By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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I checked the Ridge's snow level online early last week and it was at 31 inches.
Now, only 10 or 11 days have passed and there is nearly 90 inches of snow.
The Hurricane Ridge ski and snowboard area was open Saturday, Sunday and Monday last weekend. It was only open for half of each day due to large snow storms, but mountain manager John Fox said there were between 80 and 100 skiers and snowboarders each day.
“For a late opener, the powder really drew the people,” Fox said. “I assume there will be another good draw this weekend.”
The only hitch, besides a little too much snow, was the Snowcat broke down. Fox said repairs are almost done.
The two rope tows and the tubing area should be open this weekend, which in Hurricane Ridge parlance is Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fox said that the poma lift won't be open this weekend, but depending on time and the Snowcat's condition, it might open in the next few weekends.
The late start to the season will affect the typical ski lessons, but private lessons are still available.
Before you go, check the latest weather and road conditions by phone at 360-565-3131, or via Twitter, @HRWinterAccess.
The West End rivers received a lot of rain recently and appear to be on their way down.
If that happens, Brian Menkal of Brian's Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said there should be more native steelhead in the rivers.
■ As for the saltwater salmon angers, Menkal said many seem to be recovering from fishing the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby in windy conditions last weekend.
Until the wind dies down, don't expect much fishing to happen.
■ Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist in Quilcene, stopped by Lake Leland earlier this week.
“The lake is up at least 18 inches and, in spite of the heavy 'warmish' rain, the water temperature hasn't budged much yet at 34 degrees,” Norden said.
“I talked to three anglers at the pier and watched one catch is second beautiful-colored trout, about 15 inches long and well over a pound.
“When water is cold there is a lot of luck involved as the three experienced anglers, one even belonged to Puget Sound Anglers, proved. “All three were using the same bait — brightly colored Power Bait — on similar rigs, but two anglers got nary a bite while one had two nice fish.
The next hunter education course in Forks will begin Monday, March 3, at the West End Sportsmen's Club.
The course will be held March 3, 5, 10 and 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The final test is Saturday, March 15 at 9 a.m.
The course teaches firearms safety, wildlife conservation and sportsmanship.
Students must attend all classes for the opportunity to receive a hunter education student certificate.
Washington law requires first-time hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, to successfully complete a hunter education class in order to purchase a hunting license.
The course is taught by volunteer instructors who have been certified by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct student courses.
The hunter education program is open to all levels of experience. Most students who successfully complete this course are 10 years or older.
A parent or guardian is required to attend the first night of class with their student and are encouraged to attend all classes. Students younger than 10 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian must accompany to all classes.
Pre-register online at www.wdfw.wa.gov. Follow prompts to Hunter Education, Traditional Class, Registration.
I forgot to mention this last week, but there will be a field test for online hunter education students Saturday, March 8, at 9 a.m. at the West End Sportsmen Club.
For more information, phone Randy Mesenbrink at 360-374-5718.
Razor clam digs on tap
Another round of razor clam digs begins next week, pending final approval from the results of marine toxin tests.
Here are the proposed dig days, evening low tides and participating beaches:
■ Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors.
■ Thursday, Feb. 27: 5:04 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.
■ Friday, Feb. 28: 5:49 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.
■ Saturday,March 1: 6:32 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis.
■ Sunday, March 2: 7:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.
■ Monday, March 3: 7:53 p.m.; +0.3 feet; Twin Harbors.
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Sports Editor Lee Horton's outdoors column appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.