Laid-back urban fishermen on the banks of Seattle’s Green Lake may find themselves up against something a little edgier than 5-inch sunfish in a few years, as the state Fish and Wildlife Department continues its cautious introduction of tiger muskies in a few carefully chosen waters. The state plans to plant 150 of the northern pike/muskellunge hybrids in the north Seattle lake this month, both to provide a future sport fishery and to thin populations of perch, sunfish, and carp.
The sterile tiger muskies have been used successfully since the 1980s for similar purposes in Mayfield Reservoir (Cowlitz County) and Lake Tapps (Pierce County), and are being studied for introduction into other lakes.
Now about 18 inches in length, the fish will not be legal until they reach a minimum of 36 inches, in about a year. But in the meantime, they are expected to improve fishing in the lake by thinning perch, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish and carp populations. Those non-native species have been illegally introduced and have become over-populated, using space and food needed by seasonally planted rainbow trout.
It’s not unreasonable to expect the fish to reach weights of 25 to 30 pounds in a few years time, according to state biologists.
Duck hunt: The “duck taxi” service for waterfowl hunters on Potholes Reservoir is on tap again this fall and winter, ferrying hunters daily from MarDon Resort to sand dune islands and other choice spots on the reservoir. Unguided, “drop-off” hunts include the boat ride, a blind, and decoys, for $125 per person, two-person minimum. Fully guided hunts go for $175 per person, three-person minimum. Call 1-800-416-2736.
Winter salmon derby: Everett Bayside Marine’s annual winter salmon derby is scheduled for Nov. 4-5 this year, and yes, the blackmouth season opens here Nov. 1. This will be the ninth edition of the popular event, featuring a first prize of $1,000. Tickets, $25 for both days, are available at Bayside Marine, 1001 14th Street, Everett; phone 425-252-3088 for more information. Donate five or more cans/items of non-perishable food and receive $5 off the price of your derby ticket. Dan the Man says the event raised 864 pounds of food for the needy last year.
Turkey shoot: The Granite Falls Sportsmen’s Club, one of the oldest such groups in the area, hosts its 68th annual fall turkey shoot Nov. 19, at its range near Granite Falls, from 10 a.m. to dusk, public invited. Food and beverages will be available all day. Awards will include turkeys and/or bacon to all game winners – trap, five-stand, splatterboard, bingo, and others. Guaranteed prizes are available. To reach the range, drive through Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway, past the high school, around the bend, and then right on Gun Club Road. Call Mike Elke, 425-355-2913 or Kelly Brown, 360-435-4010.
Razor clams: Remaining recreational razor clam openings this fall and winter, afternoon tides only, are as follows: Nov. 10-11, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Nov. 12-16, Kalaloch only; Nov. 24-25, all beaches; Dec. 8-9, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Dec. 10-12, Kalaloch only; Dec. 13, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Kalaloch only; Dec. 14, Kalaloch only.
Hunter ed: Successful completion of a certified hunter safety class is required in order to obtain a first Washington State hunting license for those of a certain age, or for those planning on hunting as a non-resident in any of several other states. For information on upcoming classes, call certified instructors Dick Abbey, at 206-542-2792 (leave a message if no answer), or Jim Elliott at 425-353-2211, after 5 p.m.
Steelhead clinic: The Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club presents its annual free steelhead clinic Nov.18, 8:30 a.m. to noon, at Floral Hall, Forest Park, Everett. The event will deal with everything needed to fish steelhead in local rivers, along with fly fishing techniques and tackle. Local expert Jim Brauch will cover basic gear; Don Smith of The Fly Smith “fly fishing for steelhead and salmon;” Gordon Gracey of Fishing Northwest on fishing the Forks-area rivers; and Dave Mullins of Mullins Guide Service, basic steelheading techniques. There will also be a comprehensive range of hands-on tables, featuring hook tying, slinky making, rod building, jig fishing, float fishing, and other good stuff. Families welcome Call 425-257-8300 for more information.
River fishing: Sam Ingram, Arlington resident and river guide, will be the guest speaker at the Nov. 21 meeting of the Sky Valley Chapter, Trout Unlimited. Time is 7 p.m. and place is the Snohomish County PUD building in Monroe, 120 E. Fremont Street. Ingram will be giving tips on chasing late chum and early winter steelhead in local rivers, and will be available to answer questions.