Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans additional razor clam digs at Mocrocks

Razor clam diggers will have another beach to consider in May, thanks to a decision today by state shellfish managers to add Mocrocks to the list of tentatively scheduled openings.

Updated harvest estimates for Mocrocks show that beach has sufficient clams to support additional digs, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“We have reviewed our harvest levels to date and are excited to offer additional dates to round out a great razor clam season at Mocrocks,” Ayres said.

Final approval on upcoming digs will be announced after marine-toxin test results confirm the clams are safe to eat. For additional information about upcoming razor clam digs, see WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Proposed digs are tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides (newly added digs are in bold):

 

  • May 2, Saturday; 6:23 a.m., 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 3, Sunday; 6:59 a.m., -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

 

  • May 7, Thursday; 9:30 a.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 8, Friday; 10:14 a.m., -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 9, Saturday; 11:03 a.m., -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 10, Sunday; 11:58 a.m., -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

 

  • May 15, Friday; 4:58 a.m., -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 16, Saturday; 5:50 a.m., -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 17, Sunday; 6:38 a.m., -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

 

  • May 22, Friday; 10:18 a.m., -0.8 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 23, Saturday; 11:03 a.m., -0.2 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 24, Sunday; 11:51 a.m., 0.3 feet; Mocrocks

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.

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.

Campfire in the dunes of Ocean Shores turns into dune fire Friday night

A campfire in the dunes of Ocean Shores got out of hand over the weekend. Lt. John Garner with the department said they responded to the Chance ala mere beach approach just before 9 Friday night.

On April 17th, 2015 at 8:44pm Ocean Shores Fire Department was dispatched to a brush fire in the dunes north of the Chance ala mere approach. Initial reports stated that the fire was spreading quickly with winds from the North. Both of Ocean Shores new brush engines were sent and found an approximately 50’ X 300’ brush fire spreading quickly from north to south. The head of the fire was quickly extinguished and the flanks of the fire were extinguished soon after. The source of the fire was a camp fire that had been started in the dunes to get away from the wind. Ocean Shores Police made contact with individuals who stared it and confirmed this was the source. District 7 personnel responded to aid in fire fighting operations.

As we approach the wild fire season the Ocean Shores Fire Department would like to remind all residents and guests to be responsible with your camp fires. All fires need to be a minimum of 100’ from the dunes and further away in heavy winds. All fires should be completely extinguished before you leave and only natural cured fire wood should be used for your fires. Absolutely no pallets or garbage is allowed. Remember have fun and be safe.

Family rescued from car on beach seconds before waves roll it over

An Ocean Shores Police Officer rescued a Kent family from the surf this evening.

At about 6:54 pm today, Grays Harbor 911 received a report of a vehicle in the surf near the W. Chance ala Mer beach approach in Ocean Shores. The caller reported that a woman and an infant were still in the vehicle. Two other adults, a male and a female, were already out of the vehicle.

When Officer Watson arrived on scene less than two minutes later, he found the car in the surf. An adult male was in the driver’s seat, with an older female and an infant in the passenger seat. The car had sunk into the wet sand, so the Officer had to force the door open to get the occupants out.

He helped the woman (who was carrying the six-month old baby) out of the car and started leading her up the beach. The male was able to get out on his own. The people were only about 20 feet from the car when another wave hit, lifting the car up and rolling it onto its top.

Other Officers arrived and helped the family of four get clear of the water. They were all checked on the scene by Ocean Shores Fire Department Paramedics and released.

The car had to be flipped over by a bulldozer, then it was removed from the beach by a tow truck.

The driver told Officers that the family was driving on the beach in their brand new Infinity, when they stopped at the edge of the surf to look at the water. The tires sank into the wet sand, so they were unable to drive away when the waves began pounding the car.

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.

 

 

Olympic National Park Staff Prepare for Summer Season: Come Find Your Park This Spring

As migrating birds return and wildflowers bloom in the lowland forests, employees at Olympic National Park are turning their attention to spring cleaning and preparations for the main visitor season.

