• Applications Begin for Pontoon Construction Site

    ABERDEEN, Wash. (KBKW) – The Pontoon Project in Grays Harbor is one step closer, the Washington State Department of Transportation has applied to perform work in Grays Harbor waters, including construction of the casting basin, excavation of an access channel across uplands and through inter-tidal and sub-tidal portions of Grays Harbor, as well as designation and construction of a pontoon storage area.

    The public notice issued by the Department of Ecology and the Army Corps of Engineers also details mitigation plans to compensate for a total wetland fill of .90 acre. Ecology is accepting public comment on the application until January 22nd.

    For more details, see the notice at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/fed-permit/pdf/200800151_JPN.pdf

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  • Last Razor Clam Dig of 2010, First of 2011

    Clam diggers can ring in 2011 with a three-day razor clam dig on Washington’s coastal beaches over the New Year’s holiday. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the series of evening digs after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all five coastal razor clam beaches are safe to eat.

    Opening dates and evening low tides for the upcoming dig are:

    • Dec. 31, Fri. – 3:40 p.m., (0 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
    • Jan. 1, Sat. – 4:31 p.m., (-0.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
    • Jan. 2, Sun. – 5:18 p.m., (-0.7 ft.), Twin Harbors

    No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.  Diggers should note that low tide on Dec. 31 will occur at 3:40 p.m., setting the stage for the first daylight dig of the season.

    In early January, WDFW will release a tentative schedule of digging days in early 2011. As in the past, final approval of those dates will depend on the results of future marine toxin tests.

    Under WDFW rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.

    A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2010 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453) or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state.

    Washington’s razor clam beaches include:

    • Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
    • Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
    • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
    • Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
    • Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.
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  • State Wades into Coal Terminal Controversy

    LONGVIEW, Wash. – The State of Washington wants to weigh in on the environmental review process for a coal export terminal that has been proposed for Longview.

    Several conservation groups banded together earlier this month to challenge a permit for the terminal, granted by the Cowlitz County Commission. On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Ecology filed as an “intervenor” in that case – not taking sides, but exercising its legal option to have a seat at the table.

    According to the groups’ attorney, Jan Hasselman of Earthjustice, the move could indicate the state is also not convinced that the environmental and health effects of transporting, storing and shipping coal have been taken into account.

    “Washington stepping into this case is a recognition that it’s an important test case about whether this is the right fit for our state, and whether the coal companies have followed the appropriate process in involving the public in this important decision.”

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  • Brace for winter and enjoy Wasington Wildlife

    For Washingtonians, the start of the new year is prime time to fish for winter steelhead, dig razor clams and enjoy the annual spectacle of bald eagles, snow geese, elk and other wintering wildlife.

     

    Other possibilities include sturgeon fishing, which opens Jan.1 from the mouth of the Columbia River to McNary Dam, and hunting for ducks and geese during seasons that run through Jan. 30 in most areas of the state.

     

    But winter weather is an important consideration wherever you go. Ice fishing can be a dicey proposition in most parts of the state and heavy rains can render a river “unfishable” – even dangerous – virtually overnight.

     

    “Preparation is essential for any outdoor activity, especially in winter,” said Mike Cenci, deputy enforcement chief for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Check the weather conditions, river conditions and road conditions – and let people know where you’re going before you head out.”

     

    And, of course, wear warm, waterproof clothes. “We don’t get a lot of T-shirt weather in January,” Cenci said.

     

    [summary]

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  • Blasting Caps and Fuses Found in Westport

    WESTPORT, Wash. – The State Patrol’s Bomb Squad was spotted in Westport yesterday, the Wesport police department reports blasting caps were found somewhere in Westport, and turned over. No further information was released from the department.

    The Washington State Patrol said two bomb squad team members came in from Olympia to recover the devices, and that they posed no immediate threat to the public.

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  • Community Effort Thwarts Car Thieves

    SHELTON, Wash. – Two Shelton men are in jail today after a community effort in which residents of the Skokomish Valley, Troopers from the Washington State Patrol, Agents from the Department of Wildlife, and Mason County Sheriff’s Deputies all banded together to capture the two alleged car thieves. 

     

    Currently in custody at the Mason County Jail is Javier M. Valencia, 33, Shelton, and Joshua B. Sherman, 31, Shelton.  Both are charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and Sherman is charged with Eluding.

     

    This incident started to unfold at about 7AM on Monday when a North Blevins Road resident was awoken to see her 1993 Honda Civic being stolen followed by another Honda leaving the area quickly.

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  • Simpson Avenue Bridge Opening On Time for Early January

    HOQUIAM, Wash. – Despite adverse weather and extreme tidal conditions, the Washington State Department of Transportation says they are still on schedule to open the Simpson Avenue Bridge to traffic in early January. Crews are making efforts to complete the necessary work by the first week of January, but the department’s contractor Quigg Brothers. Incorporated says extreme tides forecast for the first week of next month may delay the opening until the second week of January.

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  • Improved returns demonstrate Columbia salmon protection

    Surface passage improvements for fish now in place at all federal dams on the Lower Columbia and Snake rivers boosted the safe migration of juvenile salmon and steelhead, one of several key advances outlined in a new federal assessment of progress in protecting Columbia and Snake fish.

    The passage improvements such as spillway weirs, also called fish slides, help speed young fish downstream past dams by keeping them near the water surface, where they naturally migrate. Installation of a spillway weir at Little Goose Dam on the Snake River last year means all eight federal Snake and Lower Columbia dams now provide surface passage for fish. Tests at Little Goose found that 99.4 percent of yearling chinook, 99.8 percent of steelhead and 95.2 percent of sub-yearling chinook passed the dam safely.

    Salt Creek culvert
    An impassable culvert on Idaho’s Salt Creek, a tributary of the South Fork of the Salmon River, blocked about 3.6 miles of salmon habitat.
    SOURCE: 2009 Progress Report

    “Almost all of the fish are coming through the dam safely now and we’re on track to meet passage standards at all of the other projects,” said Witt Anderson, Director of Programs, Northwest Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    The results come from a new report describing the second year of progress by the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration in implementing NOAA-Fisheries’ biological opinion for the Federal Columbia River Power System. The biological opinion outlines protections for fish affected by federal dams, promoting positive trends in salmon survival and returns. For instance, in-river survival of juvenile Snake River steelhead migrating to the ocean in 2009 reached its highest level in 12 years, a sign the fish are benefiting from improved surface passage.

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