Oregon Beach News, Wednesday 1/12 – New Program Aims to Prevent Aquatic Invasive Species Spread, Improved Conditions Off Oregon Coast Good News For Salmon And Steelhead

The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Oregon Beach Weather

Today– Areas of fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. South wind 8 to 10 mph.

Thursday– Rain likely, mainly before 10am. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 50. Windy, with a west southwest wind 20 to 25 mph decreasing to 14 to 19 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Friday– Patchy fog before 7am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 55. East northeast wind around 6 mph.

Saturday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 52.

Sunday– Mostly sunny, with a high near 54.

New Program Aims to Prevent Aquatic Invasive Species Spread

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) initiated a new program to prevent delays during the transport of watercraft destined for the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The program, “Call Before You Haul,” provides a toll-free phone number boat transporters can call prior to transporting watercraft from outside the Pacific Northwest to one of the aforementioned states. The program is currently being piloted in 10 states and is intended to be expanded to all states in 2022.

Quagga mussel motorboat propeller contamination

By calling the toll-free number, 1-844-311-4873, prior to hauling, and providing some basic information about the watercraft being transported, the destination state representative will reach out to boat transporters and provide them with information to facilitate and expedite the watercraft inspection process, and if needed, decontaminate. Proactively arranging watercraft inspections can prevent costly and timely delays at inspection stations, or if boat transporters are intercepted hauling an infested vessel by law enforcement. All four states are communicating with one another and working with one of the four states will expedite transport across two or more Pacific Northwest states.

All Pacific Northwest states have regulations that make it illegal to transport aquatic invasive species (dead or alive) within their respective states, including penalties up to, and including, a no bond felony. Much of the ongoing spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) to inland waters throughout North America can be attributed to the overland movement of watercraft that can be towed on trailers or atop vehicles. Invasive species can be carried in bilge water, live wells, and bait buckets as well as on boat and motor exteriors and trailers. Every time a boat is transported overland after use in an infested waterway, there is the possibility that it will transfer aquatic invasive species to uninfested waterways. 

In addition to reaching out to boat transport companies, PSMFC is working directly with Departments of Transportation in 10 states (as part of the pilot program) to notify them of the toll-free number and make this information available on their permitting websites.

Call Before You Haul is intended to prevent unnecessary delays for boat transporters and their customers and help to ensure these companies will not be violating state, or federal, laws pertaining to unlawful transport of aquatic invasive species (e.g., quagga or zebra mussels). 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife manages border inspection stations where all boats being transported are required to stop. Inspections generally take only 10 minutes and go a long way to help protect Oregon’s waterways. Fees from waterway access permits, out-of-state aquatic invasive species prevention permits and motorboat registrations through the Oregon State Marine Board help pay for inspection stations and other prevention efforts. 

For more information on aquatic invasive species in the West, see: www.westernais.org.

Visit myODFW for more information about inspection stations in Oregon and required permits.  Oregon Marine Board 

Improved Conditions Off Oregon Coast Good News For Salmon And Steelhead

Improved conditions off the Oregon coast may signal new hope for Snake River and Columbia River salmon and steelhead that have endured a string of lean years in the northern Pacific Ocean.

According to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2021 posted the second-best ocean condition score across a 24-year dataset and was the best year on record in one key category — the density of northern copepods. The tiny, energy-rich organisms are packed with lipids and, when abundant, can cause an explosion of growth for dozens of species.

“It’s those lipids that are really important for the energy at the base of the food chain,” said Jennifer Fisher, a scientist at the NOAA’s Northwest Science Center who tracks ocean conditions off the coast of Newport, Ore. “It just translates up the food chain.”

This should mean that when juvenile salmon and steelhead flushed out of the Columbia River and into the ocean last spring and summer, they found plenty to eat. The good ocean conditions — which include cold water and abundant upwelling — often lead to higher than average survival for salmon and steelhead during their time in saltwater, and thus higher freshwater returns.

