LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Hunting, fishing both stagnant

By Lee Horton

Peninsula Daily News

THERE ISN’T MUCH to report about the outdoors scene.

Hunting season still hasn’t taken off and fishing is sluggish.

In the rivers, salmon fishing has died down considerably.

Some winter steelhead are making their way through the rivers, and a few have been caught, but their time is still a few weeks away.

“I think it’s still a little early, but if we get another shot of rain it might [pick up],” Jerry Wright of Jerry’s Bait and Tackle (360-457-1308) in Port Angeles said.

Wright recommends the Bogachiel River below the hatchery and using floats, eggs, bait divers and plugs to catch steelies.

He’s anticipating a productive winter steelhead season once it gets going.

“The ocean conditions for fish were good,” Wright said.

“There were a lot of fish out there, and I don’t see why there wouldn’t be a lot of steelhead.

“So, I’m expecting a good run.”

Open, but slow

The Strait of Juan de Fuca closed to salmon fishing last, but Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) has reopened to the chinook harvest.

Anglers aren’t really taking advantage of the opening, though.

“There’s hardly anybody going out,” Eric Elliott of Fish N Hole (360-385-7031) in Port Townsend said.

Elliott did say that those who are crabbing are doing well.

Few elk

Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles told me that someone in Sequim with a land-owner tag took a six-point elk recently.

He has heard of a few other elk being taken, but outside of that the season has been a bit of a bust so far.

Aunspach said part of the problem was a dense fog that put a damper on the first few days.

The elk hunt ends Wednesday.

Another dig approved

The razor clam digs scheduled for next week have been approved by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Here are the dig days, evening low tides and beaches:

■ Tuesday, Nov. 13: 5:54 p.m., -1.6 feet — Twin Harbors.

■ Wednesday, Nov. 14: 6:41 p.m., -1.9 feet — Twin Harbors.

■ Thursday, Nov. 15: 7:29 p.m., -1.9 feet — Long Beach, Twin Harbors.

■ Friday, Nov. 16: 8:18 p.m., -1.6 feet — Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.

■ Saturday, Nov. 17: 9:09 p.m., -1.1 feet — Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.

State coastal shellfish manager Dan Ayres notes that the best digging occurs one to two hours prior to low tide.

You can view future proposed razor clam dig dates here: http://tinyurl.com/clamdigs.

No digging will be allowed on these beaches until after noon.

Because the digs are all scheduled for the evening, don’t forget to bring a lantern or flashlight.

Diggers can harvest 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.

If you don’t want to buy an annual combination license, a three-day razor clam license is available on Department of Fish and Wildlife website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Spawning salmon

Reader Jerry Green passed on a great tidbit about salmon that are fighting their way upstream to spawn.

He said that a ranger in Idaho told him that the salmon you see jumping usually don’t make it up the falls.

“[The ranger] said to look very close and we would see some under the water and that would be the ones that make it over,” Green said in an email.

“We did and he was right on.”

So, if you go to Salmon Cascades near Sol Duc Hot Springs, enjoy the salmon putting on a show, but make sure you look a little bit closer.

Outdoors expo

Don’t forget the gear swap and outdoors expo taking place at Jefferson Elementary School at 218 East 12th St. in Port Angeles from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you have used outdoors equipment or clothing that you want to unload, you can drop it off at Jefferson Elementary between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. that morning.

It will then be priced, organized and, hopefully, sold that afternoon.

Kitsap Sports, Adventures Through Kayaking, Olympic Raft and Kayak and North By Northwest Surf Co. will be at the expo with some of the latest equipment and clothing.

Admission to the outdoors expo is $3. Family passes cost $7.

For more on the expo, read my Thursday column online at http://tinyurl.com/outdoorsexpo.

Anglers meeting

The North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers will hold a meeting Thursday at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 100 S. Blake Ave. in Sequim.

The guest speaker will be Mike Schmidt, a retired Washington State Fish and Wildlife officer.

He will speak about his experiences while he was active with the agency.

The meeting begins at 6:45 p.m.

Send photos, stories

Have a photograph, a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique?

Send it to sports@peninsuladailynews.com or P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.


Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 08. 2012 5:58PM
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