An outdoor cornucopia for a holiday weekend


Sports editor

Outdoor opportunities abound for people to enjoy over the extended Memorial Day weekend.

Just like Pat Sajak and Vanna White on “Wheel of Fortune,” people can spin the big prize wheel and make their selection of what they would like to do.

Shellfish gatherers on local beaches can take advantage of the first of several spring and summer low tides.

The low tides in the Oak Harbor area will occur during the morning and early afternoon hours, giving the shellfish enthusiasts the opportunity to put their boots on, get out their shovels, rakes and clam guns, and dig, dig, dig.

Low tides at the popular Penn Cove site occur:

Saturday, May 23, 10:47 a.m., minus 2.5 feet.

Sunday, May 24, 11:29 a.m., minus 3.4 feet.

Monday, May 25, 12:14 p.m., minus 3.8 feet.

Additional information on low tides at Admiralty Head and Crescent Harbor can be found on page 9 of today’s Whidbey News-Times.

Alex Bradbury, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist said clam populations remain good. “We’ve got a combination of good weather, a three-day weekend and minus tides that should draw people to the beaches,” he said.

For those people not interested in getting dirty digging for clams, fair ling cod fishing is reported in the area and the halibut are also biting.

A good place to hook into one of the big slabs is in Mutiny Bay or in the waters off Fort Casey.

Freshwater anglers be aware that the WDFW is adding more trout this month to several lowland lakes around the state, including Lone Lake in Island County.

There are still a large number of previously stocked trout waiting to be hooked in other lakes around the island, including Cranberry, Campbell and Goss Lakes to name a few.

For folks who don’t want to try their luck angling on fresh or salt water, the region continues to be a hotspot for whalewatchers. Gray whales have been spotted making their way up and down the Saratoga Passage, a minke whale was recently sighted off Whidbey Island’s Partridge Point and pods of orcas have been seen traveling the waters of Haro Strait.

Weather forecasters have predicted sunny skies and temperatures approaching 70 for the next three days, so if you haven’t done it yet, now is the time to get out and enjoy what Island County has to offer.

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