2011 – A record crab harvest

Dungeness crabs – Olympic Peninsula favorite

According to Rich Childers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2011 appears to be a record year for the amount of crabs harvested by recreational crabbers in Puget Sound. An estimated 2.1 million pounds of crabs were taken in the summer season from July 1 to Labor Day, with additional harvest coming during the fall and winter.

Lots of people enjoyed a high rate of catch this year, Childers said. “We are seeing an abundance of crab, phenomenally high in some of the Puget Sound marine areas,” he said. “We’re seeing the same thing with shrimp. Something in the environment is favoring the survival of Dungeness crabs from larvae to adult.”

Crab season will close in all areas on Dec. 31, and anyone with a winter catch record card must report their catch by Feb. 1 — even if no crab were caught.

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/dec/28/record-year-likely-for-puget-sound-sport/#ixzz1hwlPWoYx

 


Posted on December 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Fishing, Hood Canal, Hoodsport, Olympic Peninsula, Shelton, What To Do | Tagged , , , , ,

Q3 Gardner Report is out

For those of us who watch the Northwest economy and how it affects Washington real estate, Mr. Matthew Gardner and Windermere Real Estate has released “The Gardner Report” for Q3.

Mr Matthew Gardner of the Gradner Report

Mr. Gardner is a land use economist and principal with Gardner Economics and is considered by many to be one of the foremost real estate analysts in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to managing his consulting practice, Mr. Gardner is a member of the Pacific Real Estate Institute; chairs the Board of Trustees for the Washington State Center for Real Estate Research; the Urban Land Institutes Technical Assistance Panel; and represents the Master Builders Association as an in-house economist. He has appeared on CNN, NBC and NPR news services to discuss real estate issues and is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal and all local media.

The Q3 Gardner Report concludes:

    “We continue to see modest employment growth in Washington State, but improvements are certainly not equal across the counties. Continued contraction in the government sector and construction are acting as anchors by restraining any significant improvement. In as much as I still contend that Washington State does, and will continue to, fare better than the nation as a whole, uncertainty appears to have permeated all businesses. The Federal Government now appears to be understanding the importance that real estate has in our economic growth. There are numerous proposals being proposed in Congress and the Senate relative to stabilizing our housing market. Although they are not a panacea, I am glad to see that they are starting to understand how important it is.”

    “The housing market continues to demonstrate modest signs of stability, but financing and appraisals are still acting as impediments. Inventory levels saw a modest increase this summer, but are starting to exhibit their traditional seasonal decline—and are still considerably down from historic averages. Pending sales remain well above figures seen a year ago and closed transactions are also trending higher.”

To download the entire report, go to http://www.thesouthsounder.com/newsletters/Gardner_Report_Q3.pdf


Posted on December 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in News, Olympic Peninsula, Real Estate | Tagged ,

Olympic National Forest to grow?

SHELTON — U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., are floating a proposal to add roughly 130,000 acres to wilderness areas to the Olympic National Forest.  Their staffs were in Shelton Friday for public feedback before drafting a bill to accomplish that goal.

How do you feel about adding 130,000 acres to the Olympic National Forest?

The plan would take existing federal forest land surrounding the Olympic National Park and tighten the managerial restrictions however much of these forest would be left in its current condition. Logging would be eliminated and hiking would remain.

These forests have numerous U.S. Forest Service roads already earmarked for closure, which would still take place. Some forest service roads would remain intact — the only ones that would allow mountain bikes and motorized vehicles. However, hikers might have longer walks into the wilderness from where they can park vehicles.

As part of the 130,000 acres are five segments of land totaling about 20,000 acres targeted to become “preserves.” In these areas, if the private owners were to sell to the federal government, the government would manage the land in a manner less restrictive than as an official wilderness.

About 400 Olympic Peninsula residents from various groups made the original proposal. So far, the original proposal has been trimmed after some initial feedback by the tribes and other agencies and groups, said Kristine Reeves, Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula director on Murray’s staff.

