LEE HORTON'S OUTDOORS: Clam, oyster seasons start early at Fort Flagler

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

IT TAKES A thick skin to survive in this world, or so I'm told.

Apparently, it takes a shell to survive in the waters of the North Olympic Peninsula

Steelhead fishing seems to be in the midst of a massive flop, but the razor clam harvest is fantastic, and apparently there is an abundance of clams and oysters at Fort Flagler State Park in Jefferson County near Port Townsend.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife opened the sport clam and oyster season over the weekend.

It will remain open through April 15, and then reopen May 15 through December 31.

The early opening comes because surveys show that clam population is large enough to support a longer 2014 season at Fort Flagler.

This opening affects all clams and oysters.

So, why the month break from mid-April to mid-May?

To avoid the one-month seaweed season at Fort Flagler, since a concurrent clam and seaweed season could complicated enforcement and monitoring of the clam fishery.

Another razor dig

The stellar razor clam harvest will resume with a four-day opening starting Wednesday.

This dig is still in the tentative stage, as it awaits final approval pending marine toxin tests.

If the clams are found safe to eat, here are the dates, low tides and participating beaches:

■ Wednesday, Jan. 15: 6:19 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Twin Harbors.

■ Thursday, Jan. 16: 6:51 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Twin Harbors.

■ Friday, Jan. 17: 7:22 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

■ Saturday, Jan. 18: 7:53 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

Hunter reports due

Hunters who file their reports of this year's black bear, deer, elk or turkey by Saturday will have a chance to win one of nine 2014 special hunting permits.

Those who meet the deadline will be included in a drawing for five deer permits and four elk permits in areas throughout the state. Those permits will be valid from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014.

To qualify for the drawing, hunters must submit a report for each black bear, deer, elk, or turkey tag they purchased and for each special hunting permit they received last year.

All hunters, whether successful or not, are required to submit hunting reports for those species by Friday, Jan. 31. Failure to meet that deadline can result in a $10 fine, which must be paid before a hunter can purchase a 2014 license.

These annual hunting reports are an important source of information for managing the resource and developing future hunting seasons, according to state game manager Dave Ware.

Submit reports by phone to 877-945-3492 or online at www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.

When reporting, be prepared to provide the game management unit you hunted and your individual WILD identification number, which is printed on license documents.

As in recent years, hunters are required to file separate reports for general-season hunting activities and for special-permit hunts for deer, elk, black bear and turkey.

________

Sports Editor Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 09. 2014 10:06AM
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