If the improved conditions produce a survival bump, it should first be reflected this fall with the return of jack spring chinook, coho salmon and A-run steelhead that spend just one year in salt water. But the bigger payoff could be in 2023 when adult spring and fall chinook salmon and B-run steelhead return home after two or more years at sea.

That is what happened after 2008, the best ocean condition year on record. More than 300,000 steelhead and 88,000 jack spring chinook were counted at Lower Granite Dam in 2009 and adult spring chinook returned in abundant numbers in 2010.

“There is certainly some optimism all along the West Coast and in the Columbia basin given the conditions we are seeing out in the ocean,” said Lance Hebdon, fisheries bureau chief for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston. “We hit the bottom a year or two ago and we may have a little breathing room in the future. The proof will be in adult returns.”

For David Johnson, director of the Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management, the change in ocean fortunes couldn’t have been better timed. Last year, the tribe found 42 percent of wild Snake River spring chinook populations and 19 percent of wild steelhead are tipping toward extinction.

“It is really a blessing that the ocean is looking like it does,” Johnson said. “We are just really happy about that.”

He wants the region to move swiftly so fisheries managers can take advantage of expected higher returns of wild spring and summer chinook salmon from places like the middle and south forks of the Salmon River. Johnson and the tribe has advocated for taking a portion of those fish — protected as threatened under the Endangered Species Act — and placing them in an emergency hatchery program. Under the tribe’s plan, the hatchery would be located in the lower Columbia River so the fish would not have to contend with dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

“I feel like we have to race to get something done knowing there is going to be a downturn, that the climate is changing and we have to deal with that,” he said. “Having more fish back certainly kind of puts us in a different place relative to harvest. There may be some semblance of a fishery. But relative to the wild populations we have been so concerned about, I think this is a sign we’ve got to get off our duff and get going and do what we can while we have some fish on hand.”

Fisher said how long the good conditions will last is anybody’s guess. In decades past, ocean conditions have been cyclical and somewhat reliable but they have become more erratic of late, possibly a symptom of climate change.

Johnson fears a return of conditions in place since about 2014 when a marine heat wave known as The Blob hammered salmon and steelhead runs up and down the West Coast. Starting then and continuing into the following six or so years, Fisher said southern copepods that are smaller and lower in lipids dominated coastal waters. Returns of salmon and steelhead were largely below average and in some years were dismal.

“Fingers crossed,” Fisher said, that “maybe we are going into a longer (good ocean) cycle or maybe we have broken a warm cycle and may now get a few years of decent ocean conditions.”

Oregon reports 8,040 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 35 new deaths

There are 35 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,814, the Oregon Health Authority reported 8,040 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 486,202.

The 8,040 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (22), Benton (158), Clackamas (820), Clatsop (41), Columbia (43), Coos (93), Crook (54), Curry (64), Deschutes (919), Douglas (83), Grant (31), Harney (1), Hood River (44), Jackson (387), Jefferson (23), Josephine (78), Klamath (207), Lake (3), Lane (550), Lincoln (50), Linn (164), Malheur (78), Marion (611), Morrow (32), Multnomah (1,345), Polk (145), Sherman (3), Tillamook (25), Umatilla (314), Union (13), Wallowa (19), Wasco (63), Washington (1,109), Wheeler (7) and Yamhill (441).

Arrows show that cases and hospitalizations have increased over the previous day. The 7 Day Moving Average shows an increase.

OSU Study Says Hemp Can Help Prevent Covid Virus

Compounds found in hemp “show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells,” Oregon State University says. New OSU research on hemp and COVID-19 was published Tuesday in the Journal of Natural Products.

Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, led the study. Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, found that a pair of cannabinoid acids bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking a critical step in the process the virus uses to infect people.

Oregon FBI Warns About Job Verification Scams

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense against job verification scams.

In Oregon, the FBI has been receiving more and more reports from people getting scammed as they try to apply for jobs or unemployment benefits. The reports, from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, show that bad actors are targeting victims who are already in financially difficult situations.

