Roosevelt: First, the fishing for rainbow trout has been good to very good. Most importantly, the state is reminding anglers of some major rule changes. The biggest change is that anglers must release any trout caught from Grand Coulee Dam to the Little Dalles power line crossing that has an intact adipose fin. The state is trying to protect the population of wild redband rainbow trout. Go to wdfw.wa.gov for details of all the changes.
Sammamish: The cutthroat trout fishing has been very good. Anglers are finding the fish fairly close to the surface. Trolling with a Needlefish spoon has been working. If you find birds feeding on hatching midges, you should find schools of cutthroat underneath that spot.
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Cowlitz: The fishing has been slow, based on state creel reports. A check of four boat anglers showed they caught and released just one steelhead, while 41 bank anglers kept two adult coho.
Nooksack: Anyone planning to travel to this river might want to change plans. The state has announced the river and its forks will close to fishing beginning Sunday. Because there were no hatchery releases of steelhead smolt in 2014 and 2015, a very low return of hatchery winter-run steelhead is expected at the Kendall Creek Hatchery.
Olympic Coast: The steelhead fishing has been fair, based on state creel reports from Dec. 23-25. On the Bogachiel, 19 anglers were checked, and they had caught and released two wild steelhead and kept eight hatchery fish. On the Calawah, six anglers kept four hatchery steelhead.
Skykomish: The river at Reiter Ponds (1,500 upstream to 1,000 feet downstream of the ponds outlet) and the Wallace River (from the railroad trestle downstream of the state Route 2 bridge to 200 feet upstream of water intake at Wallace hatchery) were to close at 11:59 p.m. Friday (Dec. 30). The return of steelhead to the hatcheries in that area are well below the required numbers, according to the state.
Tilton: Last week, Tacoma Power employees released 19 coho adults, 14 coho jacks, 14 cutthroat trout and four winter-run steelhead into the river at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
Clams: A razor clam dig is taking place Friday and Saturday (Dec. 31) at Copalis and Mocrocks beach areas. Digging is best an hour or two before low tide. Friday’s low tide will be at 7:22 p.m. and Saturday’s low tide is at 7:57 p.m.
Crabbing: The open areas of Puget Sound will close at 5 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 31). All anglers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab in the Sound will have until Feb. 1 to file their winter catch report. Because the state recently switched to a new online system, anglers should allow a few extra minutes to get into the new system.
North Sound: The waters around the San Juan Islands have been the most productive for blackmouth fishing. The immature chinook are hitting Silver Horde spoons trolled within 10 feet of the bottom. People jigging for squid have been having success during the day, fishing off the piers near the Ferris wheel in downtown Seattle.
South Sound: Not much has changed this week, with a few chinook being caught in Marine Area 13, south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, while jigging for squid has been fair. Son Dang won the first Point Defiance Marina squid fishing derby on Dec. 17. His .88 pounds of squid earned him a $50 gift card. Kevin Gill took second with .74 pounds and Vinh Mai took third with .72 pounds. Blake Combs won the youth division, catching .15 pounds.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640