RIVER FISHING ANGLERS can target hatchery coho, trout and other game fish when the fall/winter fishery opens Friday along the Dungeness River.
Salmon anglers can keep up to four hatchery coho of a minimum size of 12 inches per day from Friday through Nov. 30.
Trout fishing is open until Jan. 31 from the mouth of the Dungeness up to the fork of the Dungeness and Gray Wolf rivers at the Dungeness Forks Campground.
Trout must be at least 14 inches in length, and the daily limit is two. Return any wild rainbows or cutthroats to the river, as those species are off the dance card.
Water flows and gage, which refers to USGS Waterflow data height on the river, are higher than usual since the fall rains began in earnest last weekend, but the Dungeness rebounds quickly and should be in shape with a couple of days of clear, rain-free skies.
The hatchery coho coming upstream will seek out deeper pools of water to rest in the river as they finish the home stretch to the Dungeness Fish Hatchery.
Riffles, a shallow section of stream bed with fast-moving water, also can provide opportunities in the normally shallow Dungeness.
Spoons and spinning bait are a solid method, with softer colors in pink and orange and darker colors such as purple and green preferred over fluorescent or bright red color combinations.
Many of the properties neighboring the Dungeness River are private, which can make access a challenge.
Some tried-and-true public access areas include the dike near the Dungeness Schoolhouse.
That spot is close to the mouth of the Dungeness, and anglers can fish on an incoming tide for a shot at hatchery silvers washing in from Dungeness Bay.
Other areas for fishing access include along Ward Road near the Olympic Game Farm.
Another popular location is found around the U.S. Highway 101 bridge over the Dungeness. In addition, there are some turnouts along Taylor Cutoff Road closer to the hatchery.
Razor digs set
A six-day razor clam dig on evening tides beginning Friday night has been approved by state shellfish managers.
Make sure to note the alternating opening days at Mocrocks and Copalis beaches.
Mocrocks beach is open on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday during the upcoming dig, while Copalis is open Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.
Bring along your lantern or flashlight, and remember to keep watch on the surf during the evening low-tide digs.
• Friday, 7 p.m., -0.7: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Saturday, 7:47 p.m., -1.3: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
• Sunday, 8:35 p.m., -1.5: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Monday, 9:24 p.m., -1.4: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
• Tuesday, 10:16 p.m., -1.0: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Wednesday, 11:12 p.m., -0.5: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
A proposed dig also is set for Halloween night, so keep that thought in mind.
• Oct. 31, 7:26 p.m., 0.0: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
Leland fishing pier
Quilcene’s Ward Norden keeps a keen eye on Lake Leland and reported on the progress of a state Department of Fish and Wildlife/Jefferson County fishing access renovation project.
“Construction at the Lake Leland pier, parking area, new restroom and boat launch was halted and equipment removed a few weeks ago,” Norden said. “All but about 100 feet of the beach as well as the pier was fenced off, but a few enterprising anglers continued to use the unfenced area, often parking in the campground.”
Norden said anglers will be out of luck next week.
Technically, they have been out of luck since Aug. 24, when Jefferson County closed the day-use park, boat ramp, fishing dock and waterfront area for the construction project.
“The heavy equipment will return next week along with the materials for the new, accessible fishing pier and likely the barge to set the new pier pilings.
“Wednesday is supposed to be the big day. This is great news for anglers because there will be plenty of time for the annual large winter plant of trout.”
The project is expected to be completed about Thanksgiving.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or at [email protected].