“We’ve had an early spring at Olympic National Park and we’re happy to see people already coming out to enjoy the warmth, sunshine and budding trees,” said Olympic National Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.  “It’s still wintry at the park’s higher elevations though, and no matter the elevation, visitors should always be prepared for changing conditions, as rain and even snow are possible at any time of year.”

 

Staircase

The Staircase Campground is open year round for primitive camping (pit toilets and no water.)  Drinking water and flush toilets will be available during for the summer season from May 22 through September 28.

 

Dosewallips

The Dosewallips Road remains closed due to a washout outside the park boundaries in Olympic National Forest, so access to the campground is walk-in (5.5 miles) only.

 

Deer Park

Deer Park Road and campground are both scheduled to open by mid-June, snow permitting.  While most of the road is snow-free, drifts remain at the upper elevations.  If conditions allow, this area may open earlier than scheduled. The campground provides primitive camping, with pit toilets and no drinking water.

 

Hurricane Ridge Road and Heart O’ the Hills

Hurricane Ridge Road is currently open as weather and staffing allow. People should call the Road & Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 for current conditions and road status.

 

Beginning in early May, the road is generally open 24 hours a day, unless road work or late spring snow storms cause it to close temporarily.

 

The Hurricane Hill Road (the 1.5 mile of road that leads past the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center to the Hurricane Ridge picnic area and Hurricane Hill trailhead) is expected to open by mid-June.

 

Reaching elevations over 6,000 feet, sections of the Obstruction Point Road are still covered with four to five feet of snow, with higher drifts in some areas.  This road is expected to open in mid-June snow permitting.  If conditions allow, it may open earlier.

 

The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center will be open on weekends only beginning May 2.  Weekend hours will continue through June 7.  The Visitor Center will be staffed daily beginning June 12.  The snack bar and gift shop on the lower level of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center will be open on weekends only from May 3 – May 18 and will open daily beginning May 22. Check http://www.olympicnationalparks.com for more information.

 

The Olympic National Park Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Heart O’ the Hills Campground is open year round with drinking water and flush toilets available.

 

Elwha Valley

The Olympic Hot Springs Road is open to the Boulder Creek Trailhead, unless road work or weather conditions close it temporarily.   There is currently no access from the Olympic Hot Springs Road to Glines Canyon or the former Lake Mills, as construction of a new parking area and viewpoint continues. This area is expected to open this summer.

The Whiskey Bend Road is closed to vehicle traffic at Glines Canyon Overlook, one mile above the intersection with Olympic Hot Springs Road. Winter rains caused a major washout that destrobyed a 500-foot section of road. The road remains open to foot, bicycle and horse travel, but all horse trailers must be parked and stock off-loaded at the Elwha picnic area. Horse trailers are not allowed on the Whiskey Bend Road because there not  currently a turnaround that will accommodate trailers.

 

The Elwha Campground is open year round for primitive camping (pit toilets and no water.)  Drinking water and flush toilets will be activated for the summer on April 17 through September 14.

 

Altair Campground is closed until further notice because of damage and loss of campsites and roadway caused by high winter flows along the Elwha River.  A timeline and plans for repairing and reopening the campground have not been completed.

 

Olympic Raft and Kayak, based just outside the park along the Elwha River, offers guided raft trips on the Elwha River, as well as kayak trips and other opportunities.  Check http://www.raftandkayak.com/ for more information.

 

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent Lodge will open for the season on May 2 and will remain open through January 1, 2016, offering a range of lodging options, a dining room, boat rentals and gift shop.  More information is available at http://www.olympicnationalparks.com

 

Fairholme Campground will open this summer from May 21 through October 5, with drinking water and flush toilets available.  Beginning May 1, Fairholme General Store will be open Friday through Sunday through May 17.  Beginning May 22, the store will be open daily through September 7.

 

The Log Cabin Resort will open May 22 through September 30 for lodging, RV and tent camping, a boat launch, dining room and store.  More information is available at http://www.olympicnationalparks.com

 

La Poel Picnic area will open for day use on Saturday, May 23.

