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Holiday weekend perfect for fishing; here's where to go
The Lower Columbia River reopens Saturday for hatchery spring chinook.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
Cast a line in just about any direction, and you'll likely find decent action heading into the long holiday weekend.
The halibut fishery in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca reopens Thursday to Sunday, and fishing on open days last week started off well but faded due to bad weather.
"We had a couple decent days of halibut fishing, and then it dropped off as the weather got crummy and foggy," said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in the Strait.
The Port Angeles Halibut Derby is this weekend, and largest halibut is worth $5,000. Cost is $40. Details: 360-452-2357. The eastern Strait will also be open May 30-31 only.
The western Strait of Juan de Fuca at Sekiu opens for halibut fishing Thursday to Sunday; May 30-June 1; and June 8 only.
The Lower Columbia River reopens Saturday for hatchery spring chinook, which has been closed since April 13. The updated forecast is 107,500 spring chinook, and leaves more than 1,300 fish to be caught by sport anglers. Fishing will be allowed daily and will remain open when the summer salmon season begins June 16-30.
Daily limit in the Lower Columbia is two salmon or steelhead, but only one may be a chinook, and release sockeye. Fishing regulations will change for the summer fishery, so anglers should check the rules pamphlet for details.
Shad catches in the Lower Columbia have started to pick up, and state Fish and Wildlife checked 75 bank anglers with 70 caught and five released. Numbers at Bonneville Dam have started to increase with 9,950 shad counted Tuesday, for a total of 53,645 for the season.
The final spring coastal razor clam digs are Friday through Sunday, and this has been one of the best seasons in more than 20 years. Since the season opened October, through May 26, diggers will have harvested more than 5 million razor clams for 178 days of digging compared to 85 days in the 2011-12 season.
Digging is allowed until noon. All other ocean beaches — Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks — are closed for the season. Low tides: Friday, minus-1.7 feet at 6:34 a.m.; Saturday, -2.2 at 7:21 a.m.; and Sunday, -2.4 at 8:09 a.m.
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or email@example.com
|Statewide lakes||Good for kokanee at Lake Stevens and Lake Cavanaugh. Fair to good trout fishing at Mineral, Green, Deer, Meridian, Jameson, Serene, Stickney, Angle, Desire, Walker, Geneva, Spanaway, Pattison, Cain, Wilderness, Cottage, Bosworth, Padden, Anderson, Ohop and Conconully.|
|The Icicle River near Leavenworth is open, but slow for hatchery spring chinook. Fair for spring chinook at Drano Lake and Wind River. Fair for spring chinook in Cowlitz, mainly at barrier dam. Slow for steelhead in Washougal. Slow to fair for spring chinook and steelhead in Klickitat. Good in the Lower Columbia estuary for sturgeon. Fair for walleye and bass in The Dalles and John Day pools.|
|Marine areas||Lingcod fishing is fair to good at Possession Bar off the south side of Whidbey Island, Hat Island, southeast of Alki Point near the green buoys, and Point Evans near the Narrows Bridge. Puget Sound south of the Narrows Bridge is open for salmon but is slow. The Strait of Juan de Fuca east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, and Sekiu, Port Angeles and southern Puget Sound (excluding Discovery Bay) are open daily for spot shrimp. The San Juan Islands east and south are open May 29 to June 1 for spot shrimp, and the islands' western region is open Wednesday through Saturday each week through June 1. The Westport, Neah Bay and La Push halibut fisheries are now closed, and only Ilwaco remains open Fridays to Sundays of each week. Westport remains excellent for black rockfish, but slow to fair for lingcod.|