Lady Washington Adds Visit to Westport to Its June Schedule

Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington, will help the City of Westport celebrate its 100th birthday with a visit June 27-29. The vessel will offer walk-on tours and a special Fireworks Sail for viewing the city’s fireworks show. Here’s the ship’s schedule:

 

6/27: 11:30 a.m., arrival of Lady Washington at Westport Marina

6/27: Noon to 5 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation per person requested
6/28: Noon to 5 p.m., walk-on tours, $3 donation per person requested
6/28: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fireworks Sail, $43-$63
6/29: 8 a.m., Lady Washington departs for Aberdeen.
The Fireworks Sail offers a chance for guests to watch the celebratory fireworks from the deck of a tall ship as it sails in Grays Harbor. Tickets are $63 adults, $53 students/seniors/active military, $43 children 12 and under. Guests will board the ship before departure at 8 p.m. Groups of eight or more purchasing tickets together automatically receive a 15 percent per ticket discount. The show is expected to start at dusk. Purchase tickets online at www.historicalseaport.org or call 800-200-5239.
Located on a peninsula on the south side of the entrance to Grays Harbor, Westport was incorporated on June 26, 1914. The city is home to the largest marina on the Pacific Coast of the Pacific Northwest. It is also home to the Grays Harbor Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on the Washington coast. The city has a population of 2,099.
Lady Washington is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her launch this year. The ship will also appear at Rusty Scupper Pirate Daze in Westport June 20-22.

Editors: Download high-res images of our ships at http://historicalseaport.smugmug.com. Click the “Media Images” category and select a gallery. We welcome media aboard to observe operations and interview crew. Contact (media only) Joe Follansbee, 360-589-0766, jfollansbee@historicalseaport.org. Information is subject to change without notice. Facebook: facebook.com/GHHSA; Twitter: @graysharborhist.

Federal council adopts alternatives for ocean salmon sport fisheries

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Anglers fishing along the Washington coast could see a higher catch quota for chinook salmon, and all three sport harvest alternatives for coho are up from last year.

Three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries, approved Thursday for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), were developed in response to projections of a higher abundance of Columbia River hatchery chinook and a significant increase in Columbia River coho. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The three alternatives establish a range of season structures and harvest quotas for ocean fisheries, while taking into account the needs of inside fisheries and ensuring that conservation objectives for wild fish are met, said Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“The strong returns forecast for Columbia River hatchery chinook and coho will allow us to provide recreational anglers some great fishing opportunities off the Washington coast this year, while continuing to meet conservation objectives for wild salmon populations,” said Anderson, who represents WDFW on the management council.

Two of the three alternatives include recreational mark-selective fisheries for hatchery chinook in June. If approved, this would be the fifth-straight year the ocean fishery would begin with a mark-selective fishery targeting hatchery chinook. Mark-selective fisheries allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon, marked with a missing adipose fin, but require that they release wild salmon.

Two of the alternatives would also allow retention of hatchery chinook in the LaPush and Neah Bay areas during halibut openings in May.

More than 1.6 million Columbia River fall chinook salmon are expected back this year. If that run comes in at forecast it would be the largest since record-keeping began in 1938. A portion of the run – about 225,000 salmon – is expected to be lower river hatchery chinook, which traditionally have been the backbone of the recreational ocean chinook fishery. In-river fisheries will also benefit from the strong return.

Additionally, the ocean abundance of Columbia River coho is forecast to be about 964,000 fish, three times as many fish as last year’s actual abundance. A significant portion of that run will contribute to the ocean fishery as well.

The PFMC is scheduled to make its final decision on this year’s ocean regulations and harvest quotas for recreational and commercial fisheries at its April meeting in Vancouver, Wash. The recreational fishing alternatives include the following quotas for fisheries off the Washington coast:

  • Alternative 1 – 60,000 chinook and 193,200 coho.
  • Alternative 2 – 58,000 chinook and 176,400 coho.
  • Alternative 3 – 47,500 chinook and 159,600 coho.

