Eight days of morning razor clam digs approved, starting April 17 on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks

Razor clam diggers can return to coastal beaches starting Friday, April 17, state shellfish managers announced today.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. All of the digs are scheduled on morning tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach after noon.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, noted that the upcoming dig coincides with the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, scheduled April 18-19 in Long Beach. Festival events range from free clam-digging lessons to a fritter cook-off. More information is available at http://longbeachrazorclamfestival.com/

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:

  • April 17, Friday, 6:03 a.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks 
  • April 18, Saturday, 6:52 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis 
  • April 19, Sunday, 7:39 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis 
  • April 20, Monday, 8:25 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors 
  • April 21, Tuesday, 9:11 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors 
  • April 22, Wednesday, 9:57 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors 
  • April 23, Thursday, 10:46 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors 
  • April 24, Friday, 11:38 a.m.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

WDFW has also proposed additional digs in May, pending the results of future marine toxin tests. Tentative dates for those digs are posted on the department’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Beaches in Washington with razor clam fisheries 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, Seabrook, 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. (This beach is closed to harvest until further notice)
Beaches in Washington with razor clam fisheries 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, Seabrook, 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. (This beach is closed to harvest until further notice)

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2015-16 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula, and on a section of Twin Harbors beach.

The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”

To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.

National Junior Ranger Day this Saturday at Olympic National Park

Children of all ages are invited to bring their favorite adult to National Junior Ranger Day at Olympic on Saturday, April 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Olympic’s Junior Ranger Day will take place at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center located at 3002 Mount Angeles Road in Port Angeles.

“Junior Ranger Day is one of our favorite annual events,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “With this year’s special invitation to Find Your Park, we hope to see kids from near and far on April 18.”

Children accompanied by an adult can participate in a wide variety of free activities including ranger-guided walks, craft projects, and outdoor games. There will also be a wilderness “campsite,” search and rescue equipment, and emergency service vehicles for hands-on exploration, microscopes for a up-close look at insects, and the Children’s Discovery Room will be open for play.

Volunteers with the Back Country Horsemen of Washington Olympic Peninsula Chapter will bring their animals and will offer several demonstrations throughout the day on how to safely share trails among hikers, bikers, and stock. Junior rangers will have opportunities to meet the animals and perhaps feed them a carrot if they’re brave enough.

Olympic’s Junior Ranger program is a year-round way for children and families to experience and enjoy the park. Children can complete the Olympic National Park Junior Ranger activity booklet, attend a ranger program and explore park nature trails to earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate. They also have the opportunity to participate in the Ocean Stewards program and complete a hands-on activity booklet to earn an Ocean Stewards patch.

For more information on Olympic’s Junior Ranger Day, please visit http://www.nps.gov/olym/learn/kidsyouth/beajuniorranger.htm or call 360-565-3146.

Baby Humpback Whale washes ashore near Westport, cause of death likely natural

A dead baby humpback whale was found washed ashore near Westport Saturday, Cascadia Research Collective, along with staff from WDFW and Westport Aquarium, conducted an examination on Sunday. The 25′ 8″ female was estimated to be just over a year old, and was found about a mile north of West Haven State Park. The blubber was thin with little oil, but the whale had been recently feeding on small fish. While a precise cause of death is undetermined, it appears to have been natural based on the necropsy. Numerous samples were collected for a variety of analyses, including genetics, contaminants, and general pathology; these may provide more details about what happened to this whale. Humpback whale populations have been increasing throughout their range, and strandings, which used to be relatively infrequent, are becoming more common along the Washington coast.

 

Cascadia Research, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Westport Aquarium conducted an examination today…

Posted by Cascadia Research Collective on Sunday, April 12, 2015

Westport Winery earns gold in New York Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Westport Winery brought home five medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, New York. This is the competitions 15th year with 73 judges from around the world judging 3708 wines from 27 countries.

2015 Boom FrontDirector of Winemaking, Dana Roberts, earned a gold medal on Boom Runner, a sparkling pomegranate wine that benefits Hoquiam’s Polson Museum. Silver medals were awarded to Smoky Nor’wester Sangiovese, Shorebird Chardonnay, and Elk River Riesling.

 

Smoky Nor’wester benefits the Museum of the North Beach in Moclips and features grapes from the renowned Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA. Shorebird Chardonnay benefits the Grays Harbor Audubon and features grapes from Conner-Lee Vineyard near Othello. Elk River Riesling, also from Red Willow Vineyard, benefits the Twin Harbor Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

2015 Smoky Front

2015 Mercy FrontCidermaker Carrie Roberts earned a silver medal for Mercy, her hard apple cider. Each of Westport ciders (Mercy, Courage, Hope and Grace) benefits Mercy Ships an organization providing surgical care to the poorest of the poor in Africa.

Westport Winery’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.

2013 Shorebird PosterLaunch spring at the winery’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.

 

 

Wildlife Commission lists tufted puffins as state endangered species

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new big game hunting rules for the upcoming season and an interim policy for Willapa Bay salmon fisheries during a public meeting April 9-10 in Tumwater.

The commission, a citizen panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also agreed to place tufted puffins on the state’s endangered species list and remove Steller sea lions from the state’s threatened list.

New hunting rules approved by the commission will expand hunting opportunities for virtually every big game species and gear type. New regulations will:

  • Add two more days to the modern firearm season for mule deer.
  • Shift archery elk season to start the Saturday after Labor Day to provide better opportunity for hunters in cooler weather.
  • Double the amount of spring bear permits available in northeast Washington.
  • Allow elk hunters using muzzleloaders to hunt in more game management units (GMUs).
  • Increase moose permits to 170 from 136 in the northeast part of the state, where moose populations are near an all-time high.

