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.

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.

Hoquiam outsources ambulance billing, drops resident write-off

No more special treatment for Hoquiam residents when it comes to ambulance billing. The Hoquiam City Council last night adopted a new ordinance that outsources that department, and standardizes rates. Resident Dave Forbes said during the public comment period “I know that our city’s in a real financial bind, but the citizens of Hoquiam have stepped forward several times in the past with special fees that we’ve been paying for a long time that were supposed to have helped pay for the ambulance service for the average citizen in Hoquiam and it sounds to me like we’re doing away with just about all of that.”
The council last night got a look at a balanced budget proposal by Finance Director Mike Folkers, which assumes lower service levels, and the changes in ambulance fees. “As you know today we go out, we take you on an ambulance trip, we bill your insurance. Anything that’s left over from that trip we write off, for Hoquiam residents. That’s problematic for us for a number of reasons but it doesn’t help us.”
City Administrator Brian Shay likened the problem to your water department “The average homeowner pays a water bill every month, they get a water leak, they want us to come over and shut their water off, we send a guy over there with a truck and we charge him $30. We get a call for someone to check their blood pressure, we’ll send two highly trained personnel in $100,000 ambulance, and [currently] there’s no charge.
Attempting to put the brakes on the idea, Councilman Greg Grund postponed a vote on one of the the committee reports “You know you can charge somebody to death with all of these fees and everything, I think it should be tabled because people have the right to know what’s gonna happen and what’s gonna change. Tabling this until the next meeting I don’t see how that does any harm.” His motion stalled the non-transport-section of the ordinance which allows the city to bill you a flat rate if an ambulance shows up but doesn’t transport you. The council went on to adopt the new billing policies, and an Indigent Care policy last night.

City of Aberdeen to reconsider fluoridation of water supply

The city of Aberdeen will review whether they should continue adding fluoride to their water in the coming months, after several public comments on the matter North Aberdeen resident Karla Eilers spoke last night. “There are many out there that believe that fluoridating our public water is a great idea and helps prevent tooth decay. The CDC has gone as far as to say that fluoridation is 1 of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century.” Eilers said that some opinions have changed in the 15 years that Aberdeen has been adding fluoride to the water supply. “According to data from the World Health Organization, there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of developed countries that fluoridate their water, and the majority that do not.”
The city council last night voted to draft an ordinance to remove fluoridation from the water supply, Eilers is hoping the community gets involved, she said after the meeting. “There  is the positives of fluoridation, there’s also the negatives. They have been swayed by reports from the CDC and other governments that it’s good for you, when in reality there’s enough scientific support that it’s actually not. I think it’s important that the citizens be made aware of these issues and the information that’s out there and be able to make a choice and vote on whether or not they want to have this in their drinking water.”
To contact your city councilmember find your ward representative in the Government section of their website www.aberdeenwa.gov

FEMA to review Grays Harbor County Risk Report at October meeting

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has completed a detailed risk assessment for Grays Harbor County to include all Cities within the County which has been summarized in a report which can be downloaded here. The risk assessment includes a detailed assessment on every building in each community and determines losses due to flood and earthquake, and also assesses impacts from tsunami and landslides. In addition to the risk assessment, a mitigation action section highlights potential mitigation projects as identified through the risk assessment and also includes an overview of actions in the current mitigation plan for each jurisdiction.

They will be holding a meeting to discuss the report and have a detailed discussion with the community on mitigation and resiliency. The meeting will be held on October 23rd at the Log Pavilion in Aberdeen, WA located at 1401 Sargent Blvd from 1:00-3:30pm.

FEMA will be attending along with various state agencies to include Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Emergency Management Division and Washington Sea Grant.

related article Coastal Flood Hazard Study for Grays Harbor County enters appeal period

Continue reading FEMA to review Grays Harbor County Risk Report at October meeting

Pacific County seeks consultant to update Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is currently seeking proposals from qualified consultants to update the Pacific County Hazard Mitigation Plan that meets all requirements under 44 CFR Part 201.6.

 

As described in the Federal Register (Volume 67, Numbers 38 and 109, dated February 26, 2002 and October 2002 respectively,) Section 322 of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires that all local governments adopt an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan (Plan) to be eligible to receive future hazard mitigation grant funding. The purpose of the Plan is to demonstrate the “jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risks from natural hazards, serving as a guide for decision-makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of natural hazards. Local plans will also serve as the basis for the State to provide technical assistance and to prioritize project funding.”

 

To fulfill this requirement, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency seeks consultant services in order to update the existing Hazard Mitigation Plan thereby meeting the necessary requirements of and is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA).

 

To request a complete proposal packet, contact Scott McDougall smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us, 360-875-9338, or visit the Pacific County website at www.co.pacific.wa.us.

