Up the Beach: Changes on the way

Gollee! As Gomer Pyle would say — The North Beach is getting citified.

First, it was all those flashers showing up at Ocean Shores. Nope, not the uninhibited kind, but the solar-powered flashers for the SR 155 corner outside of town.

PUD Cyber fiber

Now, according to Alice King, tech support specialist at the PUD, all those manly men and their big trucks lining the SR 109 in the Burrows Road north area are in the process of installing fiber optic cable out to the Oyehut area. The build starts at the Powell Road substation, where the PUD has existing fiber. From there it is extending west, going down Burrows Road, and then up the highway to Oyehut.

King explains, “This will give us the opportunity to have connectivity to our Oyehut Substation and also we will then be able to tie in to our fiber optics that are already in place that connect our Ocean Shores shop and substations.”

So what’s next? Drones to deliver pizza?

New top and bottom

Further up the beach Queets is “perty-fying” the place with bids out for a new roof on the gym, plus a new gym floor. Anyone around that area knows just how much of a workout that gym floor has had over the years.

Quinault closures concerns

It isn’t a workout but a kerfuffle around Lake Quinault over the right of the Quinault Indian Nation to close off reservation lands. Shades of the 1960s -’70s re-education of Indian rights. Makes one think of the flap in 1976 when Grays Harbor had been closed to all non-Indian commercial gill net salmon fishing by the Department of Fisheries Director Don Moos. QIN requested a two day a week closure and for a while it was Katy-bar-the-door as treaty rights education collided with the usual and accustomed use by white fishers. Eventually a compromise was reached between the two sets of fishers.

Columbia gillnet battle

The gillnet battle continues over the new rules for fishing on the Columbia River. The Oregon Senate and House passed the bill in the last hours of the legislative session. Washington is considered to be bound to mirror Oregon laws. The policy changes include moving commercial gillnet fishing off the river, a re-allocating more of the salmon runs to commercial fishing. Gear changes include seine nets as an alternative.

Canadian crab conflict

Up in Canada, the Dungeness crab fishery closure has fishers pretty upset. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is keeping that fishery closed until Aug. 1. Crab harvesting was placed off limits to keep the traps from damaging the fishery. Traditionally, closure is dependent upon whether male crabs with hard shells show up during sampling; too many soft shells prompts the closure. Crab fishers are none too happy with picketing and blockading of governmental offices. Generally the fishery is open in June or July, according to survey results. Although catches have been gradually decreasing in recent years, the Crab Association reports that crab landings in the area of closure are worth an estimated $15 million and provide employment to 300 people.

Waxwings on the wing

From fish to birds brings some interesting changes. For some reason there is an unusual number of Cedar waxwings up the beach in recent weeks. Those colorful males and the drab females with their bright yellow bills are so cheering to see. The ivy berries and the red huckleberries bushes bursting with berries this season are drawing the little birds. An interesting thing about waxwings is that they generally feast on berries that are on the end of small twigs. One waxwing will perch on the end and other birds will perch in a row further down the branch. They will pass the berries down the string of birds, sharing until all have their fill.

Duck for rainbows

Duck Lake, according to the Department of Fish & Wildlife, offers fair-to-good fishing for stocked rainbow trout, with some nice carryovers available in the Weatherwax area and sometimes just west of Chinook Park. Jumbo rainbow trout reared through a cooperative project with the Lower Chehalis Basin Task Force and WDFW that average 4-6 pounds each are also planted in the lake. Fishing for Largemouth Bass and Black Crappie has been slow, but occasionally a big one is caught like the 13-pounder a little guy on his first fishing trip caught several years ago down near the outfall of the lake.

Columbia cable

Out in the ocean, the University of Washington’s research vessel Thomas O. Thompson is spending six weeks during a $239 million project funded by the National Science Foundation installing cable to key research areas west of the Columbia River’s mouth. The new cable will connect to a “backbone” cable laid two years ago by UW that transmits 240 gigabits of data per second. Citizens can access daily blogs, images and video through Aug. 23 on the website http://www.interactiveoceans.washington.edu/story/VISIONS+13

The newly installed cable will transmit data from sites recording earthquake activity, volcanism and biological productivity in the Axil Seamount.

Wild in the city

As to other critters, this seems to be the summer of studly buck deer wandering all over Ocean Shores. They are also beginning to herd up early this year with some areas sporting herds of 10-12 bucks. Raccoons are congregating around the Ocean shores Elementary School And in the early morning, a teen-aged coyote is often seen jogging right down the middle of Mount Olympus nonchalantly eyeing yards and bushes. He is a pretty boy; none of your scraggly dry country good ol’ boy, but instead, healthy and sleek. Think maybe he’s just another indication that the North Beach is truly getting citified?