Archive for January 2010
The driver had not been injured during the collision.
The passenger was located in a bar in the downtown area and identified. He had sustained a small cut above his eye but he did not require medical attention.
The amount of damage to the vehicle or the cement barrier (if any) is not known.
"We’re pleased that we can move forward with digs at these four beaches," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "The latest tests showed that the clams there remain safe to eat."
The four beaches will open for digging at noon on the following days:
- Twin Harbors – Thursday (Jan. 28) through Sunday (Jan. 31)
- Copalis and Mocrocks – Friday (Jan. 29) through Sunday (Jan. 31)
- Kalaloch Beach – Saturday (Jan. 30) through Sunday (Jan. 31)
Ayres said toxin levels in clams dug last week at Long Beach violate health standards established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ruling out an opening at that beach. PSP is a marine toxin produced by a certain type of algae (Alexandrium dinoflaellates) that can cause paralysis and even death if consumed in sufficient quantities.
At the other beaches, 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. All diggers must have an applicable 2009-10 fishing license to dig razor clams on any beach. A license is required for anyone age 15 or older.
Anglers can buy a combination license or an annual shellfish/seaweed license. Also available are razor-clam only licenses in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov . A list of state license vendors is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm .
Beaches scheduled to open for razor-clam digging this week are:
- 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.
Zebra mussels are small, freshwater mollusks that can quickly infest lakes and rivers, threatening native fish species and public water systems, Bjork said. Since the 1980s, when zebra mussels entered the Great Lakes in ships’ ballast water, they have spread to more than 20 states, including Michigan.
The invasive mussels often spread by attaching themselves to boats and trailers. Washington state law prohibits the transportation of aquatic invasive species on boats or trailers and allows state authorities to stop them for inspection.
The charges against Derderian stem from the delivery of a Sea Ray cabin cruiser from Lake Michigan to Washington. Derderian was hauling the boat when he was stopped Nov. 14 by the Washington State Patrol at the Cle Elum truck scale on Interstate 90.
State Patrol commercial vehicle officers found zebra mussels on the boat and alerted WDFW, which has special equipment to decontaminate boats carrying zebra mussels. But Derderian left with the boat and continued to Blaine before the WDFW officers could arrive at the scene, according to the department’s report.
Bjork said WDFW officers later intercepted Derderian in Blaine and stopped him from launching the boat. Based on Derderian’s statements and actions, they then asked the Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office to press charges.
WDFW has also referred the case to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for consideration of federal charges for interstate transport of the invasive mussels, which would be a violation of the Lacey Act.
"We are pressing for federal charges in this case," Bjork said. "It’s essential that we have people’s cooperation in our efforts to keep zebra mussels and other invasive species out of Washington. Besides the risks to fish and shellfish, these invaders have already cost industry, government and private citizens billions of dollars in damage to water and hydropower facilities in this country."
For information on zebra mussels, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/ on WDFW’s website. To report zebra mussel sightings, call 1(877) WDFW-AIS.
In actual events, the AHAB sirens will sound a constant tone for three continuous minutes, and may be followed by a verbal message. Both the Westminster chimes and the actual warning tone can be heard by visiting the PCEMA website at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema and clicking on the Tsunami tab. Residents can also view a video clip of the AHAB test on the PCEMA Facebook page.
There are currently 13 AHAB sirens installed in Pacific County located in the areas of Ilwaco, Seaview, Long Beach, Surfside, Ocean Park, Bay Center, and North Cove. Sirens are not designed to be heard indoors and the sound may also be impacted by adverse weather. Residents are encouraged to have alternate methods of warning such as NOAA weather radios, which are tested weekly and can be heard indoors. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.
PSP is a marine toxin produced by a certain type of algae that can cause paralysis and even death if consumed in sufficient quantities.
Ayres said toxin levels in clams dug this week at Long Beach violate health standards established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ruling out an opening at that beach. Early next week, WDFW will conduct additional tests on clams collected at the other beaches, where PSP levels also appear to be on the rise.
"It’s always disappointing to cancel a razor clam dig, and we hate to make people wait for answers on the other beaches," Ayres said. "But public safety comes first, which is why we test razor clams before every public dig."
Ayres said final decisions on a revised razor-clam opening will be announced by Thursday, Jan. 28. Unless it is canceled, the dig at Twin Harbors will be delayed, since it was originally scheduled to open Jan. 27, Ayres said.
Updates on the razor clam dig scheduled for next week will be posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/razorclm/season.htm .
Frank Cox, marine biotoxin coordinator for the Washington Department of Health, said he suspects PSP is moving northward from the Oregon coast, where beaches have been closed to razor clam digging since December.
"There are a lot of uncertainties about how this will affect Washington beaches, which is why we recommend erring on the side of caution," he said.
Cox noted that the PSP toxin cannot be removed by cooking or freezing. Although no human fatalities from PSP have been reported in Washington since 1942, people still get sick every few years – usually after eating toxic shellfish collected from closed beaches, Cox said.
No coastal beaches have been closed to razor-clam digging because of elevated PSP levels since 1993, Ayres said. A different marine toxin, domoic acid, prompted a season-long closure in 2002-03.