Second Clam Dig Approved After Chilly First Outing

By The Chronicle
State fishery managers have approved a second razor clam dig in January, this one running from Friday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 27, on evening tides at various ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the evening dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
Digging will be allowed all three evenings at Long Beach and Twin Harbors — the two beaches with the most clams available for harvest. Copalis and Mocrocks beaches will be open for one evening of digging, Saturday, Jan. 26.

One fisherman patiently waits for a bite on Riffe Lake, behind Mayfield dam, though temperatures on this day did not exceed freezing.

No digging will be allowed at any beach before noon. The schedule for the upcoming dig and evening low tides is:
• Jan. 25, Friday, 5:44 p.m., +0.0 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach,
• Jan. 26, Saturday, 6:18 p.m., -0.2 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
• Jan. 27, Sunday, 6:50 p.m., -0.2 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said most diggers surveyed during the weeklong opening earlier this month succeeded in getting their daily limit of 15 clams.
“Digger success was high, but it was darn cold out there on the beaches,” he said. “I strongly recommend dressing for the weather and taking a lantern or powerful flashlight for visibility.”
Ayres noted that the best digging occurs one to two hours prior to low tide.
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 fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
Additional razor clam digs tentatively scheduled through February 2013 are:
• Feb. 7, Thursday, 4:22 p.m., -0.5 ft., Twin Harbors
• Feb. 8, Friday, 5:11 p.m., -0.9 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
• Feb. 9, Saturday, 5:56 p.m., -1.0 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
• Feb. 10, Sunday, 6:37 p.m., -0.9 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach
• Feb. 11, Monday, 7:17 p.m., -0.5 ft., Twin Harbors
• Feb. 12, Tuesday, 7:54 p.m., 0.0 ft., Twin Harbors
• Feb. 23, Saturday, 5:12 p.m., +0.3 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors
• Feb. 24, Sunday, 5:47 p.m., +0.1 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors

They Do Run Run Run, They Do Run Run
The fish collection and transportation operation at Barrier Dam recovered 68 winter-run steelhead — about half of the number collected the week before — 34 coho adults and eight jacks during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator, Tacoma Power reported on Monday. During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 15 coho adults, eight jacks and 13 winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam and they released one winter-run steelhead, four coho adults and one jack into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,100 cubic feet per second on Monday, up from the week before. Water visibility is nine feet, a bit lower than last week. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

An Amphibious Correction
Last week we told you about an upcoming amphibian egg mass survey program, an opportunity to learn how to identify frogs, toads and salamanders living in a body of water near you.
The program is eminently worthwhile, but we were a few days off. The amphibian egg mass survey program is actually Jan. 26, not Jan. 22 as reported last week. The event will be held in the Lower Columbia College Physical Science Building, room 104.
The event is sponsored by the Willapa Hills Audubon Society and Dr. Peter Ritson. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend.
Call Ann Kastberg at (360) 431-1129 for more information.

Count Your Birds, Not Sheep
The Willapa Hills Audubon Society is participating in the 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count Saturday, Feb. 16.
Those who would like to participate are asked to meet at the Longview Public Library at noon. The participants will be split into counting teams to go on short birding walks in Longview, led by local birding experts. Birds spotted on the tours will be entered in the national database and will help scientists monitor bird populations.
There is no cost to participate. New birders and children are especially encouraged to attend. The Longview Public Library is located at 1600 Louisiana St.

Mount Rainier Waiving Entrance Fee on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
If you’d like to visit Mount Rainier but want to save a few bucks, plan your trip for Monday. Entrance to the park will be free in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Henry Jackson Memorial Visitor Center will be open this Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So will the snow play area at Paradise.

Friends of Seminary Hill Natural Area Announce Plans for 2013
The group of dedicated volunteers that care for and proudly give tours of the grand wooded hillside east of Centralia will have their annual meeting on Feb. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Centralia Timberland Library meeting room.
“Another year is about to unfold in the Seminary Hill Natural Area, and, in spite of this week’s icy temps, green things will soon be pushing up through the soil, and coming to life after a long winter’s night,” said Sandy Godsey, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area.
The annual meeting will include a summary of work planned for the year ahead, from ivy pulls to the popular annual poetry walk.
For information call Godsey at 736-7045.

Send Us Your Outdoors Photos and Information
Have a hot tip or a great photo of you and your catch? Send it to avantuyl@chronline.com, and happy hunting!