 

Sol Duc Valley

The Sol Duc Road is generally open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause it to close temporarily.

 

The Sol Duc Campground is open year round; drinking water and flush toilets will be activated on April 16.

 

The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, is open for the season with lodging, dining, hot springs and a small store.  More information is available at http://www.olympicnationalparks.com

 

Hoh Rain Forest

The Hoh Rain Forest Road is generally open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause it to close temporarily.  The Hoh Rain Forest Campground is open year round with drinking water and flush toilets available.

 

The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is currently operating out of a temporary trailer while the main visitor center is under renovation.  The visitor center is now open Friday through Tuesday and will be open daily from June 17 through September 7.  The primary visitor center is expected to reopen this spring, at which time the temporary facilities will be removed.

 

Pacific Coast

Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette—Olympic National Park’s road-accessible coastal destinations—are open, including all roads, campgrounds and trailheads, except for the Beach Four parking area and trail, which are closed due to erosion damage.

 

The Kalaloch and Mora campgrounds both provide drinking water and flush toilets.  The Ozette Campground is primitive, with pit toilets and no potable water in the campground, however, water is available nearby.  South Beach Campground, a primitive campground located just south of Kalaloch, will open on May 15.

 

The Kalaloch Information Station will be open five days a week (Tuesday through Saturday) beginning on May 19.  Daily hours will begin June 16.

 

Kalaloch Lodge is open year-round with cabins, lodge rooms, dining and a gift shop.  For more information, check http://www.thekalalochlodge.com/ for more information.

 

Queets Valley

The Lower and Upper Queets roads are both open 24 hours a day, unless road work or weather conditions cause temporary closures, however the Lower Queets Road is closed about a half-mile below Matheny Creek (one mile before the end of the road) due to road damage. The Queets Campground is open for primitive camping with pit toilets and no potable water.

 

Quinault Rain Forest

The Quinault Loop Road, which includes the Quinault North Shore and South Shore roads, is open. The Graves Creek and North Fork roads are also open.  All Quinault area roads are typically open 24 hours a day, unless temporarily closed by road work or weather conditions.

 

The Graves Creek Campground and North Fork Campground are both open for primitive camping with pit toilets and no drinking water.

 

Park Trails & Wilderness Information Center
The Olympic National Park Wilderness Information Center (WIC), located at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. beginning May 12.

 

Visitors are encouraged to stop by or call the Wilderness Information Center located within the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 360-565-3100 for current trail reports, spring hiking safety tips and trip planning suggestions.  Information is also available at the park’s website.

Several feet of snow remains on the ground, beginning at elevations above 4,000 feet. Even at low elevations, hikers are reminded to use caution and be aware of downed trees, trail damage, high and swift creek crossings, and changing weather conditions.

Public comments sought on Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank in Ocean Shores

The city of Ocean Shores is getting into the Mitigation Banking business the Department of Ecology is accepting public comment on certification of the Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank.
The city has been working on forming a mitigation bank on the 120 acres of wetlands since 2011, certification would finalize the process and permanently preserve the property. With projected revenues of over a million dollars, the Department of Ecology projects to award almost 12 credits for mitigation on the property.

Continue reading Public comments sought on Weatherwax Wetland and Habitat Mitigation Bank in Ocean Shores

Advocates and campers working to cleanup site near downtown Aberdeen

Cleanup continues near the Chehalis River Bridge where several campsites along the river have been getting attention. Sources tell us the City of Aberdeen hauled out more than 20,000 pounds of trash last week. Campers and volunteers were using rakes to pile the trash Monday when we spoke to Natasha. “Although it is a problem, 60 to %70 of it is not the campers, it’s the trucks coming in at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning.” The former postal worker from Pacific Beach has been the unofficial campground host for about 8 months now, she said there’s really not an easy solution for folks that live there “It’s such a wide range of people down here for a wide range of reasons that everybody’s needs, and what’s going to help everybody, is going to be different from person to person.”

