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Get your crab pots out, and razor clams are hot, too | Fishing report
Much of Puget Sound has reopened sooner than expected for fall and winter Dungeness crab catches.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The stormy and extremely wet weather drowned out most fishing activities this past week, but there are still plenty of options to look at in the days ahead.
Much of Puget Sound has reopened sooner than expected for fall and winter Dungeness crab catches, after state fisheries officials determined that catch levels would stay within the annual season guideline.
“Catches were down and less than we’ve seen in the past few years except for (the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, and northern, central and south-central Puget Sound),” said Rich Childers, a state Fish and Wildlife crab resource manager.
Open daily through Dec. 31: Neah Bay, Sekiu, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, east side of Whidbey Island, northern Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet, Hood Canal and southern Puget Sound are . Central and south-central Puget Sound will remain closed.
Thousands of razor clam diggers will venture to the coast beginning Friday in what is expected to be a stupendous season.
“It should be great digging, and the weather looks perfect with a 4-foot surf and light winds by Saturday,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.
Digging is open Friday and Saturday at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Sunday and Monday at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Tuesday at Twin Harbors.
This comes on the heels of what was one of the earliest starts to the fall season, which occurred Sept. 19-23.
A total of 8,900 diggers turned out for the five-day dig at Twin Harbors, producing a catch of 14.3 clams per person (the first 15 dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit).
Additional tentative digs are: Oct. 17 at Twin Harbors; Oct. 18-19 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Oct. 20 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Oct. 21 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Oct. 22 at Twin Harbors.
“We are still finalizing more digs for the remainder of the year into December, and those will likely be an every-other-week schedule,” Ayres said.
While many are still chasing coho in the saltwater and rivers, there are some who’ll partake in fall chinook fisheries.
Sekiu and Port Angeles are open through Oct. 31, a section off La Push is open through Oct. 13, and the San Juan Islands and parts of Puget Sound are also open. Anglers should check on specific regulations as only hatchery chinook may be kept.
Squid jigging has started to pick up along local saltwater piers at night, with some catching up to three pounds.
The most popular places to catch them are along the Seattle waterfront at Piers 57, 62, 63, 70 and 86 or the Seattle Aquarium Pier.
Other good spots are the Des Moines Pier, Edmonds Pier, Point Defiance Park Pier and Les Davis Pier in Tacoma, Redondo Pier, Illahee State Park Pier, and the Waterman and Indianola piers in Kitsap County.
|Marine areas||Coho returns are dwindling, but still fair for coho 6 to 10 pounds with some up to 18 pounds at Sekiu, Port Angeles, the east and west sides of Whidbey Island and Puget Sound. Slow to fair for coho off the west-side beaches of Whidbey Island and Deception Pass at North Beach. Fair for chinook and coho in the San Juan Islands. The Westport Boat Basin Salmon Derby is open through Oct. 31. Grays Harbor is open for coho and with a strong forecast. Should be decent in the south channel off the Johns River mouth.|
|Statewide rivers||Good for coho and a few late pinks in Snohomish, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Wallace, Cascade and Skagit. Stillaguamish was still washed out. Coastal rivers like Humptulips, Queets, Quinault, Lower Hoh, Bogachiel and Sol Duc should be good for salmon. The Upper Columbia at Vernita is very good for kings. Puyallup from the 11th Street Bridge up to the City of Puyallup outfall structure across from junction of Freeman Road and North Levee Road is closed Sunday to Wednesday, and Oct. 13-16; and after Oct. 16 is open daily through Dec. 31. Upper Puyallup is open daily through Dec. 31. Slowed down for chinook in the Lower Columbia. Good for chinook off mouth of Klickitat and White Salmon River, Drano Lake, and fair in Lewis mainstem and North Fork. Fair in Cowlitz for chinook, coho and steelhead. Good for chinook in Hanford Reach area of Columbia. No reports from Nisqually and Green below Auburn-Black Diamond, which are open for salmon.|
|Statewide lakes||Morton Lake near Covington was recently planted with 1,000 trout averaging 2 pounds. Lake Sammamish is open for kings. Very good for perch in Lake Washington. Jameson Lake is open for trout. The Potholes is good for perch, walleye, bass and trout. Lake Washington is open for coho through Oct. 31 north of the 520 Bridge, but has been spotty. Goose north of Carson was planted with 1,300 cutthroat averaging a pound. Blackman’s, Geneva, Deer, Lone, Cranberry, Spanaway, Cottage, Roesiger and Goodwin are worth a try for trout.|
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org