When you stop and think about it, April is a pretty exciting month. Winter is on the way out and spring is taking its place.

For green thumbers, it is the beginning of their spring gardening and planting calendar, and for fishermen, it is the start of their lowland lake trout fishing season which begins April 28 this year. How big a deal is that? The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) expects 300,000 Washingtonians will descent upon trout stocked lakes throughout the state that Saturday to kick off the new season. Hunters have not been left out in the cold and neither have connoisseurs of razor clams. A spring turkey season begins April 15 through May 31 around the state, and the department has tentatively scheduled four days of razor clam digging at the following beaches and morning tides:

1* April 19, Thursday, 9: 46 a.m.;-0.9 feet; Mocrocks

2* April 20, Friday, 10: 37 a.m.;-0.7 feet: Mocrocks

3* April 21, Saturday, 11:34 a.m.;-0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

(digging hours will be extended to 1 p.m.)

4* April 22, Sunday, 12:38 p.m.;- 0.1. feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

(digging will be extended to 2 p.m.)

Note: Long Beach will host its annual razor clam festival April 21. The festival includes razor clam digging lessons, a chowder taste-off, clam fritter cookout and other entertainment.

Blackmouth fishing remains open in several marine areas in Puget Sound, but anglers only have until April 15 to fish for chinook in marine areas 6 (east Juan de Fuca Strait) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and until April 30 in marine area 5 (Seiku), 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island), 12 (Hood Canal) and 13 (South Puget Sound). Fishery managers are currently developing the 2018-19 salmon seasons which is expected to be finalized by the middle of this month.

The WDFW has closed the lower Kalama River to steelhead retention through May 15 from the boundary markers at the mouth to 1,000 feet below the spillway at the upper salmon hatchery. Steelhead fishing also closes April 15 on the Hoh, and April 30 on the Quillayute, Bogachiel, Calawah, Sol Duc and Dickey rivers.

Other Notes: Riffe Lakes water levels are being held down thirty feet in response to a U.S. Geological Survey report last year that found a large earthquake could damage the dam’s spillway gates. The dam itself is considered safe, but a breach of spillway gates would cause a catastrophic flood on the lower Cowlitz and Columbia rivers. Tacoma is developing plans to strengthen the spillway gates, but they are nor complete.

The boat launch at Mossyrock Park is not usable, but the utility has announced it will rebuild the launch to have two long lanes to reach the lower water levels The new launch should be ready by Memorial Day weekend. The Taidnapam Park and Kosmos boat launches will remain closed. The Taidnapam North boat launch will remain open.

Bob Brown can be contacted at “robertb1285@centurylink.net.”