The PFMC last year adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas of 48,000 chinook and 74,760 coho salmon.

Under each option for this year, the ocean recreational fishery would vary:

Alternative 1:

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport/Ocean Shores): May 31-June 20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Marine areas 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay): May 16-17 and May 23-24 and May 31-June 20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.

Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 21-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 2: June 21-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 21-Sept. 21 and Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.  
Marine Area 4: June 21-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.

Alternative 2:

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine areas 1 and 2: June 7-June 20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Marine areas 3 and 4: May 23-24 and June 7-20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.

Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 21-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained. 
Marine Area 2: June 21-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 21-Sept. 21 and Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.
Marine Area 4: June 21-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.

Alternative 3:

Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 14-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 2: June 15-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 14-Sept. 21 and Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon. 
Marine Area 4: June 14-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.

A public hearing on the three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries is scheduled for March 24 in Westport.

Chinook and coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2014 salmon fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those fisheries.

The co-managers will complete the final 2014 salmon fisheries package in conjunction with the PFMC process during its April meeting.

Meanwhile, several public meetings are scheduled in March to discuss regional fisheries issues. A schedule of public meetings, as well as salmon run-size forecasts and more information about the salmon-season setting process, can be found on WDFW’s North of Falcon website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

Public meeting on salmon forecast kicks off WDFW season-setting process

OLYMPIA – Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year’s salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 3.

Kicking off the annual salmon season-setting process, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts – compiled by state and tribal biologists – of 2014 salmon returns.

The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., in Olympia.

Those attending the meeting will have an opportunity to talk to fishery managers about the pre-season forecasts and participate in work sessions focusing on possible salmon fisheries and conservation issues.

WDFW has also scheduled additional public meetings focusing on regional salmon issues through early April. This series of meetings – involving representatives from federal, state and tribal governments and recreational and commercial fishing industries – is known as the North of Falcon process.

A meeting schedule and more information about the salmon season-setting process for Puget Sound, the Columbia River and the Washington coast is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/

The North of Falcon process is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), responsible for establishing fishing seasons in ocean water three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Final adoption of the 2014 salmon fisheries is scheduled for April 10 at the PFMC meeting in Vancouver, Wash.

Imperium Renewables and Pacific Coast Canola sign contract for biofuel supply

HOQUIAM, Wash. –Imperium Renewables, one of the largest biodiesel manufacturers in the United States, has reached an agreement with Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) to purchaseregionally sourcedcanola oil for biodiesel production.
Pacific Coast Canola’s canola crushing plant in Warden, Wash., is the largest in the West. It began commercial operation in August of 2013 and has the capacity to produce at approximately 137,000 metric tons, or 40,000,000 gallons, of oil annually.
“This milestone agreement with PCC will help us fully realize the potential of renewable biofuels in Washington,” said Imperium CEO John Plaza.  “Canola grown by Pacific Northwest farmers will be processed by PCC and that oil will be made into biodiesel by Imperium at our Hoquiam refinery. This advanced biofuel will be shipped to consumers in the region and around the world. We have been pursuing this goal since 2004 and we are very excited to be working with PCC to see this vision through.”
The agreement will provide a reliable and diversified market for a portion of PCC’s production capacity, while supplying regionally sourced canola oil for Imperium. Locally sourced canola oil will help the biofuels company produce fuels that meet low-carbon fuel standards required by law in California and British Columbia, as well as biodiesel market demands in Oregon and Washington and the global marketplace. Low-carbon fuel standards mandate not only that fuel be refined from less carbon heavy materials such as petroleum, but also take into account the carbon emitted during the growth, production, distribution and use of those fuels.
“We are proud to partner with Imperium, one of our local Washington state customers benefitting from our close proximity,” said Matt Upmeyer, Chief Operations Officer of PCC. “The Imperium contract is another big step as we bring our facility to full capacity, which is great news for local canola farmers.”
About Imperium Renewables
Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production in the US. Founded in 2004, the company continues to focus on providing safe domestic fuel supplies for the marketplace and providing family wage jobs in Washington State. Imperium Renewables operates one of the nation’s largest BQ-9000 certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash., which is capable of producing up to 100 million gallons per year. More information is available at www.imperiumrenewables.com.
About Pacific Coast Canola
Pacific Coast Canola operates the first and only commercial scale canola crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains in Warden, Wash., which is well-positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the West Coast of the United States. Pacific Coast Canola is 84 percent owned by Legumex Walker Inc.

