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Coastal News

Fire in Brookings Area Stretches Crews
Coos Forest Protection Association (CFPA) crews have been engaged with the 15-acre Jimmy Creek Fire in the Scottsburg area since 1:00 a.m. September 18th. At 2:00 p.m. a fire in the Brookings area also started. The Carpenterville Fire is approximately 3 acres as of 3:00 p.m. It is burning in a replanted logged unit and second growth timber. CFPA has three engines, a tender and a helicopter working the fire and a dozer en route. They are also being assisted by Cape Ferrelo RFD and South Coast Lumber Company. Fire crews are making good progress and are cautiously optimistic about catching the fire in initial attack.  Having the two fires at once adds some complexity to the situation but we have a number of agencies to help us and always keep some initial attack resources at the ready. “If we have another fire, we will attack it as well”, said District Manager Mike Robison.  The fire is in an area of homes but none are threatened at this time and no injuries have been reported. The cause is under investigation.

Stocking up for the big one
Residents along the Oregon Coast have been advised to stock up on emergency food and water supplies, batteries and other items in preparation of an expected earthquake and tsunami.  Some heeded the warning.  Others are on a wait and see approach.  However, geology experts say the cycle of major quakes along a fault line that runs parallel with the Oregon Coast occurs on the average every 300 years.  The Cascadia Subduction Zone is past due.  The last major quake took place in January of 1700.  On the North Oregon Coast, the City of Cannon Beach has gone a step further and offered residents space to store their supplies in one of two forest-green 20-foot long shipping containers that have been placed on city-owned stable property outside of the Tsunami Inundation Zone.  About 60 people have taken the city up on its offer.  The containers will be open for storage beginning Oct. 18.  Twice a year, in the Fall and Spring, they will be opened to allow those participating to update their supplies.

Tsunami silt
Along with the millions of dollars worth of damage to ports along the Oregon Coast during the March 2011 Japanese tsunami, silt built up within harbors reducing their depth.  The Port of Brookings received a grant of $673,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Oregon State Marine Board to pay for the dredging of up to 28,000 cubic yards of silt from the port basin.  Underwater Earth Movers Inc., of Vancouver, WA, is using a barge with large suction equipment to vacuum the silt.  However, the high-pressure pumps are finding more than just silt.  The contractor reports they have also sucked up grocery carts, TV sets, carpet, mufflers, ropes, nets and more.  The items clog the end of the suction pipe forcing workers to spend a little extra time during their work.  The project was expected to take about three weeks to complete, but now officials say the slow work may take up to six weeks.  The silt is sucked through a pipeline from the barge to the South Bank of the Chetco River, where it proceeds on to Sporthaven Beach at the South Jetty.  Another booster pump then sends the material almost a mile off the coast where it is deposited back in the Pacific Ocean.  The pumps allow the seawater and silt to travel about 12-feet per second through the pipeline. 

Guardrail improvement project scheduled for US 101
A contractor for ODOT will begin a guardrail improvement project on US 101 in western Lane County that will create single lane restrictions and minor delays for motorists.  Beginning Monday, September 17 and continuing for approximately four to five weeks, guardrail will be replaced along two sections of US 101.  The contractor will work from 6:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays until the project is complete. Flaggers will control traffic in alternating directions. Motorists should expect 10-20 minute delays.  The first section of work will be from just south of the Cooks Chasm Bridge (milepost 167.67) to just north of the entrance to Devils Elbow State Park (milepost 178.05). The contractor is expected to work on this section between September 17 and October 4.  The second section of work will be from just north of Sea Lion Caves (milepost 179.57) to approximately one mile south (milepost 180.51). In this section the west roadway shoulder will be rebuilt to accommodate the new guardrail at mp.179.71. The contractor is expected to work on this section between October 8 and October 25.  There will be no work conducted on holidays or weekends (Fri-Sun).  An Emerging Small Business Contract - The project combines two separate guardrail improvement projects offered under ODOT’s Emerging Small Business Program. Reed Construction of Eagle Point, Oregon was the low bidder on both projects for a combined award of $160,000.  The mission of ODOT’s Emerging Small Business Program is to create new and innovative contracting opportunities for Oregon's small business community. It's also a goal of the program to assist emerging small businesses in overcoming barriers to participating in the state's extensive public contracting procurement programs.

