Consider this your one-stop online shopping site for outdoor recreational buzz-kills.
Or not, depending on what you find there.
Chin-up, happy campers.
While I think of myself as an upbeat, glass-half-full kind of person, one can’t be too careful given the current state of the world.
This is why, in addition to the weather forecast Portland, OR (weather.gov), road conditions and closures Road & Weather Conditions Map | TripCheck – Oregon Traveler Information and fires NWCC : Home (nifc.gov) there is one other site that you should look into before heading out.
The Oregon Health Authority offers a buffet of links for potential hazards and closures that is a must-visit for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, particularly if you’re going to be making a long drive to get to where you want to go.
Check it out at Oregon Health Authority : Recreational Advisories : Public Health News and Advisories : State of Oregon
As an example of the benefits of knowing before you go, remember the infamous Salem drinking-water ban in May 2018 caused by a toxic algae bloom at Detroit Lake?
There’s a link on the OHA page to algae-bloom advisories statewide.
Next up is a link to what we in the newsroom used to refer to in the vernacular as “poop alerts,” but more accurately are known as beach water quality advisories.
On three-week cycles from Memorial Day through Labor Day, water at selected Oregon beaches is sampled for fecal bacteria, and when levels reach alert levels, signs are posted at the site, and information is listed on the website as well as through texts on mobile devices.
If I may be allowed a moment of levity – and who couldn’t use it at this point? – you want to go tide-pooling, not tide-pooping.
Both the cyanobacteria blooms and beach water quality links have disclaimers that because of budget and staffing constraints, not every beach or water body in the state is checked.
But there is a lot of great information about what to watch for if you suspect there might be algae issues; and the beach monitoring page has a complete list of sampling sites from Seaside to Brookings.
Lastly, there is a link to fish and shellfish closures and sport fish and shellfish consumption advisories, the latter of which also are available on pages 22 and 23 of the 2021 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.
Why the need for such due diligence?
Not once, but twice, admittedly over the course of three decades, I made the drive from Salem to the coast when clamming, in the first instance, and to collect mussels in the second case, both of which were open.
Only to arrive with cooler, shovels, rakes and other tools in hand to find that the clamming/mussel-gathering sites were closed because of health advisories.
To save time and avoid multiple web searches, there is a link on the Oregon Health Authority website to sign up for alerts via email or text message.
The intent here is not to be a summer bummer, to throw shade on your whoopees.
But given the current weather, water conditions, fires, drought and heatwaves in the Beaver State (what’s next, locusts?), it pays to be on the safe side.
BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES: A mutual acquaintance informed me on Sunday that it was Kerry Elwood’s birthday.
I met Elwood, of Salem, in 2014 when I did a story about his construction of the “Water Woody” houseboat that was launched that 4th of July weekend.
If you want to see an example of his craftsmanship, including his nonpareil airbrush art, check out his website at waterwoody.com
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: Apparently Kay and I aren’t the only ones who had a soft spot for Harry, the late, much-lamented mostly Jack Russell terrier that shuffled off this mortal coil around mid-month.
More than a dozen readers have written much-appreciated sentiments about Harry’s death after the past week’s column about the little guy.
To lift your spirits after all of the above, here’s what’s happening on the fun side.
Item 1: Ocean salmon anglers have been averaging more than one fish a person out of Depoe Bay and Newport, according to catch statistics through July 18 compiled by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and more recent reports from charter operators.
To check out what’s going on, or to make a reservation:
Dockside Charters: (541) 765-2545. Website: docksidedepoebay.com
Tradewinds Charters: (800) 445-8730. Website: tradewindscharters.com
Newport Marina Store & Charters: (541) 867-4470. Website: nmscharters.com
Newport Tradewinds: (541) 265-2101. Website: newporttradewinds.com
Yaquina Bay Charters: (541) 265-6800. Website: yaquinabaycharters.com
Item 2: The next minus-tide series for clammers, good, not great, is early mornings Aug. 7, a Saturday, through Aug. 10.
You can look up the times and tides for the hot spots on the coast online at Tide Location Selection for Oregon (saltwatertides.com)
And, as always, be sure to check before heading out by calling the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s go online to the State of Oregon: Shellfish – Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The current “knock off at 2 p.m.” fishing restrictions because of hot water cuts hours off of not catching anything.
Contact Henry via email at HenryMillerSJ@gmail.com.
Read More:What and how to know before you go — fishing, that is