Many businesses and government agencies use private, third-party companies to verify that you are really you. The goal is to cut down on fraud. These verification companies are legitimate, but fraudsters, of course, are gaming the system.

In one scenario, the bad actor posts a fake job online and directs you to the verification company. You complete the process, and the bad actor comes back and asks for your login or verification info to finish processing your application. He accesses the account and uses your profile to apply for unemployment in one or more states.

In another scenario, the bad actor posts a job online and directs you to what appears to be a legitimate verification company but one that is, in fact, fake. Again, he harvests your information and goes about committing all kinds of identity crimes.

How do you protect yourself?

  • Make sure you the job you are applying for is real. Research the company, and call a publicly available number to confirm that it is.
  • Make sure that the verification company you are dealing with is legitimate. Research the company. Know exactly what information is required, how that company will communicate with you, and what are the official channels through which it will communicate.
  • Be wary of social media contacts that ask for information to “verify your identity.” Legitimate companies will not ask for your highly personal or financial information this way. 

If you are the victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.   FBI – Oregon 

The Oregon Legislature Goes Virtual Again

The Oregon Legislature will hold committee meetings virtually again this year. Senate and House leaders say it’s necessary because of rising COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant. They reached the decision following discussions with infectious disease experts at OHSU.

The public will be able to enter the Capitol building, during regular business hours. All state employees who can work from home are being asked to do so, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All committee meetings will be live-streamed.

New York Times columnist Nick Kristof is asking the Oregon Supreme Court to salvage his bid to become the next governor of the state

Kristof filed a petition, asking justices to overturn a decision from Secretary of State Shemia Fagan that he does not meet the three-year residency requirement to run.

Kristof argues he grew up in Yamhill, and has returned there every year for three decades, paying Oregon residency taxes and even expanded his family home. The Court set a January 14th deadline for the Secretary of State’s Office to file their own petition.

Oregon State Police have launched an investigation and are appealing for information after a young wolf was shot and killed in Wallowa County

On Tuesday (January 11,) the state police said they received a report on January 8 that a collared wolf had been found dead at Parsnip Creek RD, Wallowa County.

An image posted by the police force showed the deceased animal, which they said was a two-year-old female known as OR 106, who had likely died after being shot.

A spokesperson for Oregon State Police (OSP) wrote: “On January 8, 2022, at 10:36 a.m. a concerned citizen reported to the Oregon State Police and ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) personnel of finding a collared deceased wolf on Parsnip Creek RD in Wallowa County, approximately 6 miles southeast of Wallowa, OR.

“OSP Troopers and ODFW personnel responded to the area and located a deceased collared wolf. The initial investigation revealed that the wolf likely died as a result of being shot. The wolf, OR 106, was a two-year-old collared female. OR 106 was a lone wolf that dispersed from the Chesnimnus Pack.”

Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, states that killing of wolves in this way was “sickening.” She suggested that state authorities needed to do “much more” to prevent similar killings in the future.

The killing is the latest in a line of similar incidents impacting wolves in Oregon.

Eight wolves, including five from the same pack, were poisoned in the state last year, prompting a separate OPS appeal after police exhausted all leads investigating the killings.

Those deaths were reported in Union County Oregon in February 2021 and were followed in April and July by two other instances of wolves found with different types of poison in their systems.

After last year’s killings, a $42,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction was offered by conservation groups.

OSP meanwhile signalled that information about the January 8 killing could also generate a reward.

The state police pointed out that the Oregon Hunters Association offer cash rewards for information related to the “unlawful take/possession or waste of” various animals including wolves in the state.

According to the ODFW, there were 173 wolves living in Oregon at the end of 2020. Wolves are a protected species in the state, although they were taken off Oregon’s Endangered Species list in 2015.

In December, Michelle Dennehy, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the New York Times it is illegal to kill wolves in the state unless it is in defense of human life or under some cases where livestock is being depleted as a result of wolf attacks.

