OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to open ocean beaches to razor clam digging for several days in March and April if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
WDFW will announce the results of those tests about a week before each dig is scheduled to start.
The March dig is tentatively scheduled to begin after noon Saturday, March 19, then switch to morning hours March 20-22. Under that plan, digging will be allowed at four beaches – Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks – March 19-20, then continue at two beaches – Long Beach and Twin Harbors – March 21-22.
No digging will be allowed before noon March 19 or after noon March 20-22.
“We’re planning this opening at the time of year when the best tides for digging razor clams switch from the evening to the morning,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “It’s a little tricky from a scheduling standpoint, but it does provide an opportunity for back-to-back digs the evening of Saturday, March 19, and the morning of Sunday, March 20.”
The fifth annual Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival, which includes a chowder cookoff, is also scheduled March 19. Information on the festival is available at http://www.2011clams.com/.
Proposed digging days and low tides for March are:
Saturday, March 19, 7:04 p.m. (-0.1 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
Sunday, March 20, 7:36 a.m. (-0.5 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
Monday, March 21, 8:23 a.m. (-0.9 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Tuesday March 22, 9:12 a.m. (-1.0 ft); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
In April, WDFW plans to open Long Beach and Twin Harbors for digging April 7-9 until noon each day if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. Proposed digging days and low tides in April are:
Thursday, April 7, 9:37 a.m. (0.1 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Friday, April 8, 10:19 a.m., (0.2 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Saturday, April 9, 11:07 a.m. (0.4 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Kalaloch Beach will remain closed to razor-clam digging until further notice for an assessment of the clam population on the beach. The beach, located inside Olympic National Park, is managed by the National Park Service.
On 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.
Noting that 2010-11 state fishing licenses expire March 31, Ayres reminds diggers age 15 or older that they must purchase a 2011-12 license to participate in the April opening. Various licenses, ranging from a three-day razor-clam license to a multi-species combination license, are avaiIable online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.
“We plan to announce additional digging opportunities later in spring, so diggers may want to take that into account when they go to purchase a license,” Ayres said.
Diggers should also be aware that Kalaloch Beach will remain closed to razor-clam digging until further notice for an assessment of the clam population on the beach. The beach, located inside Olympic National Park, is managed by the National Park Service.
The five razor-clam beaches in Washington include:
Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from Cape Shoalwater 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.
On Saturday night at the 7th St Theatre in Hoquiam, Lacey Goble was crowned Miss Grays Harbor 2011. Goble is a 19 year old Grays Harbor College student from Montesano. Her platform was the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and has been involved locally in the Relay for 12 years.
Goble says she is”…excited for the coming year, and the chance to represent Grays Harbor County.”
Goble received $1,500 in scholarships on Saturday as well as entry into the Miss Washington scholarship program this summer.
First runner up to the title was Portland State University student Claire Bruncke. Second runner up was Julayne Fleury, a student at Grays Harbor College with Goble.
On Friday, Chandra Munger, of Hoquiam, was crowned Miss Grays Harbor Outstanding Teen 2011 will compete in Miss Washington Outstanding Teen this Summer as well. Paige Kuhn of Aberdeen was first runner up and Kylie Shepard of Ocean Shores was second-runner up in the Outstanding Teen program.
Miss Grays Harbor is a local non profit organization and an official preliminary to the Miss Washington and Miss America programs. The Miss America Organization is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women today. The first Miss Grays Harbor was Lorraine Lowder in 1948, and she went on to be the first of 2 Miss Grays Harbor titleholders to earn the title Miss Washington. For more information visit MissGraysHarbor.org
Despite cold and wet weather, the Aberdeen Fire Department responded Thursday afternoon to a fire that consumed a residence on Marion in South Aberdeen. Battalion Chief Damon Lillybridge told KXRO that the fire started in the kitchen of the residence when a stove was left unattended. There was extensive heat damage to the kitchen area with moderate smoke damage throughout the structure. The residents were not at home at the time the fire broke out.
Lillybridge says the fire spread from the kitchen and into the attic. Aberdeen Fire attempted to extinguish the blaze for approximately an hour, but the fire was fully involved by the time they were on scene. The damage is estimated to be around 50 thousand dollars.
Aberdeen Fire reminds residents, this serves as a good reminder to never leave cooking items on the stove unattended. Always check your appliance to confirm it is off after use.
On Wednesday, members of the Pacific County Drug Task Force served a narcotics related search warrant upon a residence located in the Ocean Park area. The service of the warrant was the result of an ongoing investigation into the illicit sales of several different narcotics. Drug Task Force members located methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and diverted prescription medications during the search. Drug Task Force Members also located paraphernalia commonly used to facilitate the sales of narcotics along with a loaded handgun within direct proximity of the narcotics during the search.
Sean D. DeMille, age 24, was arrested at the scene without incident for several felony counts directly related to the investigation. DeMille was transported to the Pacific County Jail for booking.
Multiple agencies assisted with the service of the warrant. Inter-agency cooperation was key to the success of the operation. Agencies assisting were the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, the Long Beach Police Department, the Raymond Police Department, the Shoalwater Bay Tribal Police and the South Bend Police Department.
A Stryker brigade soldier from Montesano based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord has been convicted of assaulting a fellow soldier who had told of drug use in their platoon during a deployment to Afghanistan last year.
A military judge on Wednesday also convicted 26-year-old Spc. Adam Kelly in conspiring to harm the whistleblower, Spc. Justin Stoner. Kelly, of Montesano, was found not guilty of using drugs during the deployment and not guilty of trying to obstruct an Army investigation.
The judge sentenced Kelly to 60 days hard labor and discharged him from the Army.
Kelly acknowledged being one of six soldiers who assaulted Stoner in May.
Kelly is one of 12 soldiers in his platoon accused of misconduct while in Afghanistan. Five of them face charges that they killed three civilians during patrols.
Grays Harbor PUD is responding to a power outage in the North Beach area impacting about 1,200 customers. The outage occurred at about 7:50am.
The outage area is north of Hoquiam and includes the Moclips, Pacific
Beach, Taholah, and Copalis Beach and Copalis Crossing areas. The PUD is inspecting the power line serving the area. The cause of the outage has not been determined and there is no estimated time for restoration of power yet.
Railroad representatives have approached the Cities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam and the Port of Grays Harbor with a possible solution to the rail traffic that has become an in issue in East Aberdeen. Mayor Bill Simpson says the preliminary idea is for the sorting yard to be moved from its location at the foot of Broadway in Aberdeen, downriver to the Anderson Middleton site and an area owned by the Port. Simpson says by moving the yard further to the west, trains will have more room to be connected together, lessening the traffic snarls in the Gateway Mall area caused by the trains stopping for more cars to be attached. The early estimates place the cost for the project at $13-million.