Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Boy, are Kathy and Kevin Burke in the chips! Fish and chips, that is. In a single day, they caught 10 trout and two salmon. First, neighbor Jerry Thompson took them out on Cape Meares Lake, where they each limited out (five apiece) on pretty rainbow trout. Next, neighbor Steve Walz took them out on Tillamook Bay, where they each caught a big salmon. Kathy named her 25-pound monster Ricky, and Kevin named his 20-pounder Tiny Tim. Then to top it all off, they went out by themselves in their own boat on Tillamook Bay the next day, and each of them caught another Chinook—this time matching 18-pounders! The Burke family is in for healthy eating for some time to come.

Speaking of fishing—and boating, for that matter—there are signs up at the Memaloose boat launch that say the ramps are closed at low tide and to launch at high tide only. There is a big build-up of sedimentation on both sides, especially the east side. As those of us with boats know, what depth of water you can safely launch in depends on the size and shape of your boat. But in order to keep folks out of trouble, the signs make a blanket statement. All of us who use that boat launch had hoped it would be dredged during the permittable time frame, July 15-Sept. 15, but it didn’t happen. Now we hear it won’t happen until 2022; too bad! Apparently too many alphabet soup agencies are involved in granting permits: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Department of State Lands (DSL), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Tribal and/or State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and Tillamook County Parks. The “Tillamook Pioneer” online paper listed these agencies and also said that Tillamook County Parks is applying for a 10-year permit with USACE to expedite the process next time. The last time dredging occurred at the Memaloose boat launch was in 2014. We fisherfolk are sure looking forward to it being done again!

I spoke with a delightful woman at the Tillamook County Road Dept. the other day. A neighbor had asked me the purpose of the two strips across the road entering Cape Meares. It turns out these are traffic counters. There are also a couple of counters at the start of Bayocean Road, as you come off Highway 131. The road department recently got new traffic counters and are using them in several high usage areas to measure traffic. One of the issues they were interested in researching was traffic to and from the beaches; did it change permanently when the pandemic hit (we all know our beaches were slammed in the summer of 2020)? They measured before and after this Labor Day, and traffic appeared light. Traffic usage information about our village will also be useful as the two-year Cape Meares Loop Road project gets underway in 2022.

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