By Bob Brown

There are probably a number of local fishermen who are not aware the Nisqually River is open to fishing. Well, it is, and it opened Dec. 19 under rules listed in the state’s 2017-18 sport fishing rules pamphlet.
It is surprising the opening didn’t get a lot of publicity and no Washington Department of Fishing and Wildlife (WDFW) news releases, because the Nisqually is one of local anglers’ favored rivers. However, the opening was announced in the WDFW’s Fishing Rule Updates.
The river, which will be open the rest of this month, had been closed to fishing for game fish to protect returning chum salmon. In mid-December, surveys taken by department and tribal biologists showed the spawning goal for chum had been met in the Nisqually and its tributaries. That allowed both the WDFW and the Nisqually Tribe to open their respective chum fisheries.
Recreational anglers may retain up to six salmon, of which only two may be adults. Release game fish, wild chinook and steelhead.
The Nisqually River and its tributaries will close to all recreational angling at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Clam digs coming

The WDFW has announced a razor clam dig schedule for January and February.
No digging will be allowed at any beach before noon. Proposed razor clam digs, dates and evening tides are as follow:
• Jan. 28, 4.06 p.m;- 0.4 feet; Mocrocks.
• Jan. 29, 4:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Copalis.
• Jan. 30, 5:47 p.m.: -11.5 feet: Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Jan. 31, 6.33 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach,Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
• Feb. 1, 7:17 p.m.; -1.5 feet.; Mocrocks, Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
• Feb. 2, 8 p.m.;-1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbor, Copalis.
• Feb. 3, 8:42 p.m.; - 0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Updates on future razor clam digs can be found on the WDFW website.

Other fishing news

• Joe Hymer of the WDFW reported Tacoma Power employees recovered coho adults, nine coho jacks, eight winter-run steelhead, and two cutthroat trout during Dec. 18-24. They also released 176 adult coho, three coho jacks, two winter steelhead, and two cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gus Backstrom Park in Morton
• The WDFW announced that effective Jan. 1, anglers may retain only one salmon per day in Marine Area 2-1, and require the release of all wild (unmarked) coho in Marine Area 2-1 and all Willapa Bay rivers and tributaries. The reason for the action was because the forecast for returning wild and hatchery coho has been downgraded and is not expected to meet conservation goals.
All other regulations listed in the state’s 2017-18 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet remain in effect.
Happy New Year!

Bob Brown is a freelance outdoors writer. He can be contacted at