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Originally published Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

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Year ending with more good clam digging | Outdoors Report

Plenty of outdoor activities remain options during the holidays, from crabbing and digging razor clams to fishing for steelhead, salmon...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Plenty of outdoor activities remain options during the holidays, from crabbing and digging razor clams to fishing for steelhead, salmon or trout.

The next series of coastal razor clam digs begins Friday. Good winter weather is forecast, and should provide excellent opportunities, including a New Year's Eve dig that has drawn more than 20,000 people to beaches in past years.

According to Dan Ayres, head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, diggers have been approaching their 15-clam limit most days on most beaches during ideal weather. The most recent digs Dec. 13-16 generated an average of 13.5 clams.

Digging is open Friday at Twin Harbors (low tide is minus-0.3 feet at 6:42 p.m.); Saturday (-0.3 at 7:15 p.m.) at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; and Sunday and Monday (-0.2 at 7:47 p.m. and 0.0 at 8:20 p.m.) at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis. Digging is allowed after noon each day.

Other tentative dates are: Jan. 8-9, Jan. 13-14, Feb. 7 and Feb. 11-12 at Twin Harbors; Jan. 10 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Copalis; Jan. 11-12, Jan. 26 and Feb. 8-9 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; and Jan. 25, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and Feb. 23-24 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors. Final approval is usually announced about a week before each opening.

The Dungeness crab fishery in open areas of Puget Sound and Hood Canal closes after Dec. 31, and has had remarkable summer and winter seasons.

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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Local rivers Slow to fair for steelhead in Snoqualmie, Cascade, North Fork of Stillaguamish, Reiter Ponds on Skykomish, Sol Duc, Calawah, Bogachiel, Lower Hoh and Nooksack. Hatchery chinook fishing opens Jan. 1 below I-5 Bridge on Lower Columbia, and barbless hooks are now required. Fair for steelhead on Cowlitz, Kalama and Washougal. Fair for chinook in Lewis, and for steelhead on North Fork near salmon hatchery.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

Marine areas Squid jigging remains fair to good, but not as robust as it was a few weeks ago at Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Pier 86 off Elliott Avenue West in Seattle, Des Moines Pier, Les Davis Pier and Edmonds Pier. Smelt jigging is fair at Oak Harbor Marina and Cornet Bay on Whidbey Island. Slow to fair for steelhead off beaches at Bush and Lagoon points on west side of Whidbey Island. Fair for hatchery chinook at Jefferson Head, Saratoga Passage, Kingston, Hood Canal off Point Whitney and Misery Point, and Port Angeles to Freshwater Bay. Fair to good for hatchery chinook in San Juan Islands in eastern Rosario Strait, northwestern San Juan Channel and Presidents Point Channel along Orcas Island. Slow in Tacoma area. The Tengu Winter Blackmouth Derby in Elliott Bay is heading into the final Sunday, and fishing — surprisingly — has been better than in past years. Last Sunday, 30 anglers caught five hatchery blackmouth. The winning fish weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was caught by Ed Vike. The season-leading fish caught on Dec. 9 by Doug Hanada weighed 11 pounds, 9 ounces. The derby is Sunday from daybreak to 11 a.m. at Seacrest Boathouse in West Seattle. Cost is $15. Details: 206-324-7600.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Local lakes Locally, try for trout at Lone, Roesiger, Goodwin and Blackmans. Off and on for cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Recent trout plants in Southwest Washington lakes were Carlisle near Onalaska with 30 5-pound and 70 10-pound trout; Silver near Castle Rock with 4,000 catchable-sized trout; Sacajawea with 3,007 catchable-sized trout; and Klineline with 2,000 half-pound trout.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

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