Out & about

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



Razor clam digging resumes Saturday along Washington coast

LONG BEACH — Razor clam digging will be open Saturday and Sunday on the Long Beach Peninsula plus three other Washington beaches.

Seven days of digging in March and early April have been announced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Final approval of the digs are made about a week before each is scheduled to start and depend on marine toxin tests indicating the clams are safe to eat.

The openings, along with morning low tides, are:

o Saturday (7:39 am -0.3 feet): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.

o Sunday (9:28 am -0.4.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.

o March 24, Saturday (8:25 am +0.3.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.

o March 25, Sunday (8:59 a.m., +0.3 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

o April 7, Saturday (7:36 a.m., -1.2 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch.

o April 8, Sunday (8:23 a.m., -1.5 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch.

o April 9, Monday (9:11 a.m., -1.5 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Kalaloch.

No digging is allowed later than noon in the spring.

Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager, said additional digging in late April and early May may be announced at some beaches if enough clams remain available for harvest.

Diggers are allowed 15 clams per day and must keep the first 15 dug. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Diggers age 15 and older must have a valid license. Washington’s recreational license year is April 1 through March 31, meaning last year’s license is not valid for the April digging.

An annual clam license for state residents is $11. A three-day license is $6.60.

Testimony taken on Friday about state hunting proposals

MOSES LAKE — A public hearing on Washington’s 2012-14 hunting regulations will begin at 8 a.m. Friday at the Moses Lake Civic Center, 410 S. Balsam St.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will listen to testimony on more than a dozen proposed changes in state hunting rules, ranging from allowing waterfowl hunters to use electronic decoys to adding a day to elk season in Western Washington.

State wildlife managers will brief the commission on hunting seasons for small game, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, cougar, black bear, deer and elk in conjunction with the proposed rule changes. The commission will accept public comments during hearings that follow each hunting-rule briefing.

Adoption by the commission is scheduled for April 13-14 in Olympia.

Meeting to discuss improvement plan for Lewis River road No. 90

An open house will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest office, 10600 N.E. 51st Circle, to discuss plans to improve Lewis River road No. 90 along Swift Reservoir.

Plans call for improving 19 miles between the Skamania County line east of Cougar to the junction of Curly Creek road No. 51. A safety study in 2009 identified road stabilization, asphalt surfacing, reflective signs, guardrails and reduction of falling rocks as needed to meet highway safety standards.

Design of the project will begin this year with construction anticipated in 2014 or 2015, said Tom Snoberger, forest engineer for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

The federal Forest Highway Program provides money to restore roads to or within a national forest or grassland.

Three parks to open on Oregon side of Columbia Gorge

HOOD RIVER, Ore. — Three parks on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge open for the season on March 16.

Ainsworth State Park is 18 miles east of Troutdale. Memaloose State Park is 11 miles west of The Dalles and Viento State Park is eight miles west of Hood River.

Discount camping rates, usually $4 less than summer fees, are in effect until April 30 at all Oregon state parks.

Information on conditions at the parks can be found online at www.oregonstateparks.org or by calling 800-551-6949.

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