Fish & Feathers: Outdoor shorts

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>A commercial crab boat works the calm seas off Surfside.

Hunters may now purchase applications for eastern and western black bear hunts. Hunters must purchase and submit an application by midnight March 13. There are 296 permits available in western Washington and 225 for east of the Cascades. Licenses and permits can be purchased at license locations or at the WDFW Web site.

2008 Hunting License BuyersIf you purchased a license in 2008 for deer, elk, bear or turkey, you are required to file a report. This can be done online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ or telephone 877-945-3492. If you do not file this report you will be assessed a $10 administrative fee when you purchase your next license.

Winter Steelhead

Wild steelhead are beginning to move into several rivers on the Olympic Peninsula and tributaries of the Columbia River. The Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers also have late hatchery runs, which are beginning to show in the catch.

Duck & Goose huntingHunting ended in most areas of the state Jan. 25. Last week several of us went to Granger in eastern Washington for a couple days of hunting. It was cold, in the 20s and low 30s. There were not many ducks around, though many more geese, with a high sky. We did get four Canadian honkers, 10 ducks, two quail and I missed one pheasant and formed an appreciation for the warmer coastal weather.

February Clam DigOur next clam dig on the Long Beach Peninsula takes place on Feb. 7 and 8. On Saturday a minus low tide -0.9 happens at 6:10 p.m. and on Sunday the low, -1.1, is at 6:55 p.m.

Marine biologists say limited diving observations have indicated that there are some adult razor clams offshore for up to one-half-mile. Razor clams dredged in water deeper than 30 feet although similar to the beach clam are a different species (disputed by many). In Washington waters, the razor clam grows to a maximum length of six inches although there are exceptions. Clams seven inches long have been taken on the Peninsula, but they are rare. In contrast, razor clams found in Alaska may grow to 11 inches in length and live to be 15 years old, due to colder water temperatures and slower growth rate.

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