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The Chronicle - Centralia

WDFW Announces Seven Days of Clam Digging Starting Saturday

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced opportunities for clam digging at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis beaches from Oct. 8 to 14.

"Most of the 2,700 harvesters who went out during last week's season opener found easy digging, and we're expecting more of the same," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "As usual, we'll continue to test and monitor the situation closely prior to all planned openings."

The new dates come after previously announced clam digging times were canceled due to high levels of domoic acid. A recent test of marine toxin levels at Mocrocks beaches showed levels below the health guidelines. However, two test samples below the health guidelines taken 10 days apart required before a beach can reopen for razor clam digging. 

Not all beaches are open during a dig and clam diggers are encouraged to check whether their intended destination is open before leaving. 

Digging is prohibited on razor clam reserves. The reserves are marked out by 10-foot poles with signs.

The daily limit for razor clams is 15 clams per person regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. 

All diggers 15 and older must get a fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses may be purchased on WDFW's licensing website or from one of the hundreds of license vendors in the state. Options range from a three day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license. Prospective diggers are encouraged to purchase their license before visiting the digging locations. 

The most successful times to dig occur one to two hours before the listed low tide time. Clam digging will be open at the following dates and associated low tide times:

  • Oct. 8, Saturday, 6:21 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 9, Sunday, 7:05 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 10, Monday, 7:46 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 11, Tuesday, 8:26 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 12, Wednesday, 9:06 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 13, Thursday, 9:46 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 14, Friday, 10:29 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors




Centralia College Swept by Pierce

The Centralia College volleyball team was swept Wednesday by Pierce College at home, 25-14, 25-11, 25-15. 

No stats were reported, but Trailblazers coach Susan Gordon praised the leadership and effort of Catelyn Hunsaker through the three sets of play. 

The Blazers (0-19, 0-4 NWAC) take on Highline at home on Friday for their next match. 

Father of Missing Oakville Girl Found to Be in Compliance With Court Order

After multiple attempts to provide an evaluation and treatment plan, Andrew Carlson, a prime suspect in the disappearance of his 5-year-old biological daughter Oakley Carlson, appeared in person at the Grays Harbor Superior Court on Monday, Oct. 3, for a review hearing for re-arraignment. He was found to be in compliance with his court order although he will continue to be monitored.

This was the fourth hearing in as many weeks for Carlson, who was released from jail on Aug. 3 following an eight-month long sentence after pleading guilty to two felony charges of child endangerment unrelated to Oakley. Carlson, who appeared via video call at his last review hearing on Sept. 26, was mandated by Judge Katherine L. Svoboda to appear in person for the Oct. 3 hearing after failing to provide his chemical dependency evaluation to the judge and his defense attorney Johnathan Feste.

With the in-person hearing mandated and threats of punishment if failing to comply, this prompted more than a dozen local community members advocating for Oakley to wait outside the courthouse with signs, eager to ask Carlson about the whereabouts of his missing daughter.

When Carlson and a member of his defense counsel, Karrie Young, left the courthouse following the hearing, they were greeted by the community members with statements and questions such as, “Do the right thing” and “How do you live with yourself?” Carlson did not respond to any member of the crowd and walked away.

Although Carlson has met the requirements of his court order and is essentially a free man, he is still barred from having any contact with minors under 18 except for his biological kids.

Oakley’s biological parents, Jordan Bowers and Carlson, claim they last saw her on Nov. 30, 2021, but the last time detectives with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office can definitively confirm Oakley was seen alive was nine months prior, on Feb. 10, 2021.

They have not cooperated with the investigation into Oakley’s disappearance or with efforts to find her.

Both were convicted on unrelated child endangerment concerning their other children earlier this year.

A reward fund for information leading to Oakley’s whereabouts had reached $80,000 as of early September.

The reward fund is managed by Light the Way Missing Persons Advocacy Project.

More information on Oakley’s case and opportunities to help with the search effort can be found at https://justiceforoakley.wixsite.com/home.

Anyone with information that could aid law enforcement in their search for Oakley is encouraged to contact the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office at 360-533-8765 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST. To speak to a detective directly, contact Detective Sgt. Paul Logan at 360-964-1729 or email sodetectives@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

Information from The Chronicle’s archives was included in this report. 

