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April 10, 2000
Contact: Doug Simons (360) 249-1204

Three agencies will discuss Willapa Spits razor clam fishery

MONTESANO – Three state agencies have scheduled a joint public meeting April 18 in South Bend to discuss the resumption of the commercial razor clam fishery on the Willapa Spits this year.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced its intention to reopen the fishery in May, pending resolution of several issues that have emerged since 1998 when the fishery was closed due to high levels of marine toxins in the water.

Representatives from WDFW will join with the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Health to present tentative solutions to such issues as permitting fees, protection of local wildlife habitat and the presence of bacteria in the water. The three agencies will seek input from the commercial fishing industry, buyers and other interested parties on possible new requirements necessary to continue the fishery.

The meeting is scheduled for April 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center meeting room behind the Pacific County Court House in South Bend.

For additional information regarding this meeting, contact Doug Simons with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (360) 249-1204.