Lindstrom said Mission has 19 snow-making guns attached to 40 hydrants on Chairs 1 and 4, and covers 66 acres of terrain — the most of any ski area in the state.

Mission also still has a snowpack on its higher elevation areas, which sits at 4,750 feet.

Other areas have decided to leave it up to Mother Nature to make that determination. The Summit at Snoqualmie, Stevens Pass and Mount Baker are expecting 4 to 8 inches of new snow between Sunday and Monday.

"We don't have a tentative opening date, but we're geared up and ready to go at a moment's notice," said Chris Danforth, the vice president of marketing at Stevens Pass. "If we get two to three feet of snow on the ground then we could open our doors."

Danforth says the weather pattern is shifting, and on Thursday they received a couple of inches of new snow.

"If I was a betting man I wouldn't think we'd be able to get that much snow before Thanksgiving, but it could change at any moment," Danforth said. "We've done a lot of maintenance on lower base that will allow us to open up those trails sooner."

The Summit at Snoqualmie is hopeful about opening sooner rather than later.

"We never set any opening date, and there is no sense in doing it until we have enough snow," said Guy Lawrence, director of marketing for The Summit at Snoqualmie. "During four of the past five years we've had a November opening, but the more traditional opening occurs around the first weekend of December."

The Mount Baker Ski Area is also ready to open within a 24- to 48-hour period.

"We've been getting some dusting of snow, and the temperature has dropped down into the mid-20 degree range," said Gwyn Howatt, the Mount Baker Ski Area operations manager.

"At this point things look pretty good that we could get an opening before Thanksgiving," Howatt said. "We always make sure the forecasts show it isn't going to warm up right after. You've got to have some confidence it will stick around."

Last November, Mount Baker, whose base sits at 3,500 feet with a top elevation of 5,089 feet, received 147 inches of snow.

The Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park set a tentative opening of Dec. 1. Crystal Mountain, White Pass and 49 Degrees North plan to open as soon as enough snow covers their base, which could be by the end of this month.

Those who want to live out their pre-winter experience can view Warren Miller's film Flow State on the big screen. U.S. Olympic freestyle skiing gold medalist Jonny Moseley is the host.

Dates are Sunday at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue; Nov. 14 at Historic Everett Theatre; Nov. 15 at Admiral Theater in Bremerton; Nov. 16-17 at McCaw Hall in Seattle; and Nov. 20-21 at Kirkland Performance Center. Details: www.warrenmiller.com.

Oregon offers early skiing and snowboarding

Those who just can't wait to carve up and rip some turns can head south to Timberline Lodge Resort on Mount Hood.

Operations are weather dependent with access to the Palmer Snowfield on the Magic Mile and Palmer lifts. Rains, high winds and poor visibility are a common occurrence. It's wise for those planning to make the trip to call the hotline (503-222-2211), which is updated daily at 7:30 a.m. or visit the website at www.timberlinelodge.com.

The resort plans to have both lifts running Fridays to Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The terrain is designed for advanced and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. No runs are available for beginners. Two boxes for jibbing are also open. Lift tickets are $58.

Notes

• More razor clam digs are coming up this week with the first one beginning Tuesday and Wednesday at Twin Harbors. Those will be followed by digs Thursday on Long Beach and Twin Harbors, and Nov. 16-17 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. Digging will be allowed after 12 p.m. each day. Daily limit is the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition. Each digger must be kept their clams in separate containers. All diggers over age 15 must have a shellfish license.

• The public is welcome to attend the Puget Sound Partnership's Science Panel meeting 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, at the Center for Urban Waters, 326 East D Street in Tacoma. Topics include proposed work plan for the Puget Sound ecosystem indicators and discussion on the Biennial Science Work Plan. Details: www.psp.wa.gov.

• The Adopt A Stream Foundation and Snohomish County Parks & Recreation are offering a free showing of the IMAX movie "Beavers" at 7 p.m. Friday at McCollum Park, 600 128th St. S.E. in Everett. Follow a family of beavers in the forest and lakes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Those who attend must RSVP to reserve a seat. Details: 425-316-8592 or www.streamkeeper.org.

• The Washington Sea Grant is offering a First Aid At Sea Class 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Fishermen's Terminal's Bordby Building in Seattle. The class is a Coast Guard-approved course for boaters, and includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation, patient assessment, hypothermia, cold water near-drowning, shock, trauma, burns, fractures, choking, immobilization techniques, first-aid kits and more. Cost is $80. Details: 206-543-1225.

• The Bellevue-Issaquah Chapter of Trout Unlimited's Kokanee Work Group needs volunteers to report spawning kokanee salmon this fall in creeks feeding into Lake Sammamish. Volunteers will survey creek sections once a week during the spawning season from October through January. Details: www.tu-bi.org.

• The Northshore Trout Unlimited meeting is the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, 18560 1st Ave. NE in Shoreline. Details: http://northshoretu.blogspot.com.

• The Issaquah Alps Trails Club holds weekly hikes and meets in downtown Issaquah. Details: www.issaquahalps.org.

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

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

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

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