WDFW launches new family getaway planning website

The Washington Department of Fish (WDFW) has some great ideas for people planning family vacations this year – and all of them involve fishing.

Great Getaways, a new feature on the department’s website, showcases some of the state’s best family travel and fishing opportunities, from the Pacific Coast and the Columbia River to the trout lakes of the Selkirk Mountains.

“Washington doesn’t just have some of the best fishing in the country, it also has some of the most diverse, family-friendly vacation spots,” said Chris Donley, manager of the department’s inland fish program.

Profiles of 14 vacation destinations provide vacation planners tips on where to go, what to catch, and where to stay. Each article includes links to state parks, public campgrounds, and nearby visitor information services.

“This new feature is designed for both Washington residents and visitors from outside the state,” said Bruce Botka, WDFW’s community outreach and public affairs manager. “I’ve lived in Washington for more than 30 years, and I know our readers will discover fishing, camping, and vacation opportunities they didn’t know about before.”

Botka noted that the department recently joined the Washington Tourism Alliance and is increasing its efforts to promote travel and vacation opportunities in communities throughout the state.

“Recreation-based tourism is a major contributor to the state’s economy, and WDFW’s programs are a major contributor to outdoor recreation,” he said.

Donley said the new guide will be expanded in coming months with new ideas for fishing-based vacations that offer a wide range of other opportunities for outdoor recreation.

“We aren’t trying to give away anyone’s favorite fishing hole,” Donley said. “There are plenty of fish throughout the state, and plenty of great places to catch them.”

To start planning this year’s vacations, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/vacation/ .

Ecology publishes updated Grays Harbor oil-spill response plan

OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Coast Guard published an updated Grays Harbor Geographic Response Plan this week to improve site-specific, oil-spill response strategies in the area.

The plan is one of 19 geographic response plans (GRPs) in the state designed to lessen the impact of spilled oil on sensitive natural, cultural, and economic resources during t an incident. It covers shoreline and nearshore areas from Cosmopolis to the Pacific Coast (Grayland to Copalis Beach).
The Grays Harbor GRP is part of a larger plan called the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP) which covers Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The NWACP functions as Washington State’s master plan for oil spill and hazardous substance release response. The NWACP is maintained by the Northwest Area Committee, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho State Emergency Response Commission, and Ecology.

From the end of August through mid-October, Ecology solicited public comments on the updated draft GRP for Grays Harbor. Over 40 comments were received during this period from ten groups or individuals. “We appreciate the feedback because it allows us to develop a plan with input from citizens, resource managers, spill response contractors, industry representatives, tribal governments, and local officials,” said Dale Jensen, Spills Program Manager. “Updating the GRP is one of several readiness improvements happening in Grays Harbor over the next months.  The natural environment of the harbor is truly a jewel to this state, and the harbor is getting a well deserved boost in oil spill preparedness.”

The updated plan contains site-specific spill response measures like oil-containment booming and notification strategies. It also establishes priorities based on potential spill locations and the proximity of sensitive resources to them. Jensen said all of the strategies within the plan support Ecology’s goal of a rapid, aggressive, and well coordinated response to oil spills.  Other improvements will include tugs, more equipment staged locally and an opportunity for vessel owners to volunteer for training to support oil spill responses.

The former Grays Harbor GRP was published in March, 2003 and work to update the plan began in August, 2009. The updated plan is significantly more detailed, and nearly six times larger than the former plan. All parts of the existing plan were comprehensively reviewed and updated, with two dozen response strategies added.