Proposals should be mailed to:

 

Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
PO Box 27
South Bend, WA 98586

 

 

Great Washington ShakeOut hits 1 Million goal

More than 1 million Washingtonians have now signed up to participate in the Great Washington ShakeOut statewide earthquake drill, making the exercise the largest in state history.
On Thursday, Oct. 16th at 10:16 a.m., citizens across the state will “drop, cover and hold on,” practicing the skills to help stay safe during an earthquake. In addition, coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens at the same time.
“We set an extraordinary goal and I couldn’t be more pleased that we met it,” said John Schelling, Mitigation & Recovery Section Manager with the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division. “Now I’m hoping we can go even higher. The ShakeOut provides the perfect opportunity for all Washingtonians to practice earthquake safety and then do at least one more thing to become better prepared for our next earthquake or even our next winter storm. I encourage those who haven’t signed up yet to participate in this important drill.”
Visit www.shakeout.org/washington for more information, to register to participate in the exercise. As of early this morning, 1,018,934 have registered to participate in tomorrow’s annual ShakeOut drill.

New to be artwork unveiled at Hoquiam Timberland Library

On Wednesday, October 15, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Hoquiam Timberland Library, artist Jenny Fisher will unveil her latest work – two large murals depicting many of the most beloved icons from children’s and teen literature.

 

Library staff members anticipate a large turnout for the public unveiling and members of the Friends of the Hoquiam Timberland Library, who commissioned and paid for the murals, will be present to celebrate the occasion.

 

Each mural measures 87 by 72 inches and is installed on either side of the Library’s signature stained glass windows, forming a wall of color and fantasy.

 

“This is what I know,” writes Jenny Fisher, “I have been an artist since … 6th grade … and an avid reader since 4th grade when a librarian toured me around the school library. These two identities have enriched my life.”

 

A native of California, Fisher attended college in her home state and in Oregon, majoring in art.  She has lived in Grays Harbor since 1985, establishing herself as a mural artist through Washington State’s 1989 Bicentennial mural project.  Since that time, Fisher has painted numerous public murals in Grays Harbor County.

 

“Through my own childhood, my children’s childhood, and now my grandchildren’s, I have experienced many delightful authors and artists in the children’s section of the library,” Fisher reminisced.  “Of the books depicted on these panels,” she continued, “my favorites include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Jungle Book, Peter Rabbit, Bread and Jam For Francis, The Golden Compass, and Charlotte’s Web … I could have painted on and on.”

 

All programs at Timberland Regional Libraries are free and open to the public.

 

The Hoquiam Timberland Library is located at 420 7th Street. For information, contact the library at (360) 532-1710 or visit www.TRL.org.

WDFW expands ‘Fish Washington’ website, new tools for saltwater anglers

OLYMPIA – With millions of visits since its launch in 2012, Fish Washington webpages have been providing the “when’s, where’s and how-to’s” of fishing in Washington to anglers of all ages and skill levels.

Now, after developing new content for nearly a year, The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has expanded the site to provide additional details about fishing Washington’s outer coast, Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, Hood Canal, and Puget Sound.

Altogether, the Fish Washington site (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/ ) has new fishing information for some 3,800 square miles of saltwater.

“Fish Washington marine area improvements are extensive,” said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW recreational salmon fishery manager. “We revised and rebuilt this tool to help saltwater anglers gain additional information, have more fun, and find the fish they seek.”

Features include:

  • Species calendars showing when to fish by area and species, including salmon, halibut, lingcod, rockfish, flounder, tuna, and other marine species;
  • Mapping tools that enable anglers to plan their trips and gain information on shore and boat access;
  • Fishing tips that include YouTube instructional videos, Fishing 101 lessons, fish preparation tips, and information on public clam and oyster beaches;
  • The Great Getaways vacation planning section, which provides extensive information about family-friendly fishing vacations; and
  • Fishing reports that give anglers information on where the bite is on.

“We are not giving away anyone’s secret fishing holes,” said Dayv Lowry, a fisheries research biologist with the department, “but these improvements should make it easier for all anglers to prepare and plan for successful saltwater outings.”

Seahawks fan takes 12 to a whole new level

Local veteran Bill Vandenbush lost his right eye in Vietnam, his wife surprised him recently for their anniversary with one of the more unusual gifts for a Seahawk fan.

Bill Vandenbush and his new "favorite eye"

The glass eye features the logo of Bill’s favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks, he adds “we can’t take these things too seriously, things happen to people as we grow and we experience life. Sometimes we become disabled, or ill, or lose our hair, but if you take things too seriously life can get very very difficult, and we have to laugh at ourselves sometimes.”

Bill lost his eye at age 19, along with his vocal cords during combat operations in Vietnam, his book “If Morning Never Comes” can be found on Amazon.com and through third party sellers.

Find his entire interview in our OnDemand section.