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Thursday, February 7, 2013 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.

Coastal razor clam digs should find 'ideal conditions' | Outdoors

By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter

So cabin fever is setting in, and you want to get out in the days ahead.

Consider heading to the coast for razor clams or grab a rod for a last chance at hatchery steelhead.

The coastal razor clam digs open Thursday at Twin Harbors, with other beaches following suit heading into this weekend and beyond.

"Historical records show that in February we get a bigger turnout," said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. "I believe people are just itching to get outside, and looking for something to do.

"The weather is looking much better so diggers should find some pretty ideal conditions. We've got better low tides, and I would expect good digging."

The last digs Jan. 25-27 had 12,800 diggers with an average of 11.6 clams per person (the first 15 dug is a daily limit).

Digging is open Thursday to Tuesday at Twin Harbors; Friday and Saturday at Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; and Sunday at Long Beach. Digging will be open after noon each day.

Another tentative dig is set for Feb. 23-24 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors. More digs will be announced soon.

"We have some March dates in mind, and it looks like we'll also have a lot of days ahead of us (in April and May)," Ayres said.

A flurry of hatchery steelhead showed up in local rivers still open for fishing.

"We've got some hatchery steelhead action going on in the terminal areas for those looking at a last chance," said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted's Sports Center in Lynnwood.

Some areas near hatcheries are open through Feb. 15, include the Cascade, Skykomish at Reiter Ponds, North Fork Stillaguamish at Fortson, a section of the Nooksack and Snoqualmie in Tokul Creek area.

Other options are Wynoochee, Skookumchuck, Satsop, Washougal, Bogachiel, Hoh and Sol Duc.

Many other rivers have closed to protect wild winter steelhead. Anglers should check the regulation pamphlet for details.

Fishing report
Location Comment
Marine areas Fair for hatchery chinook at Misery Point in Hood Canal, Point No Point, Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend, Possession Bar's west side, Winter Hole north of Port Angeles, Ediz Hook and Protection Island. Fair to good in the San Juan Islands at Thatcher Pass, Fidalgo Head, Lopez Pass, Rosario Strait, Salmon Bank, north side of Orcas Island, Spring Pass and President Channel. Slow in Tacoma area for hatchery chinook. Central Puget Sound is closed for salmon, and Sekiu opens Feb. 16. Fair squid jigging at Piers 69 and 70 off the Seattle waterfront, Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Les Davis Pier in Tacoma, 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

Rating: 3 stars

Statewide lakes Good ice fishing for trout at Roses Lake near Manson and Fish Lake near Leavenworth for perch and trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout. Rufus Woods Reservoir is fair for trout. Fair to good for trout at Goodwin. Fair for cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Statewide rivers The Wenatchee and Icicle rivers will open for steelhead on Friday, and the Wenatchee River will also be open for whitefish. Good for sturgeon in Bonneville Pool of the Columbia River, which is open for catch-and-keep until Sunday. Slow in Lower Columbia for sturgeon and spring chinook due to very cold water. Slow for steelhead in Cowlitz. Fair for steelhead in The Dalles and John Day pools. Fair for walleye in John Day Pool.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

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