Outdoor Briefs for Saturday, May 24

Mid-season upgrades to fishing licenses offered

From now through July 20, the Washington Department of Fish &Wildlife is offering current freshwater or saltwater fishing license holders the opportunity to upgrade to a combination license for under $27.

The upgrade will give those anglers all the fishing privileges of a combination license at the cost they would have paid if they had purchased one in the first place, said Bill Joplin, Fish &Wildlife licensing manager.

Freshwater fishing license holders can purchase an upgrade to a combination license for $26.75 and current saltwater fishing license holders can upgrade to a combination license for $26.20.

“With the abundance of opportunities this year we recognize that customers who purchased licenses early may now wish they would have started with a combination license,” said Joplin. “With plenty of clams, shrimp, and salmon now available, this is a particularly good time for freshwater anglers to upgrade their licenses and take advantage of all our coasts have to offer.”

By purchasing the upgrade, current freshwater license holders will gain access to saltwater fish, shellfish and seaweed.

Current saltwater license holders who upgrade to the combo license will gain access to fishing in lakes and rivers as summer draws near, as well as opportunities for shellfish and seaweed.

“Whether fishing from shore or boat, using spinning rods and bait, or casting fly lines, plentiful fish provide excellent reasons for saltwater anglers to upgrade and enjoy Washington’s lakes and streams,” said Chris Donley, Fish &Wildlife inland fish program manager.

Here are a few of the exciting fishing opportunities available this year:

Salmon — 2014 is shaping up as the year for salmon, with a forecasted return of more than 1.6 million Columbia River chinook salmon returning this fall – which would be the largest since record keeping began in 1938. The ocean abundance of Columbia River coho salmon is also forecast to be about 964,000 fish — three times as many fish as last year’s actual abundance. And, summer and fall chinook salmon returns to Puget Sound are expected to total nearly 283,000 fish.

Razor Clams — Razor clam digs are listed through June 1, 2014. Additional digs are expected in the fall.

Trout and Kokanee — FIsh &Wildlife fish hatchery crews have stocked nearly 16.5 million trout and kokanee in lakes on both sides of the Cascades.

To purchase an upgrade online, visit the department’s licensing website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wa/license, check with your local license vendor, or call licensing at (360) 902-2464.

Final razor clam digs of the season starts Tuesday

Clam diggers will have one last chance to dig razor clams this season during a final opening set to begin Tuesday.

The Washington Department of Fish &Wildlife approved the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed at any beach after noon.

Fish &Wildlife routinely closes the razor clam fishery by the end of May to give the clams a chance to spawn. The next season will begin in fall, when the older clams have recovered from spawning and a new generation begins to grow beneath the sand.

The upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

• May 27, Tuesday, 6:24 a.m., -1.0 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach

• May 28, Wednesday, 7:06 a.m., -1.3 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach

• May 29, Thursday, 7:45 a.m., -1.4 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks

• May 30, Friday, 8:23 a.m., -1.2 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks

• May 31, Saturday, 9:00 a.m., -1.0 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks

• June 1, Sunday, 9:37 a.m., -0.7 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. Diggers may not harvest any part of another person’s daily limit, unless they possess a designated harvester card.

Daily World staff reports


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