Red Cross: National blood crisis could be dangerous for patients
American Red Cross – Cascades Region 

The American Red Cross is facing a dangerously low blood supply. Our inventory is truly at crisis levels. Right now, doctors are being forced to decide which patients receive blood transfusions and who must wait. It’s a dire situation, and we need your help letting potential donors know how critical it is that they make an appointment to give blood or platelets this winter.   

Virtual MEDIA AVAILABILITY today at 10:30 a.m. with Red Cross and OHSU representatives to highlight the dangerously low blood supply.

Attending will be:

  • Lara Weberling – her young son battled and lost his fight to neuroblastoma in 2012 which required numerous blood products. His fight inspired Weberling to join Red Cross blood services to help others.
  • Rachel Cook, M.D. – OHSU medical director of inpatient Bone Marrow Transplant unit, member of OHSU blood supply task force.
  • Angel Montes – Red Cross Regional Donor Services Executive to highlight need for blood donors

Please click here for Zoom access.

In thanks, those who come to give in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles and will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information. 

To help relay the seriousness of our current situation, the following is available to support your coverage: 

The below news release further details the blood crisis, the consequences facing patients and how the public can help. If you would like to set up an interview or need additional information, please let me know. Thank you for your support and consideration. 


Dawn Johnson

Regional Communications Manager

American Red Cross 

Cascades Region

Red Cross: National blood crisis may put patients at risk

Dire situation facing blood supply, those in need of blood transfusions

Donors have the chance to help save lives, win trip to Super Bowl LVI

PORTLAND, Oregon (Jan. 11, 2022) — The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in more than a decade. Dangerously low blood supply levels are posing a concerning risk to patient care and forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available.

Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments, and donors of all blood types – especially type O − are urged to make an appointment now to give in the weeks ahead.

In recent weeks, the Red Cross had less than a one-day supply of critical blood types and has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals. At times, as much as one-quarter of hospital blood needs are not being met.

Pandemic challenges

The Red Cross continues to confront relentless challenges due to COVID-19, including about a 10% overall decline in the number of people donating blood as well as ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations. Additionally, the pandemic has contributed to a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges.

“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care.”

Over the next month, about 60 percent of donation appointments remain unfilled in the Cascade Red Cross Region. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

The Red Cross and the NFL are partnering this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals to give blood or platelets and help tackle the national blood shortage. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.

Who donations help

For Lara Weberling, a Red Cross Donor Recruitment Representative from Portland, getting more blood donors through the door is personal. Lara lost her son, Hans, to the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma in 2012. During his 6-year battle with the disease he received many blood transfusions and blood-related products including stem cell transplants with maintenance therapy. Hans was 9 when he lost his battle with cancer. His mother, however, is still fighting. Lara, through her job with the Red Cross, works to get more blood donations so that kids like Hans who rely on donors can get the treatment they need.

“It’s amazing,” said Lara. “I get to help kids like Hans every day.” 

Volunteers needed

In addition to blood donors, the Red Cross also needs the help of volunteers to support critical blood collections across the country. Blood drive volunteers play an important role by greeting, registering, answering questions and providing information to blood donors throughout the donation process. Blood transportation specialists – another volunteer opportunity − provide a critical link between blood donors and blood recipients by delivering blood to hospitals in communities across the country. To volunteer to support Red Cross blood collections, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.

Blood drive safety 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

Save time during donation

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Health insights for donors 

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.    

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.  

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.  

Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

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A 17-year-old was reported missing in Salem and detectives say the teen might be the victim of an online catfishing scheme.

Ezra Mayhugh, 17, was last seen on October 15, 2021 after being dropped off in downtown Salem by a friend, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said. He was reported as a runaway the following day when he did not return home.

Investigators say he might be in Washington or California. They hope to reunite Ezra safely with family members.

He’s described as about 5-foot 11-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes.

If you have had contact with Mayhugh since October 15 or have other helpful information on his whereabouts, the sheriff’s office asks you to contact Detective M.J. Sphoon at 503-588-6808 or to submit a tip by texting TIPMCSO and your tip to 847411.


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