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Originally published Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 6:34 PM

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Early season fishing off to a decent start

Seattle Times staff reporter

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It’s time to get out of the house, stick some bait on a hook and go fishing.

“A lot of the local lakes are starting to pick up for early planted trout,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood. “We also have more people interested in the good early-season kokanee fishing at American Lake, and to the east at Lake Roosevelt, which has been phenomenal for kokanee and rainbows.”

King County lakes planted March 17 were Angle, 3,000 trout; Beaver, 7,025; and Sawyer, 1,500. Snohomish County lakes planted March 11-19 were Ballinger, 6,488; Cassidy, 3,523; Gissburg, 2,020; Ketchum, 2,000; Shoecraft, 5,050; Lost (Devil’s Lake), 1,150; and Panther, 1,500.

Pierce County lakes planted March 18-19 were Bonney, 1,020; and Harts, 6,636. Mason County lakes planted March 17 were Island, 2,180 trout averaging ¾ pound; Lost, 4,900 plus 2,420 averaging ¾ pound; and Spencer, 5,825.

In Island County, Cranberry got 6,600 on March 17. In Kitsap County, Island received 2,000 on March 19; and in Thurston County, St. Clair got 1,890 on March 17.

Razor clams

Thousands of razor clam diggers are expected to converge on coastal beaches in the days ahead for what should be excellent digging opportunities.

Digging is open during evening low tides on Thursday at Twin Harbors; and Friday and Saturday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

Upcoming digging dates on morning low tides are Sunday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; and Monday through April 3 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach.

Saltwater choices

The Strait of Juan de Fuca hatchery-marked chinook fishery remains one of the better saltwater choices, with good catches from Port Angeles to Sekiu.

“We had a few fish caught at Sekiu, and the fish showed up at Port Angeles,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife creel checker in the Strait.

A check from Olson’s Resort at Sekiu on Sunday showed five boats with 16 anglers caught eight hatchery chinook; and at the Ediz Hook ramp in Port Angeles, 23 boats with 48 anglers brought home 24.

The Everett Blackmouth Derby was held Saturday, and 93 anglers caught 50 chinook, and a state fisheries check from the Everett ramp showed 80 boats with 208 anglers landing 41 chinook.

“We had double the count of fish compared to last year,” said Woody Woods, a spokesman for the derby.

Derby results: 1, Charlie Wilson, 12.42-pound gutted fish, $3,000; 2, Bob Uhrick, 10.20 pounds, $1,500; 3, Bob Medin, 10.09 pounds, $500.

License reminder

Be sure to purchase the new 2014-15 fishing license, which takes effect this Tuesday.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine areasCharter boats report excellent action for lingcod and black rockfish at Westport, La Push and Ilwaco. Smelt jigging is good at the Oak Harbor Marina. Fair to good jetty fishing for bottomfish at Westport. Slow for salmon in the Tacoma area and south of the Narrows Bridge, but fair in Hood Canal off Misery Point and outside of Pleasant Harbor. Slow to fair for hatchery chinook in Saratoga Pass, Camano Head, Hat Island, Elger Bay and Columbia Beach.
Biting: YesRating: 2 stars
Statewide rivers

“There has been a little uptick for spring chinook in the Lower Columbia mainstem, but the best fishing is coming from the Willamette River,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “We’re expecting some rain, and that will not improve the water conditions. Steelhead fishing has been good in the Cowlitz at barrier dam, and all through the river (161 boat anglers caught 115 steelhead and released three this past week).”

The Wind River and Drano Lake were slow, and don’t expect much since only 100 spring chinook have crossed over Bonneville Dam. Good for sturgeon catch and release in the Lower Columbia, and for walleye in The Dalles pool. Fair to good for steelhead in the Bogachiel, Calawah, Sol Duc, Hoh and Kalama.

Biting: YesRating: 2 stars
Statewide lakesFair to good for trout at Green, Blackman’s, Alice, Panther, Chain, Flowing and Meridian. In Southwest Washington, Lacamas Lake near Camas was planted with 5,000 brown trout averaging a half-pound; and Klineline Pond received 2,000 brown trout. For updates on trout plants go to Good for trout in Eastern Washington at the Seep Lakes, Martha, Burke, Lenice, Dusty, Nunnally and Merry. Rufus Woods Reservoir is slow to fair for trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout and somewhat slower for kokanee. Slow to fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington around the I-90 bridge and the south and east sides of Mercer Island.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780


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