BACK TO NORMAL in the wake of 20-plus inches of snow at the Carman castle in Port Angeles, but area rivers may not be as lucky with rising temperatures melting all that snow and rain expected to raise water levels.
So the total number of hours fished as counted by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife on the Quillayute River system will likely be low when released next week.
Thus far this steelhead season, the span of Dec. 16-19 was the most productive in terms of the number of hatchery steelhead keepers (23). A total of 59 anglers, 25 in boats and 34 from the bank, were interviewed and reported fishing for 366 hours.
The period just after Christmas from Dec. 27-29 was the busiest stretch this season with 119 anglers interviewed and 543 hours invested in the fishery. All that effort produced 16 hatchery steelhead keepers and two that were released.
Last week’s heavy rains limited the effort, but not the success, as six bank anglers caught eight hatchery steelhead in 32.5 hours of fishing.
One wild steelhead was released on the Sol Duc River last week, with six boat anglers putting in 40.5 hours on the water.
A six-day razor clam dig beginning Tuesday has been approved by Fish and Wildlife.
• Tuesday: 4:23 p.m. -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Wednesday: 5:10 p.m. -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
• Thursday: 5:53 p.m. -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Friday, Jan. 24: 6:32 p.m. -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
• Saturday, Jan. 25: 7:08 p.m. -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Sunday, Jan. 26: 7:42 p.m. -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig.
The North Olympic Peninsula chapter of Puget Sound Anglers postponed its monthly meeting to Wednesday in the wake of this week’s snowstorm.
The meeting will be held at Sequim’s Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., with viewing of raffle prizes and telling of fish stories at 6:30 p.m.
Featured speaker John Beath, a club member and an expert angler, will discuss the upcoming blackmouth chinook fishing season.
Beath’s talk will begin at 7 p.m.
The blackmouth chinook fishing season will begin Feb. 1 in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and March 1 in Marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (East Strait of Juan de Fuca).
So what better time than the present to brush up on tactics for catching the resident chinook, which account for nearly 1/3rd of all adult chinook caught in Puget Sound.
Beath will cover charts of our area and how to best fish nearby marine areas. He’ll discuss the best tides, depth, speed and lure combinations.
A business meeting will follow with financial and government relations reports, upcoming event discussions and fishing reports from members.
Refreshments, a raffle and a membership drawing (must be present to win) also are planned.
The public is welcome.
There is one open option for salmon anglers — Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) remains open to hatchery chinook a minimum of 22 inches in length with a daily limit of two through April 30.
Puffins have always been a favorite sea bird of mine, a must-visit for any aquarium or zoo trip.
And Saturday, the Dungeness River Audubon Center’s Focus on Series will take a deeper look at alcids — a group of sea birds that includes puffins, murres, auklets, guillemots and murrelets.
These deep-diving, fish-eating birds live in the sea and nest on shore.
Present Ken Wiersema will discuss what makes them unique in our ecosystem from 10 a.m. to noon. at the center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road.
The cost is $10 for the public, $5 for members.
For more information, call 360-681-4076.
Lock the hubs
The 20-plus inches of snow this week in Port Angeles provided an old-school reminder of the 1996 snow storm that blanketed the North Olympic Peninsula.
Fond memories of driving around the absolutely deserted streets of Port Townsend — presumably on a grocery run to a grocery store that was closed due to 2-plus feet of snow.
But yeah, I’ve seen enough the last two winters to last for the next 20. Stay up in the mountains where you belong, snow.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected].