February 5, 2014 

Salt water

South Sound: North winds and choppy waters are keeping most anglers onshore right now, and those who brave the elements are having to work hard to catch 5- or 6-pound blackmouths. Weather permitting, there might be some fish in Quartermaster Harbor, off the Les Davis Pier or on the slag pile near the Tacoma Yacht Club.

North Sound: For the best blackmouth fishing, try the San Juan Islands (Marine Area 7). But it’s also decent in areas 8.1, 8.2 and 9, with an occasional 10- or 11-pounder.

Clamming: The state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s next razor clam dig is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 26-28. Final approval for the dig won’t be issued until marine toxin tests have been conducted.

Those dates and beaches: Feb. 26, Twin Harbors; and Feb. 27-28, Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.


Cowlitz: Some second-run steelhead are beginning to appear, but success is spotty. Most of the action is around Blue Creek, near the trout hatchery. Typical methods include jigs, corkies and yarn, and shrimp. A recent creel check near the trout hatchery counted 27 bank anglers who kept four hatchery fish.

Chehalis: Steelhead anglers are having some success, but water levels are low. On the Wynoochee and Satsop rivers, two popular Chehalis tributaries, pressure remains high despite water levels that are too low for drift boats in many stretches. Rain would help.

Washougal: A recent creel check counted 42 bank anglers who kept one hatchery steelhead and released four wild fish, and 22 boat anglers who kept four hatchery fish and released two hatchery fish and 10 wild fish.

Lower Columbia: A few anglers below Bonneville Dam have been looking for winter steelhead or an early spring chinook, especially on the Oregon bank.

Bogachiel-Quillayute: A weekend creel count showed 54 anglers who kept three hatchery steelhead and released 21 fish — 12 wild, nine hatchery.

Hoh: A weekend creel count showed 59 anglers on the lower river; they kept 10 hatchery steelhead and released 14 fish — eight wild, six hatchery.


American: Fishing is pretty good, with trollers landing near-limits of kokanee up to 18 inches. Also, trout anglers are pulling in rainbows up to 14 inches off the dock, mostly with dough bait and floating eggs.

Alder: There is very little pressure on this year-round lake at the confluence of Pierce, Thurston and Lewis counties.

Bruce Drysdale: 253-597-8666 bruce.drysdale@

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