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/dec/04/plan-considered-to-expand-olympic-national-area/#ixzz1fgl4I8fD

 


Posted on December 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Camping, Fishing, News, Olympic Peninsula, Shelton | Tagged , ,

Christmas Town Parade

Come to Shelton's Christmas Town Parade - Saturday night December 3

Tonight, bring your Christmas spirit and the whole family to Shelton’s annual “Christmas Town” Parade happening Saturday, December 3 at 5pm in downtown Shelton.

This time-honored tradition promises live music, marching bands and dance routines, festively-decorated cars, prancing horses, shiny fire trucks and many more entries created by local schools, businesses and organizations.

Come early and stake out your spot on Railroad Avenue as this event is popular and extremely well-attended. Bring a lawn chair and dress warmly – hot cocoa in a thermos would also be a treat. See you there! Photo credit: Cooper Studios


Posted on December 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Olympic Peninsula, Shelton, What To Do | Tagged ,

Two Belfair campgrounds reopened

The Department of Natural Resources announced on December 1, it will reopen two campgrounds west of Belfair in Tahuya State Forest — Camp Spilman and Kammenga.

Budget cuts closed the campgrounds two years ago but received grant funding from the Non-highway and Off-road Vehicle Activities program.  The new funding will help pay for enforcement, maintenance and staffing. Crews from the Mission Creek Corrections Center will help maintain the facilities and trails and will installing small bridges where needed.

This is an area made popular with off-road trail riding.  See a video made last year.

Visitors can start camping Jan. 6 at the Tahuya River Horse Camp on a first-come, first-served basis.  Click here to download a map of the park

 

 


Posted on November 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Belfair, Camping, Hood Canal, News, What To Do | Tagged , , , ,

Olympic Rainshadow – November 16-17 Storm – 2011

The Olympic Peninsula Rain Shadow did it again!

A fall storm, not unlike any other on the Olympic Peninsula, hit us November 16 and 17.  It poured in Seattle, caused power outages in Tacoma but less than 50 miles as the crow flies on Discovery Bay in Sequim, the day was clear. Again, we experienced the effects we call the “Olympic Rainshadow”

It stormed in Seattle but in the Olympic Rainshadow, the sky was clear - courtesy of http://www.olympicrainshadow.com

The Olympic Rain Shadow is a small region northwest of Seattle which experiences significantly dryer and brighter weather than surrounding locations. WHY? The Olympic Mountain range, home of the Olympic National Park protects communities directly east and northeast and depending upon the direction of the weather, get much less rainfall and in some cases even more sunny days.

That was the case yesterday.  The storm tracked from the WSW and areas of Sequim had a sunny day, albeit with a bit of wind.  To explore more on this frequent natural phenomenon, go to http://www.olympicrainshadow.com/.

 


Posted on November 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in News, Olympic Peninsula | Tagged ,

Hood Canal Chum salmon are right on time

At the Big Bend on Hood Canal near Shelton, snaggle-nosed chum salmon take over the fishing spotlight about this time each year.  Between the Coho and winter steelhead runs, I can report the Chum have arrived right on time.

State Fish and Wildlife Department checked at the Hoodsport Hatchery on Hood Canal one day last week and counted 23 beach fishermen with 76 chums.  That’s hard-to-beat salmon fishing, particularly considering you don’t need a boat. These fish are in good shape and plentiful but they won’t stay that way very long.

The tribal beach fishery started on the Olympic Peninsula Nov. 14, according to a state spokesman at the hatchery, running Monday, Wednesday and Friday at least through the end of the month. Sport fishing is concentrated along the hatchery stream channel, using steelhead-type gear, and since it’s necessary to keep firm control of hooked fish, thicker line is better than light. Fly fishermen score as well, working surrounding water.

This area of Hood Canal also has a handicapped fishing platform for wheelchair-bound anglers, best at high tide. Call the hatchery’s recorded fishing line for current conditions, at 360-877-5222.

