Three ocean beaches will open in early May for a razor-clam dig that could be the last dig of the season.
Morning digs are set on two beaches – Long Beach and Twin Harbors – for six straight days, May 3-8. Mocrocks Beach, which extends north from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Indian Reservation, will also be open for razor-clam digging May 7-8.
No digging will be allowed on any of those beaches after noon.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all three beaches are safe to eat.
Under state rules, 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.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish coordinator, said clam diggers have taken most of the razor clams available for harvest this season on Washington’s ocean beaches.
“The April opener was very successful, both in terms of weather conditions and the number of clams dug,” Ayres said. “After this next dig, we’ll have to see if any more clams can be harvested under the state’s share of the annual quota.”
Two beaches – Copalis and Kalaloch – are closed for the season, said Ayres, noting that the April dig brought Copalis Beach up to 98.8 percent of the state’s harvest quota. “What remains isn’t enough for even one more day of digging,” he said.
Copalis Beach, now closed until fall, lies south of the Copalis River and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City. Ayres cautions diggers to observe the boundary between that area and Mocrocks Beach, which will open May 7-8 north of the Copalis River. The area opening to digging at Mocrocks includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
“The boundary isn’t really an issue when both beaches are open for digging, but it will be for the upcoming opening,” he said.
Ayres also reminds diggers to avoid signed upland beach areas at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, which are closed to protect nesting western snowy plovers. At Long Beach, the closed areas are located north of the Oysterville Road from the state park boundary north to Leadbetter Point. At Twin Harbors, the closed areas are located from just south of Midway Beach Road to the first beach-access trail at Grayland Beach State Park.
Dates and morning low tides for the upcoming dig are:
- Tuesday, May 3 – 7:29 a.m., -0.6 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
- Wednesday, May 4 – 8:04 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
- Thursday, May 5 – 8:40 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
- Friday, May 6 – 9:18 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
- Saturday, May 7 – 10:00 a.m., -0.6 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
- Sunday, May 8 – 10:46 a.m., -0.4 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
A home building market that is at a 20 to 30 year low and plywood market conditions that are at a 50 year low have forced the shutdown of the Hoquiam Plywood facility. Manager Mark McFeely says the shutdown will impact around 100 employees and will be on a week to week basis. Employees of Hoquiam Plywood were reportedly been told last night that the decision to shutdown had been made and that today was the last day of operation. McFeely says the company attempted to keep up operations, making shipments throughout the country, but “if we’re not moving wood we can’t operate”.
Usually the termination of a coches contract is an open and shut case. Not so with Mike Cummings. At last nights Hoquiam School board meeting many people stood up and pleaded for the wrestling coach to be reinstated. Cummings contract was not renewed due to controversy last year when there were issues with the forfeiture of a couple of wrestling matches. Community members, assistant coaches and students spoke on Cummings defense, urging the board to reconsider the release of the coach. Cummings was praised for his passion and work ethic. Hoquiam’s Wrestling program has been sanctioned by the WIAA and will not be allowed to participate in any post season activity next year. Superintendant Mike Parker says he is still calling the WIAA to get the issues resolved.
Aberdeen 4, Tuwmater 2
–Bobcats clinch 6th straight league title
–Kyle Liscomb 2 goals
Hoquiam 2, Montesano 0
–Grizzlies clinch league championship
–Isreal Fernandez 2 goals
The issue of staff reductions and budget cuts was issue number one for the Hoquiam School Board last night. Due to both federal and state budget cuts the Hoquiam School District will be cutting multiple positions. The list of people on the chopping block has not been finalized and could be edited when the budget is presented. Superintendant Mike Parker says they have been struggling with the reductions this year and are trying to meet budget totals. Parker also urged the board to contact local legislators to ask for a quick special session so the district can get the budget completed on time. The final decisions will not be made until the final budget is released.
The City of Oakville has one and the City of Hoquiam is taking steps to avoid them, now the City of Aberdeen is garnering interest from a businessman who would like to open a medicinal marijuana facility. Mayor Bill Simpson says the man inquired about the possibility of opening such a facility in Aberdeen and was told that a number of laws exist against the licensing of such facilities at the city and federal level. The state legislature is moving towards passage of a bill that would legalize the licensing of such facilities, however the governor has threatened to veto any measure that goes against federal law.
Last weeks tsunami drill is revealing some needs for the City of Aberdeen. While the city was able to evacuate city hall and move essential equipment to safe ground, Public Works Committee Chairman Tim Elstrom says a new storage facility located out of the inundation zone is a point the city may consider. Aberdeen’s thought echo those of the City of Hoquiam, who have also begun to consider storage facilities located on high ground for some of their equipment.
Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson and the Aberdeen City Council blasted the Grays Harbor County Commissioners on Wednesday for their agreement to the Chehalis Basin Cooperative. Simpson accused they’d commissioners of “sneaking” the agreement through and “selling the cities down the river”. Flood Authority member Jim Cook said he was “flabergasted” by the move and that the authority did not recognize the co-op and would continue to work towards flood mitigation on their own. The nine mayors of Grays Harbor have signed a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire asking that the co-op not be recognized by the state. Aberdeen joins Hoquiam and Cosmopolis in taking the county to task for their actions which many feel were sprung without warning and destroyed trust in the county leadership.
The City of Hoquiam has received notice that for the third year in a row, we have earned a Tree City USA Designation from the Arbor Day Foundation because of the city’s commitment to urban forestry. For the second consecutive year, the city has also earned the Arbor Day Growth Award for demonstrating progress in our community forestry program. The prestigious Growth Award honors environmental improvements and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities. Hoquiam is one of 77 cities in Washington to earn Tree City designation, but is the only one on the Olympic Peninsula.