Fish & Feathers: Palix River: What's happening here?

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>The "Ultimate Clam" was introduced too late this year to be in use this early season, but will certainly be in mass production for the fall clam season. With a variable scope, custom stock, hair-trigger and unduplicated ballistics it will become a Peninsula favorite and does not need a concealed weapons permit.

As you are driving out of Long Beach on Highway 101 to South Bend and come to the Dike Road turnoff to Bay Center, you look off to your right (east) and see a sleepy looking body of water, the Palix River.

Well, the Palix can be anything but sleepy at times. Flowing in conjunction with the tides of Willapa Bay, it can become a very active piece of work. With 8- to 10-foot tides, a stiff wind and storm conditions, it could become quite a challenge in a small boat.

It is a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife water access site for wildlife watching, fishing and hunting and just plain enjoying nature. WDFW points out that Chinook salmon, coho salmon, winter-run steelhead, coastal cut-throat trout and rainbow trout may be caught in the Palix River at different times of the year.

The issue here is the use of motors on small boats. In the 2009/10 Sport Fishing Pamphlet westside rivers section regarding the Palix River, there was no mention on a restriction for motors on the river. In the 2010/11 edition of the same pamphlet, under the Palix River it states, "internal combustion motors prohibited." Why the change? What's the reason? What is the WDFW thinking?

A call to the Montesano regional office by one of our local outdoorsmen offered no satisfactory answer; a second call offered a little more explanation, but still left a gray area. They said that the rule only applies to those fishing in the area, and does not apply to those using the Palix River for duck hunting.

If you look up the WDFW website for water access sites, on the Palix River it specifically states "Motorized boats allowed - Yes."

Are you confused yet? Well you should be. Being that a vehicle use permit is required, and you're paying for it, wouldn't it be practical and self-serving to erect a sign stating the uses allowed and take the guesswork out of the river usage?

But the big question remains: Why no internal combustion engines while fishing?

Ultimate Clam Gun The ultimate clam gun, shown in the picture below, was engineered and manufactured right here in Ocean Park. Who said we have no industry here on the upper Peninsula?

Halibut Fishing Closed Halibut fishing closed this past weekend with only 3,481 pounds remaining of fish quota taken through May 21.

The fishery will reopen on Aug. 6, and continue three days per week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) until the remaining quota is taken or Sept. 27, whichever comes first.

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