To the left is a campsite recently cleaned by Tasha, to the right is the pile of garbage they removed.
To the left is a campsite recently cleaned by Tasha, to the right is the pile of garbage they removed.

Tasha was 10 years into buying her own home, when – as she puts it “life happened and then the next thing you know I’m here.” Now she lives in the big blue tent that’s visible from the Chehalis River Bridge, it has a fireplace and space for guests. She said she spends a lot of her time helping others find food, clothing, or shelter. “And I mean I have plans not to be down here in the long run, but I also have plans to stay down here until everything’s fine.”

The city’s code enforcement officer handed out eviction notices giving the campers until March 31st to move out, that deadline was extended to April 13th after Mayor Bill Simpson spoke with land owners involved.

This area has one of only a few gravel beaches along the Chehalis, with tides bringing the water level almost to the campfire.
This area has one of only a few gravel beaches along the Chehalis, high tides bring the water level almost to the campfire.

Other advocates are working behind the scenes to procure property and come up with a more permanent solution, however Aberdeen’s city ordinance still prohibits camping on private property – with or without the owner’s permission, an issue that has been addressed elsewhere at the city council level.

During our interview, Tasha explained why so many are choosing not to use other resources like the Union Gospel Mission. She also talks about life along the river before getting the recent attention, and what they are hoping for afterward.

Pacific County Emergency Management Agency offering CERT training

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) is offering a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in Long Beach.

The course will be held at the Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort (12415 Pacific Way, Long Beach). Pre-registration is required and is limited to 20 participants.

Training is scheduled as follows:

Saturday May 2, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 3 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 9, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The CERT program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. CERT members receive 20 hours of initial training provided free of charge. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first two days and practical exercises during the last day. Participants under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian permission to attend.

To register or for more information, contact Scott McDougall at (360) 642-9338 or email smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us.

Razor Clam dig approved November 4th through November 11th

Clam diggers can return to coastal beaches starting Tuesday, Nov. 4, to dig razor clams during the first of two planned openings in November.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the latest round of evening digs after marine toxin test results showed the clams are safe to eat. Digging is not allowed on any beach before noon.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide.

“With daylight saving time ending Sunday, diggers will have even less daylight to dig by and should bring lanterns or headlamps,” Ayres said.

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)

Digging days and evening low tides during the upcoming opening are:

  • Nov. 4, Tuesday; 4:26 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 5, Wednesday; 5:14 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 6, Thursday; 5:59 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 7, Friday; 6:42 p.m., -1.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 8, Saturday; 7:24 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 9, Sunday; 8:05 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 10, Monday; 8:47 p.m., -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 11, Tuesday; 9:31 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

 

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 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. A WDFW video, which demonstrates how to teach your kids to harvest razor clams, is available at http://youtu.be/gl9p_PparVk.

Ayres suggested that diggers also should check the forecast before heading out to the beaches.

 

“Clamming has been good when the weather hasn’t chased diggers away,” he said.

 

WDFW also has proposed another dig in November, tentatively set to begin Nov. 20 if marine toxin tests are favorable. That dig is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

 

  • Nov. 20, Thursday; 5:06 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 21, Friday; 5:45 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 22, Saturday; 6:24 p.m., -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 23, Sunday; 7:05 p.m., -1.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 24, Monday; 7:47 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 25, Tuesday; 8:32 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 26, Wednesday; 9:19 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

 

Comprehensive information about razor clams – from updates on tentative digs to how-to advice on digging and cooking – is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

No injuries, minor damages after small electrical fire at North Beach High School

A small electrical fire at North Beach High School this afternoon apparently started in a motor used to move the wall in their gym. The Ocean Shores Fire Department reports they responded after 1 P.M. Tuesday to the report of smoke at the school. The Grays Harbor PUD also reported a power outage in the area at the same time. Ocean Shores Fire crews checked the area and found only minor damage to the motor, no injuries were reported. The Grays Harbor PUD restored power just after 2:30 today.