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Metro News

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Seattle Times Politics

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Columbian Newspaper

Early data indicates Idaho wolf population is holding steady
Author: KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s wolf population appears to be holding steady despite recent changes by lawmakers that allow expanded methods and seasons for killing wolves, the state’s top wildlife official said Thursday.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever told lawmakers on the Natural Resources Interim Committee that preliminary data on human-caused and natural wolf mortality looks similar to three previous years.

He also said the agency is using changes in wolf hunting laws that could lead to killing more wolves in areas with livestock conflicts or where elk herds are below population goals, potentially through a wolf-killing reimbursement program for skilled trappers and hunters.

“I think the best way to describe Idaho’s population right now is that it’s fairly stable, and it’s fluctuating around 1,250,” he told lawmakers. “Part of the year it’s below that; part of the year it’s above that. But the population is fluctuating around 1,250.”

Schriever, in a graph presented to lawmakers, showed the state’s wolf population from 2019 to 2021 fluctuating with a high of more than 1,600 in May when wolf pups are born down to a low of about 800 in April as wolves die through natural mortality, hunting or trapping.

Schriever said that the same pattern with potentially similar numbers could be repeated this year. But the agency won’t have a solid estimate for the 2022 wolf population until January when it analyzes additional information and millions of photos taken by remote cameras.

The agency in previous years picked August as the date to set the wolf population, putting it at about 1,500. The 1,250 estimate is a snapshot of the wolf population in November, at about the midpoint of the annual population fluctuation.

Idaho lawmakers in 2021 approved a law backed by ranchers that greatly expanded wolf killing in what some lawmakers stated could reduce the wolf population by 90%. Backers said it would reduce the wolf population and attacks on livestock while also boosting deer and elk herds.

Idaho wildlife officials also last year announced the state would make available $200,000 to be divided into payments to hunters and trappers who kill wolves in the state.

However, there has been concern the new rules could overshoot the mark because if the state’s wolf population were to fall below 150, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could take over management of wolves from the state.

“If you go below that (150), that’s bad news,” Schriever told lawmakers.

Schriever cited a 2009 Fish and Wildlife Service rule delisting northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves. The rule was blocked by a federal court but took effect when approved by Congress in 2011. Schriever noted the rule has a wolf population for Idaho fluctuating around 500, with a potential high of about 650 and a low of about 350.

“I think there are a whole bunch of us that would be happy if we could get to what’s described in the federal delisting rule as a population fluctuating around 500,” Schriever said.

Getting there could be challenging because wolves, Schriever noted, get wary when hunted.

He gave a breakdown of 389 wolves killed last year by some 50,000 hunters and trappers, noting only 72 hunters and trappers killed more than one wolf, accounting for 236 wolves in all that year.

“Those people are very important in the concept of managing the wolf population,” Schriever said, suggesting the reimbursement program could be a key component to target wolves in specific areas of the state.

“The reimbursement program may, in fact, be very important in keeping some of these highly skilled people engaged in this for a longer period of time,” he said.

Besides setting up the reimbursement program, the law passed in 2021 also expanded wolf killing methods to include trapping and snaring wolves on a single hunting tag, no restriction on hunting hours, using night-vision equipment with a permit, using bait and dogs and allowing hunting from motor vehicles. It also authorized year-round wolf trapping on private property.

Montana lawmakers also changed their laws to expand wolf killing. That prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service late last year, at the request of environmental groups, to announce a yearlong review to see if wolves in the western U.S. should be relisted and again receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Such a move would take away Idaho’s management of the species.

On another front, a U.S. District Court judge in August rejected a request by conservation groups to temporarily block Idaho’s expanded wolf trapping and snaring rules. Environmental groups said Idaho’s expanded wolf-killing regulations violate the Endangered Species Act because they will lead to the illegal killing of federally protected grizzly bears and Canada lynx. Schriever said Thursday that no grizzlies have so far been caught in a wolf trap.

It’s not clear when the court will make a ruling on the merits in that case.

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