Wild coho season on coastal rivers opened

The wild coho salmon season on most Oregon’s coastal rivers began Saturday, Sept. 15 and fishery managers are anticipating a big season.  Big because almost 300,000 wild coho are expected to return to coastal rivers and lakes, and that means anglers will be able to harvest even more fish than last year.  For the fourth year in a row, ODFW will open selected rivers and lakes to the harvest of wild coho. Locations that will open Sept. 15 include Nehalem, Tillamook Bay, Nestucca, Siletz, Yaquina, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coos, and Coquille rivers.  Other locations will open Oct. 1 including Tenmile Lakes and the Alsea Basin.  Coho fisheries in these systems are managed by season quotas and will be closed when the quotas are met, so anglers should check the status of the quotas before fishing.  The exception is Tenmile Lakes, which will be managed under a fixed season that ends Dec. 31.  Wild coho fisheries in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes are allowed without quotas under permanent rules as shown in the 2012 Sport Fishing Regulations.  The daily bag limit for wild coho is one fish on all of these water bodies, but seasonal limits, harvest quotas and angling deadlines vary by location. For a complete description of the 2012 wild coho seasons, as well as in-season updates on quotas, go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/coastal_salmon_seasons.asp.  While harvest quotas remain conservative -- coastal coho continue to be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act – the 2012 river-specific  quotas are all larger than in 2011.  “On some rivers, like the Umpqua and Siuslaw, the quotas are almost double what they were a year ago,” said Mike Gray, ODFW fish biologist in Charleston. “If the actual return approaches expectations, and the fish cooperate, we’re going to have a great coho season on the coast.”  According to Gray, the large returns  in recent years are about more than just a chance to fish for them.  “Of course we’re always excited to be able to offer additional fishing opportunity,“ he said. “But to see a fish species listed as threatened bounce back to where we can now allow some directed harvest is pretty significant.”  “Obviously the time and effort agencies, watershed councils, and private landowners have put into restoring watersheds and salmon habitat is paying big dividends for fish and for fishing communities,” Gray said.

Hwy. 101 Fatal
Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into a Friday morning's pedestrian-involved fatal traffic crash that occurred along Highway 101 just south of Waldport. The victim's name is released in this update.  According to Sergeant Cari Boyd, on September 14, 2012 at approximately 5:30 a.m. a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser passenger car driven by DARRELL BEAN, age 65, from Yachats, was northbound on Highway 101 near milepost 158 when it struck a male pedestrian walking. The pedestrian, MATTHEW PETER BORGMAN, age 51, from Waldport, was pronounced deceased at the scene.  OSP troopers from the Newport Area Command office are continuing the investigation, including confirming where the pedestrian was positioned on the highway when he was struck.  OSP is being assisted in the investigation by the Lincoln County Crash team. Agencies assisting at the scene were Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Newport Police Department, Toledo Police Department, Central Coast Fire Department, ODOT, Lincoln Medical Examiner's Office, and Lincoln County District Attorney's Office.  The highway was closed about 4 hours.

OSU, City of Newport plan for exhibit featuring piece of tsunami dock
A section from a huge dock that ripped loose from its moorings in the northern Japanese city of Misawa during the massive earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011 will become part of an exhibit in Newport, Ore., just a few miles from where it washed ashore in early June of this year.  The dock, which became an instant tourist attraction for several weeks, has since been dismantled. But a piece of the huge structure has been saved and will be on display at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center by early next year.

ODFW maps point to southwest Oregon fishing locales
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today introduced two new interactive fishing maps to help anglers find fishing locations in the agency’s Southwest Region.  The Google-based maps detail 53 trout stocking sites around the Rogue, Umpqua and South Coast areas of Oregon as well as 50 places to go fishing within 60 minutes of Medford. ODFW’s Southwest Region covers Douglas, Coos, Curry, Jackson and Josephine counties.  The fishing maps can be accessed from ODFW’s website from links in several places, including the Trout Stocking Schedule page, weekly Recreation Report  and Where and How to Fish page. The maps allow viewers to zoom in for a close-up at the sites in their choice of map, satellite and terrain view. Clicking on the icon opens a text balloon with site photos, links to nearby campgrounds and other points of interest, fish species, and links to ODFW’s weekly recreation report, trout stocking schedule and sport fishing regulations. Users are also capable of generating GPS coordinates and turn-by-turn directions to each site from any starting point.  Trout fishing is the most popular fishery in the state, according to a 2006 ODFW survey of anglers. Of those anglers surveyed, 73 percent said they had fished for trout in the past year. That equates to approximately 420,000 anglers.  “There is intense interest in trout fishing in Oregon,” said Scott Patterson, ODFW fish propagation program manager. “However, just knowing where to go fishing can be a barrier to enjoying a day at the lake. We hope these tools inspire people to get out and do some trout fishing.”  The Southwest Region map is the second regional Google-based fishing map that ODFW has released this year. The agency launched a similar trout fishing map for its Northwest Region last April. The 50 Places to Fish within 60 Minutes of Medford is the second map of this kind. ODFW produced a similar map for the Portland area in 2010. The “50 in 60” maps are designed to help people fit fishing into their busy schedules by showing there are many fishing venues just a short distance from home.  A 2009 study for the agency by Dean Runyan and Associates estimated that the freshwater fishing contributed nearly $200 million to the state’s economy. While the study didn’t break sales down by fresh water species, which would also include salmon, steelhead and other types of fish, the economic impact of trout fishing on the state’s economy is nonetheless significant. The $4 million annual cost of the trout stocking program is covered primarily through the sale of Oregon fishing licenses.  “Trout fishing is a huge economic engine for Oregon,” said Patterson. “It also adds significantly to our quality of life.”  The fishing map is the latest addition to a suite of Google-based maps, including the Wildlife Viewing Map and Oregon Hunting Map.  For more information, visit ODFW’s website at www.dfw.state.or.us.

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