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Thursday, January 31, 2013 - Page updated at 06:30 p.m.
Steelhead season ends Friday on many rivers
By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter
The hatchery steelhead river fishery is winding down on what turned out to be a modest winter season.
"We're at the end of the hatchery steelhead season, and this recent rain should move the last of them higher up the rivers," said Kent Alger at Three Rivers Marine and Tackle in Woodinville.
Many local rivers will close Friday to protect wild winter steelhead returns. Anglers should check the regulation pamphlet for detail on closures.
Some areas near hatcheries are open through Feb. 15, including the Cascade, Skykomish at Reiter Ponds, North Fork Stillaguamish at Fortson and Snoqualmie in Tokul Creek area. A section of the Nooksack also reopens Friday.
Other steelhead options are the Wynoochee, Satsop, Humptulips, Cowlitz, Washougal, Bogachiel, Hoh and Sol Duc.
Marine salmon anglers will have two more places to wet a line beginning next month, and areas currently open like northern Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca were fair to good.
"There have been some fish caught at Point No Point, and we've gotten good reports at Port Townsend (off Midchannel Bank)," said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife checker who fished Tuesday and Wednesday aboard the state's test-fishery boat. "There are some fish at (Possession Bar's west side), but seals (that will aggressively take fish off an angler's line) have been a big problem."
In the eastern Strait try Winter Hole north of Port Angeles, Ediz Hook and Protection Island.
In the San Juan Island region target Thatcher Pass, Fidalgo Head, Lopez Pass, Rosario Strait, Salmon Bank, McArthur Bank, the north side of Orcas Island, Spring Pass and President Channel. The Roche Harbor Salmon Classic is Feb. 7-9. Details: 360-378-5562.
Central Puget Sound is open through Thursday, and is slow to fair at Jefferson Head. South central Puget Sound and Hood Canal reopen for salmon Friday, and Sekiu in the western Strait opens Feb. 16.
Fishing report Location Comment Marine areas Fair to good squid jigging at Piers 69 and 70 off the Seattle waterfront, Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Pier 86 off Elliott Avenue West in Seattle and Des Moines Pier. Smelt jigging good at Oak Harbor Marina and Cornet Bay on Whidbey Island. Biting: Yes
Statewide lakes A warming trend could create thin ice coverage, but it had been good ice fishing for perch and trout at Roses Lake and Fish Lake near Leavenworth, and Moses Lake. Lake Chelan was good for lake trout. Rufus Woods Reservoir is fair for large-size trout. Fair to good for trout at Lone, Goodwin and Blackmans. Slow to fair for cutthroat in south end of Lake Washington. Biting: Yes
Coast razor clams Friday to Sunday produced 12,800 diggers with an average of 11.6 clams per person (the first 15 dug is a daily limit). Final approval on the next series of digs will be made possibly by Friday. Dates are Feb. 7 and Feb. 11-12 at Twin Harbors; Feb. 8-9 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; and Feb. 10 and Feb. 23-24 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors. Digging: Yes
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