By Kimberly Mason
For The Chronicle
This Friday and Saturday, the first razor-clam dig of the season will get under way on evening tides at four ocean beaches.
Beaches scheduled to open for the two-day dig include Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. No digging will be allowed either day before noon.
Diggers are allowed to take 15 razor clams per day, and must keep the first 15 found. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
“It’s important that diggers keep the clams they dig to prevent wastage,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “It’s not unusual to encounter some small clams, especially this early in the season.”
For best results, Ayres recommends that clammers start digging an hour or two before the evening low tide. On Friday, an evening low tide of -1.8 feet will occur at 8:28 p.m. The evening low tide Saturday will be -1.5 feet at 9:17 p.m.
“This season’s tides are not as favorable as those in the past few years,” Ayres said. “Low tides will occur later in the day, so diggers will have to be prepared for the dark during evening digs in fall and winter.”
WDFW has tentatively scheduled four other razor-clam digs through the end of the year, pending final approval. Tentative digging dates, evening low tides and beaches are as follows:
Friday, Nov. 11 – 6:48 p.m. (-0.4 foot); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Saturday, Nov. 12 – 7:23 p.m. (-0.4 foot); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Friday, Nov. 25 – 6:27 p.m. (-1.9 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Saturday, Nov. 26 – 7:14 p.m. (-1.8 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Saturday, Dec. 10 – 6:30 p.m. (-0.5 foot); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Thursday, Dec. 22 – 4:40 p.m. (-0.9 foot); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Friday, Dec. 23 – 5:29 p.m. (-1.4); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Big Game and Waterfowl Hunting
The modern firearm season for deer continues through Oct. 31. The full moon and early morning fog made for a tough opening weekend for deer hunters and this weekend’s rain made for a miserable couple of days in the woods. Hunters are still looking forward to a few good winds to bring down the leaves and colder weather.
The black bear season continues through Nov. 15.
Ducks, coots and snipe season reopened Saturday, Oct. 22 and runs through Jan. 29.
Goose-hunting seasons continues daily through Thursday, Oct. 27, in management area 3, and will not reopen again until November 5.
Rivers, Lakes and Streams
There are still “tons of fish” in the Cowlitz River, according to all reports, and more are on their way.
“We are seeing more fish biting this week, all the way up to Barrier Dam,” said Marshall Borsom of Fish Country in Ethel. “There are lots of silvers in the river to try for. We’ve still had some good kings being caught too, but most of them are pretty dark now, with only a few chromers here and there.”
The guys fishing for silvers are using a variety of baits. In the pool near Barrier Dam it’s eggs and shrimp together. Going downriver it’s corky and yarn, some with sand shrimp. We’ve also got our jig and bobber or spinner guys. The boaters are doing fairly well too — divers with eggs or shrimp, wiggle warts and plugs. It seems they are either biting good or not at all, but the river is in good shape and with all the fish coming in, it’s a great time to give it a try,” said Borsom.
The Chehalis River was up about a foot on Monday, according to Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at the Sunbird Shopping Center. “That should make for some good fishing this week.”
Clear Lake, McIntosh, Packwood Lake, Skookumchuck Reservoir, Summit Lake and Willame Lake all closed on Oct. 1.
The lake fishing has been pretty slow, according to Borsom, with no report on Mayfield this week. Riffe Lake should be starting to pick up again, but he said they haven’t heard how the catching is going.
Try Lake Scanewa or the Tilton River in Morton; they are dumping lots of fish weekly in those areas.
“A lot of guys are having some success using spinners and plugs off the boat in Scanewa,” said McElroy. “That’s where they’re dumping the salmon in.”
The South Sound is fishing well, McElroy said, “and they are starting to see come blackmouth at the Point Defiance Park.”