The updated plan and Ecology’s response to public comments are available online:
. 2013 Grays Harbor GRP Web page: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/GraysHarbor/GraysHarbor.html
. Ecology’s Response to Comments on draft updated Grays Harbor GRP: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/GraysHarbor/GraysHarbor-RTC.pdf
. The Grays Harbor GRP is part of the larger Northwest Area Contingency Plan.

For more information:
Geographic Response Plans:  http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/Introduction/introduction.htm
Ecology Spills Program:
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html

Ecology’s social media:
www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html

Wash. Governor Inslee accepting applications for Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council

Engrossed Senate Bill 5603 signed by Governor Inslee establishes the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council at the Governor’s office and assigns Department of Ecology as primary staff support to the council. For questions about the council, contact Jennifer Hennessey at jennifer.hennessey@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-6595.

Grays Harbor tall ships to escort Paddle to Quinault canoes

2013 marks the 225th anniversary of the first contact between the newly independent United States and the rich coastal cultures of the Pacific Northwest. For Paddle to Quinault 2013, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will provide on-the-water safety and logistical support for all event participants. The organizations will also document the event to encourage other cross-cultural efforts. More info about Paddle to Quinault is available at www.paddletoquinault.org.

 

Hawaiian Chieftain

Launched in 1989 as part of the Washington Centennial, the Lady Washington is a wooden replica of one of the first U.S.-flagged ships to visit the west coast of North America. In 1788, the original Lady Washington arrived off the coast of what would later become Oregon to trade with native people for furs. She also traded along the coast of Vancouver Island before returning to Boston. Hawaiian Chieftain, launched in 1988, is an interpretation of a typical early 19th century coastal trader. Hawaiian Chieftain specializes in living history educational program for K-12 students. 

 

Public Comment Period Open for Pacific Coast Marine Spatial Plan

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment regarding what elements should be covered in a marine spatial plan for the state’s 375 miles of ocean coastline. This includes feedback about the draft goals, objectives, boundaries as well as other scoping issues that should be included under a related environmental impact statement (EIS) for Washington’s Pacific Coast.

The EIS will evaluate the alternatives and potential significant adverse impacts associated with developing the marine spatial plan. The scoping document below provides important background, context, and draft proposed language to assist those wishing to provide comments. We strongly encourage those commenting to review the scoping document prior to preparing and submitting their comments.

Washington marine spatial planning


Public Comment Scoping Document
Optional Comment Card (word)

Submit comments electronically at mspcomments@ecy.wa.gov by 5 pm, September 23, 2013.

Written comments may be mailed to: Department of Ecology, SEA Program, PO Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600

Interpretive Trillium Hikes Offered at Lake Sylvia State Park

The Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia State Parks (FOSLS) strive to support, promote and ensure the perpetual operation of Schafer and Lake Sylvia state parks. FOSLS raises funds and in-kind donations for the support of these two state parks, through events such as the Fall Festival at Lake Sylvia, the Yule Log Celebration at Schafer and year-round volunteer efforts. Friends groups support Washington state parks in a variety of ways, including financial assistance and volunteer support and helping keep to state parks open and operating for the enjoyment of all Washingtonians. To learn more about starting a friends group, contact Peter Herzog at (360) 902-8652 or Peter.Herzog@parks.wa.gov.

Lake Sylvia State Park is a camping park with freshwater shoreline along Lake Sylvia. The park began as an old logging camp in a wooded area halfway between Olympia and the Pacific Coast. The lake was formed by damming up Sylvia Creek for the purpose of log ponding and power production. The 233-acre camping park is popular with anglers with its creek-fed lake that is stocked annually with rainbow trout. There are two rail-trails located in the park. One of the trails includes a wooden bridge built just above the elevation of the water. The boardwalk bridge makes a great location for fishing.

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WaStatePks_NEWS and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks.

The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 99-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.

Support state parks by purchasing your Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.