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Originally published Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 8:31 PM

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Fishing report: Lowland lakes ready for trout opener

Hordes of anglers are expected to converge onto statewide lowland lakes for this weekend’s trout fishing opener.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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There are a wide range of spring fishing options coming up for trout, razor clams, halibut, salmon, spot shrimp and lingcod.

Hordes of anglers are expected to converge onto statewide lowland lakes for this weekend’s trout fishing opener.

This year, state Fish and Wildlife is expected to plant 16.5 million trout, and of those, 2.3 million will be the larger-sized catchable trout averaging 10 to 12 inches into more than 500 lakes and ponds.

To guide you to the best trout fishing, go to http://seattletimes.com/html/sports/2023413073_outnotes20xml.html. To see the trout-stocking plan, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/statewide.

For those who want to get a jump start on the trout action there are plenty of year-round lakes open right now including American, Spanaway, Black, Green, Flowing, Island, Angle, Alice, Meridian, Blackmans, Panther, Cranberry, Tye, Offutt, Lone and Pass.

Many will also be heading to the coast for upcoming coastal razor clam digs in what has turned out to be a sensational season.

“Nothing rivals springtime razor clam digging on the coast,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “I was at Copalis (last Sunday), and 70 percent of the people had their (15 clam) daily limits, and the clams were nice in size.”

The coastwide estimate from the most recent digs from April 14-20 was a season-high 61,205 diggers trips with 700,376 clams harvested. The coastwide estimate from Sept. 19 to April 20 is 346,574 digger trips with more than 4.5 million clams harvested.

Some bad weather and terrible surf conditions made digging difficult last weekend, but the average per person at Long Beach was 10.6 clams; Twin Harbors was 12.7; Copalis was 10.5; and Mocrocks was 14.4.

The next digs will occur this Sunday through May 1 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach; and May 2-4 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks. Digging is allowed until noon each day.

“We’ll collect data (after the next scheduled digs), and likely have more digging days in the middle of May at Twin Harbors, Mocrock and Copalis,” Ayres said. “We’ll also see how many clams are left at Long Beach as well. We’re definitely not done with this season just yet.”

Important dates: May 1, lingcod fishing opens in many parts of Puget Sound; May 1, Ilwaco opens for halibut fishing; May 3, Puget Sound opens for spot shrimp season; May 4, Westport opens for halibut fishing; May 9-10, Marine Catch Areas 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 open for halibut fishing; May 15, La Push and Neah Bay opens for halibut fishing; and May 17 is the Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine areasFair to good in the San Juan Islands for hatchery chinook. Slow to fair along the east side of Whidbey Island. The Edmonds Pier is worth a try for salmon. Hood Canal, and south-central and southern Puget Sound are open for hatchery chinook through Wednesday. Good for perch and kelp greenling off the Westport South Jetty. Very good for lingcod and black rockfish at Westport, La Push, Neah Bay and Ilwaco. Slow for salmon in the Tacoma area near Point Defiance Park.
Biting: YesRating: 2 stars
Statewide rivers

“They’re starting to catch some spring chinook in the Cowlitz and Wind rivers, and Drano Lake (at Little White Salmon River mouth), and steelhead in the Cowlitz between the salmon and trout hatcheries,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “There are also a few spring chinook being caught off the banks at Bonneville Pool, and in The Dalles and John Day pools (which are open through May 9).”

Fair for steelhead in the Kalama, but slow in the Lewis. Good for walleye in The Dalles and John Day pools. Steelhead fishing closed in the Hoh, Quinault and Clearwater rivers, and open through Wednesday in the Quillayute, Dickey, Bogachiel, Calawah and Sol Duc.

Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide lakesIn southwest Washington, Kress was planted April 14 with 3,366 catchable-sized trout; Klineline on April 11 got 2,125; Horseshoe on April 14-16 got 10,292; and Lacamas on April 16 got 4,416. East of the Cascades, try for trout at Dry Falls, Lenice, Martha, Nunnally, Merry, Bobby and Spectacle. Fair to good at Potholes Reservoir for walleye and trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout and kokanee. Slow to fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington. Fair to good at Lake Roosevelt for kokanee and rainbows. Slow to fair for kokanee at Lake Stevens.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780

or myuasa@seattletimes.com



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