The first razor clam dig of the delayed season will take place Dec. 24-26 on evening tides at Copalis Beach, if tests show clams are safe to eat. The season, which typically opens in October, has been delayed because domoic acid levels have been too high. Eating clams and other seafood with high levels of domoic acid can lead to illness or even death.
Test results from Copalis posted Nov. 23 showed levels at 14 parts per million. The safety threshold is 20 ppm.
If clams are safe to eat, here are the low tide times for the upcoming dig at Copalis: Dec. 24, 5:47 p.m., -1.2 feet; Dec. 25, 6:30 p.m., -1.3 feet; and Dec. 26, 7:12 p.m., -1.1 feet.
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Chelan: The fishing isn’t hot by any means, but people are catching a mix of lake trout, kokanee and landlocked chinook. Trolling at Colyar Ledge and off Mitchell Creek has been producing bites.
Harts: People are catching a mix of rainbow trout, catfish and crappie. Trout anglers have been using yellow or white Power Eggs.
Potholes: The walleye fishing has been slowed by weather conditions, including strong winds.
Roosevelt: Rising water levels and the weather have slowed the action for rainbow trout. Dough baits in chartreuse or orange are resulting in some hookups for bank anglers.
Cowlitz: River conditions have slowed the action. According to state creel checks of 10 bank anglers, they caught and released one adult and three jack coho. Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 505 coho adults, 175 jacks, six summer-run steelhead, six winter-run steelhead and six cutthroat trout in five days at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Olympic Coast: If it doesn’t rain too much more, the coastal rivers should be in good shape as the weekend approaches. The fishing for hatchery steelhead and early native steelhead was fair to good before the heavy rains.
Puyallup: Despite the fall in the river level, the fishing is extremely slow.
Tilton: Last week, Tacoma Power employees released 118 coho adults, 64 jacks, two cutthroat trout and three winter-run steelhead into the river at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
Yakima: It likely won’t be until the weekend before the river is fishable. It is high, cold and off-color right now.
Grays Harbor: On Tuesday, the state lifted the fishing restrictions in Grays Harbor (Catch Area 2-2) and all tributaries to allow anglers to pursue hatchery steelhead. The state did change the salmon daily limit to one hatchery coho in those areas open to salmon fishing.
South Sound: The salmon fishing has been very slow, in large part because of the lousy weather. According to the state’s creel sample report, there were 42 anglers checked at boat ramps across Puget Sound on Friday and Saturday, and they caught just seven chinook. Squidding remains good to very good at night fishing from local docks.
Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Red’s Fly Shop, northwestfishingreports.com, Jim Kerr of Rain Coast Guides, Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service, Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center, Harts Lake Resort and Deli.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640