AN OPPORTUNITY OF get out of the rain and enjoy some fishing discussions will be offered Wednesday in Sequim by the North Olympic Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers.
The Anglers have invited Tom Burlingame, the owner/operator of Excel Charters in Neah Bay, to talk about his charter operations, some of the techniques he uses to bring his customers salmon, halibut, cod, rockfish and far more.
The talk will be held at the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road. The doors open at 6.30pm and the talk will start at 7pm
Burlingame will also discuss upcoming fishing opportunities in Neah Bay and Sekiu. Blackmouth season begins March 1 in Sekiu in Marine Area 5. Halibut is expected to begin May 4 in Neah Bay and La Push and April 6 in Sekiu, Port Angeles and the rest of Puget Sound.
A short business meeting, fishing reports and raffles for chapter members are also planned. Raffles are for members only, with memberships available on site for $25 per person and $35 for a family. Membership also includes a monthly subscription to The Reel News.
Brant Hunt approved
Continued stable winter brant counts have allowed for scheduled hunting opportunities in Clallam and Whatcom counties on January 21st, 25th and 28th.
Brants are a migratory species of goose with a sleek black head, white collar and distinct brown and black body feathers with white flank feathers. They winter there in coastal bays, estuaries and lagoons, where they eat eel, sea lettuce and other aquatic vegetation.
Clallam County hunters are encouraged to check the closed areas of the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge at www.fws.gov/refuge/dungeness/map.
Bad weather for maple trees
Quilcene’s Ward Norden likes to tap big leaf maples to make his own maple syrup, but says the weather hasn’t been cooperating lately.
“By my count here in our yard, we’ve only had two days since Christmas with cool enough mornings followed by hot sun in the treetops to get the sap flowing through the trees,” Norden said. “I haven’t even bothered to touch our maples yet, and the 10-day weather forecast only looks to have one day next week that could move the sap from the roots to the trees.
“We hope to have three days in a row of maple sugar opportunities soon.”
slow in the lake
Norden said the cold water temperatures have made the trout bite a rarity.
“The water temperature in Lake Leland is still in the 30s [Fahrenheit]making bites from all the trout in the lake few and far between,” said Norden. “In these low temperatures, getting more than two bites a day makes you a ‘high liner.’ The best technique is to float a still bait around inches off the bottom and be very patient. It’s best not to set the hook at the first sign of a bite.”
January is prime time for predators on the peninsula, Norden said.
“The snow we’ve had has left the grass and bushes so it’s easier to see predators coming to the call. It’s also hungry time for the predators, so they’ll be more aggressive when they come to the call .
“In other parts of the West, coyote pelts are at their best this month, but here on the Peninsula it’s rare to find a coyote without mange disease, so unfortunately most pelts are useless for nothing.
“One interesting thing is that the cougars on the east flank of the Olympics are having a particularly hard time this winter due to their overpopulation decimating the deer herds. This winter it will be easier to call the big cats before their population is ‘ sink in. The cougars I’ve been seeing on my backyard cameras look very thin compared to previous years.’
Free day in the parks
Monday is a free admission day to Olympic National Park, US Forest Service lands and Washington State Parks, Department of Fish and Wildlife Access and Department of Natural Resources Observance Day by Martin Luther King Jr.