Anglers, crabbers and those seeking a bit of outdoor recreation along the west end of the Port Angeles waterfront have a new way to assess weather conditions and take a peek at water conditions in Port Angeles Harbor through a new Port of Port Angeles web cam.
The live streaming web cam is available at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-Camera.
Other web cams, including John Wayne Marina near Sequim, along with the latest weather forecast and tidal information, is available through https://www.port ofpa.com/334/Webcams.
The new camera should help anglers decide if the typical afternoon westerly is too strong to fight during upcoming halibut and salmon seasons.
Leland boat launch
A construction project that will close the boat launch at Lake Leland County Park near Quilcene has been pushed back a week with the new closure set for March 8-10.
All other park areas, including the new fishing, dock will be open.
Lakes’ slow warmup
Quilcene’s Ward Norden checked Lake Leland’s temperature after the recent batch of snowy, cold weather and found it just above freezing at 33.8 degrees.
“The lake remains four degrees below normal temperature despite what everyone says has been a milder-than-normal winter,” Norden said. “That is a lot of missing British Thermal Units over a lot of weeks for a supposedly milder-than-normal winter. Spring is coming, however, and the longer days will surely get the lake into a warming trend, making fishing better.”
Norden formally worked as a fisheries biologist, and he continues to track the changes he has observed in lake fishing in Western Washington over the past four-plus decades.
“This writer kept detailed journals of his freshwater fishing efforts for many years that included water temperatures of many lakes,” Norden said. “Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, most of the dark-water lakes I fished routinely reached a surface temperature in the low 50s by the end of the first week of March, resulting in at least fair bass fishing.”
Norden said examples of North Olympic Peninsula dark-water lakes include Leland, Ludlow, Gibbs and Crocker (before it was treated with Rotenone in the late 1990s).
He said this early warming has not occurred more than once since the year 2000 here on the Peninsula.
“Warm water species fishing and improved trout fishing is nowadays a month later than it was 20-plus years ago,” Norden said. “While the largemouth bass of Lake Leland have adapted nicely, the lake’s bluegill have not. And the jury is still out on the lake’s crappie.
“The adaptability of the bass shouldn’t be too surprising. They and bullhead catfish have been in Lake Leland since 1889, so they had weathered several 20-plus year cooling and warming cycles of the climate. The crappie and bluegill, however, are less adaptable and are relative newcomers to the lake, having appeared in creels for the first time only about 20 years ago.”
The lack of late-winter warming on lakes has no connection with our inland salt water, Norden said.
“None of this applies to our inland marine waters, which remain remarkably stable year after year, even though unusual deep ocean currents have dramatically changed plankton productivity,” he added.
Spring bear apps
Hunters must buy and submit their 2021 spring black bear special hunt applications by midnight Sunday. Hunters who submit their applications are entered into a drawing in mid-March for 120 permits in Western Washington and 548 permits for hunts east of the Cascade Range.
To apply for a permit, hunters must purchase a special hunt application and a 2021 hunting license that includes black bear as a species option.
Hunters must identify their hunt area choice by indicating the number associated with the hunt area. Hunting licenses, bear transport tags and bear permit applications can be purchased at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by phone at 866-246-9453 or at a license vendor.