Fishing and Hunting Report: Razor Clam Dig This Week

By Kimberly Mason
For The Chronicle
State fishery managers have approved the first razor clam dig of 2013, which started Tuesday (Jan. 8) at Twin Harbors.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, noted that Twin Harbors beach will be open to digging for seven straight days on evening tides. No digging will be allowed there or on any beach before noon.

“Our surveys show we have a lot of clams at Twin Harbors this season, and the digging schedule reflects that,” Ayres said. “But digging has been good at the other beaches, too.”
The schedule for the rest of the week’s dig and evening low tides is:
Jan. 10, Thurs., 5:27 p.m., -1.3 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis,
Jan. 11, Fri., 6:14 p.m., -1.6 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
Jan. 12, Sat., 6:58 p.m., -1.5 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
Jan. 13, Sun., 7:41 p.m., -1.2 ft., Twin Harbors
Jan. 14, Mon., 8:22 p.m., -0.6 ft., Twin Harbors
Ayres noted that the best digging occurs one to two hours prior to low tide.

Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle. Razor clam diggers catch the evening tide at Twin Harbors Beach near Grayland. This pair of diggers have made the shovel, their weapon of choice. "If the clams are showing real well, you'll get 6 or 7 without even getting off your knees," said said Charles McElroy, a sporting goods clerk at Sunbird Shopping Center.

By law, clam diggers are limited to 15 razor clams per day, and are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2012-13 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
Information about current and proposed digs, as well as the location of Washington’s razor clam beaches, is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Willapa Hills Audubon Society Events
Amphibian Survey Training: Do you want to know what frogs and toads and salamanders are living in that pond and help scientists track populations of local amphibians? If so, please join the Willapa Hills Audubon Society and Dr. Peter Ritson in their amphibian egg mass survey program. The classroom training session will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 9 a.m. at Lower Columbia College in Physical Science Building, Room 104 and will prepare you to participate in any or all of the local amphibian egg mass surveys throughout the winter and early spring at ponds throughout the Lower Columbia Region. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend. For more information, call Ann Kastberg at 431-1129 or email her at acwikman@cni.net.
Bird Walk, open to the public: Saturday, Jan. 12, the Lake Sacagawea Bird Walk will start at 8 a.m. at Hemlock Square near Hemlock and Kessler Blvd. The walk will last approximately 1.5 hours. Please bring binoculars if you have them and dress warmly for the weather. The leader will carry a scope.

Deadline Today, Hunters
Hunters have a chance to win one of nine 2013 special hunting permits if they report this year’s hunting activities for black bear, deer, elk, or turkey to WDFW by Jan. 10.
For more information go see the page 17 of the 2012 Big Game Hunting pamphlet or point your web browser to http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.

Waterfowl Foul
“The duck and geese season in Lewis County has been slow this year,” said Jay Pattee, of Salkum. “The weather has just been too mild for the birds to head south yet in any numbers.”
The local birds he has seen have been rather decoy shy, he added.
“Try easing up on the use of your calls and use a jerk cord with your decoys,” Pattee said, “that’s been working really well for us.”

On the Water
“There’s a lot of fish in the Chehalis right now,” said Charles McElroy, a sporting goods clerk at Sunbird Shopping Center. “The river is on the rise and has a little color, but it should stay fishable for a while.”
There are also some nice fish coming out of the Skookumchuck and the Newaukum, McElroy said.
It’s a different story on the Cowlitz River, however.
“The glo-ball fisherman are still the only ones getting any limits out of Blue Creek,” said McElroy. “There’s just too many boats in that short stretch and it’s putting the bite off during the day.”
Last week Tacoma Power recovered 129 winter-run steelhead, 30 coho adults and seven jacks during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 15 coho adults, four jacks and seven winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam at the Day Use Site, and they released ten winter-run steelhead and two coho jacks into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
Riffe Lake is fishing well, but the South County Pond has slowed a bit.

Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer and photojournalist. Visit her website The (Almost) Daily News (almostdailynews.com), find her on Facebook (Kimberly Mason – The Chronicle), call 269-5017 or email kim@almostdailynews.com.