 

The commission did not adopt a proposal to restrict the use of bait when hunting for deer and elk. Instead, the commission directed WDFW to work with stakeholders to bring forward new options for consideration next year.

 

All of the hunting rules approved by the commission will be included in the 2015 Big Game Hunting pamphlet, which will be available later this spring on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/, in sporting goods stores, and at other license vendors throughout the state.

Tufted Puffin colony occupancyIn other business, the commission added tufted puffins to the state’s endangered species list to provide them with additional protection. Tufted puffins are native seabirds once considered common in parts of Washington. In recent decades, however, the population has significantly declined. WDFW will develop a plan outlining actions necessary for the species’ recovery in the state.

Steller sea lions, on the other hand, have rebounded in recent years, prompting the commission to remove the species from the state’s list of threatened species. The federal government has also delisted Steller sea lions. The species will remain as state protected wildlife and will still receive protection under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

After receiving a briefing from state fishery managers on a long-term salmon-management policy for Willapa Bay, the commission adopted an interim plan that will be in effect through 2015. The interim policy is designed to accelerate the recovery of natural-origin chinook salmon by reducing the incidental catch of wild fish while encouraging the harvest of hatchery chinook.

 

WDFW will work with stakeholders in the coming weeks to designate the 2015 salmon fishing dates in Willapa Bay, based on the new interim plan. The interim plan is posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/willapa_bay_salmon/.

The commission also took public comments on a proposal to reopen recreational fishing for flounder, sole and other flatfish – except halibut – in Quilcene Bay and the northern portion of Dabob Bay in Hood Canal. A separate public hearing was held on management of Columbia River sturgeon.

In other news, April’s meeting was attended by fishing columnist Dave Graybill and retired public health physician Kim Thorburn, who were appointed to the commission by the governor last month.

Raid on suspected drug house in Ocean Shores nets three arrests

Serving a search warrant last week on a suspected drug house in Ocean Shores netted 3 arrests. Police Chief Mike Styner tells us On Thursday, April 9th, Officers from the Ocean Shores Police Department, the Hoquiam Police Department and Deputies from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant on a suspected drug house in the 800 block of San Antonio Court NE in Ocean Shores.

During a search of the premises narcotics, paraphernalia, and packaging materials were located and seized. A vehicle belonging to the resident was seized. The 48 year old female resident was arrested and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act and two outstanding warrants.

A 31 year old transient male found inside the residence was arrested on an outstanding warrant out of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the Grays Harbor County jail. In addition, a 27 year old Ocean Shores man was arrested and booked into the Hoquiam Jail for outstanding warrants out of Department of Corrections and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Mayor of Olympia to speak at Grays Harbor College

City of Olympia’s Mayor Stephen Buxbaum will speak about Civic Engagement in a Time of Rapid Change at Grays Harbor College on Saturday, April 18, starting at 1 p.m. Buxbaum will be speaking to the “Health From the Inside Out” class, which is part of the Evergreen State College’s Grays Harbor program. Members of the public are welcome.
Buxbaum will be using examples from his more than 30 years of work in community and economic development to speak about ways that individuals and communities are rising to the challenge of climate change.

“Social, economic and environmental challenges are coming at us simultaneously and very rapidly” Buxbaum says. He believes that issues such as food and energy policy need to be addressed at a community and individual level if we are going to successfully meet these challenges.

Continue reading Mayor of Olympia to speak at Grays Harbor College

Joan Brewster – Director, Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services

The health of our community, and what the Public Health Department does to improve that. Joan also talks about Tobacco, and Marijuana use locally. This year’s numbers show a slight decrease for tobacco use. Are “E-cigarettes” off-setting those numbers?

Substance abuse and mental health issues in Grays Harbor youth.

Joan Brewster
jbrewster@co.grays-harbor.wa.us
(360) 500-4062

Interrupted burglar hides in woods near home off of Wishkah Road

An interrupted burglary turned into a brief man hunt off of the Wishkah Road this morning. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us the 911 enter received a call from a home on Hay Road in Aberdeen about an interrupted burglary just before 8 this morning. This location is off of the Wishkah Road near the Wynoochee-Wishkah Cutoff Road. The resident reported hearing someone in their home as the resident was upstairs. When the resident went downstairs, they noticed a subject run off toward the neighbors field with what appeared to be a black plastic bag full of something.

Several deputies responded and contained the area. Deputy Tracy Gay and his K-9 partner Max were called out and arrived at approximately 8:50 am. Shortly thereafter, they started tracking in the direction that the resident had seen the suspect run. At approximately 9:06 am, Max located the suspect in a brushy area and the person was taken into custody. The suspect received minor injuries from being contacted by Max. Stolen items were located nearby that came from the residence. The suspect was identified as a 29 year old Aberdeen man. The subject is known to law enforcement and does have prior criminal offenses. At the time of this release, deputies were on scene conducting the investigation of the burglary. The suspect was being transported to the hospital by deputies to be cleared for incarceration. He should be booked into the county jail later today for Residential Burglary.

Police receive multiple reports of broken windows in Hoquiam

Hoquiam Police responded to 4 separate reports of broken windows Thursday, and they’re asking the public if there were more. Police Chief Jeff Myers reports the first call came from a residence in the 100 block of West Chenault Avenue just before 4 Thrusday morning where a window to a home was broken, but no entry was made. Officers found footprints to and from the residence in the dew on the lawn.
Later yesterday officers took three more broken window reports, including two business locations. Myers said it appeared none of the homes or businesses were entered, and in all cases the damage occurred during the night.

Citizens are encouraged to call and report suspicious persons or activity immediately by calling 911 or the non-emergency dispatch line at 533-8765.

Anonymous information regarding these incidents can be reported to Detective Ryan Pearson at 360-532-0892 x 102.