 


Posted on November 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Fishing, Hood Canal, Hoodsport, News, Olympic Peninsula, What To Do | Tagged , , , ,

Ridge Motorsport Park – THE ROAD IS IN!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm6DKGE1Kfw

SHELTON, WA – TAKE A LAP ON THE WORLD’S NEWEST AUTO ROAD RACING COURSE

For those motorheads who are following the building of Ridge Motorsport Park, the road is in.  The world newest purpose-built road race course is now in asphalt.  Take a ride on this YouTube video.

I have a question to those sport car fans – you know who you are.  The question: What kind of a car was used to take this video?  My guess: an Austin Healey Sprite or maybe a TR-6.

For those old enough to remember, this is history repeating itself.  Fifty years ago, before there was a Pacific Raceway or a Portland International Raceway, Shelton Washington was the northwest center for auto racing. Famous drivers, such as Lotus team member and F1 driver Pete Lovely, drove race cars like Lotus 11s and Ferraris between the hay bales at the Shelton Airport for little more than the sport of racing.

Recently, a group of autosport enthusiasts have been trying to return this tradition to Mason County with the creation of The Ridge Motorsports Park. It’s been a long and winding road but the Shelton City Council approved a “special use permit” to operate a race park. Located on the back side of the Shelton Airport, the park will include a 2.5 mile road course and 4-lane quarter mile drag strip.

The road course is now a road. About halfway through the course, there is even a corner reminiscent of the Cork Screw at Laguna Seca – should be thrilling to drive.  Now comes the task of building the world-class facilities to make it truly a destination race track for sports car, motorcycle and drag racers to enjoy. You can view how the course was built at their website at www.ridgemotorsportspark.com.

The South Sounder would like to thank everyone for their supportive comments and enthusiasm for this project and facility. Although there is a huge amount of work yet to do to get this project done in time for 2012 events, we are thrilled to welcome The Ridge to Shelton.

 


Posted on November 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Hood Canal, Shelton, What To Do | Tagged , , ,

CHRISTMAS TREE PERMITS AVAILABLE

Christmas tree cutting permits are now available from Olympic National Forest offices.

According to Lorina Madinger, Support Services Specialist with the Forest Service Headquarters in Olympia, permits cost $5 each (cash or check only) and can be purchased during regular business hours at:

    Forest Service Headquarters in Olympia
    Hood Canal Ranger District Office in Quilcene
    Hoodsport Visitor Information Center
    Pacific Ranger District Office in Quinault
    Forks Visitor Information Center.

The permit entitles you to cut one tree larger than two feet but no more than 20 feet in height. Maps and information about cutting locations will be provided with each permit sale. Mail order permits are available from the Olympia, Quilcene, and Quinault offices through the Forest Service website:www.fs.usda.gov/olympic.

If you plan to take advantage of this opportunity, Madinger suggests you be prepared for winter weather and winter driving, packing warm clothes and changes of clothes, blankets, and chains for your vehicle. Also, you should let someone know where you are going.

For more information by telephone, contact one of the offices:

    Olympic National Forest Headquarters Olympia (360-956-2300)
    Hood Canal Ranger District Office in Quilcene (360-765-2200)
    Pacific Ranger District Office in Quinault (360-288-2525)

 


Posted on November 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Hood Canal, Olympic Peninsula | Tagged , , ,

Seven honored by Hood Canal

The Hood Canal Coordinating Council announced that on Friday, November 4th, seven award-winners will be honored for their help to protect and restore Hood Canal.

These seven people “embody the spirit of fostering cooperation, collaboration and lasting relationships to achieve a healthy Hood Canal,” said Robin Lawlis of the coordinating council.

The seven will be recognized in Port Townsend at a conference titled “Celebrating Actions in Hood Canal.” The conference will be at Fort Worden State Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Limited space remains available. Reservations can be obtained by calling Lawlis at 360-981-4214.

To read more about both the conference and the seven honorees, go to  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/nov/02/hood-canal-award-winners-named/

 


Posted on November 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm
Mike Mostyn | Posted in Hood Canal, News, Olympic Peninsula | Tagged ,