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"Chasing Riseforms"
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Does anyone know if there is any law against driving trucks on saltwater beaches? I visited a beach on the Hood Canal today with a friend to find some cutthroat. It was too windy to fish so we packed it up and explored some beaver ponds instead. The tide was going out to .3. I am aware of a public DNR (Department of Natural Resource) beach nearby. About 8 trucks pulled up onto the beach to harvest oysters there as we were leaving a nearby beach. It's kind of alarming to watch the trucks drive onto the beach and about 25 people picking oysters and loading into buckets. I'm almost positive it is a DNR beach that obviously was given a lease to a private company. So anyone know the answer to my first question? My 2nd point of concern is... what kind of ticks me off, is that the limited number of public beaches for the poor folks that don't own waterfront to pick some oysters, and DNR is leasing it out to private companies to totally "clean up". What gives with that!!? It is really a crock in my opinion. Finding public beaches for oysters is not that easy. Go figure.... Now I am beginning to understand why people steal from private tidelands. :beathead:
 

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Resident Swinger
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Larry, what beach was it? I know that some beaches on the canal are part DNR and part tribal. I am thinking it was likely a local tribe harvesting on their portion of the beach. I think the Hamma Hamma beach is like that as well as a couple others such as Potlach.
 

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Premium Member
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WAC 352-37-100 Parking. Parking of vehicles shall be permitted only in an area extending one hundred feet westerly from the upper or landward limit of the hard sand area, or driveable beach area (WAC 352-37-020) or where otherwise specifically designated by the commission. Beach parking shall only be allowed in areas open for beach driving. Except as provided in WAC 352-37-220, any violation of this section is an infraction under chapter 7.84 RCW.
 

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Smells like low tide.
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7,951 Posts
I often see harvesters' trucks out on private oyster beaches when I'm driving along the Canal at low tides. Sounds like the harvesters Larry saw leased the DNR beach. You might have a good point there Larry, about such leases taking opportunities away from the general public.
The next question would be if the current opportunities are being exploited enough by the public to warrant even more open public beaches. Maybe the DNR needs to balance the demand from different user groups. Maybe you could get more beaches open for harvest by the general public (if we need them) by being vocal about it.

I know a couple of good beaches for finding oysters at low tide, and they are never crowded. Most of the time, I hardly see anyone else there except on weekends! (Note: the gps coordinates are NOT for sale!)

Big E, I think the rules you referenced concern driving on the coastal beaches, some of which are treated as "public highways." Without beach driving, the Razor Clam digs would have inadequate parking.

This isn't the same as driving on Puget Sound or Hood Canal beaches. The beaches on the Coast are completely different in structure and are much different ecosystems/habitats from the inland beaches.

I am aware of a very small vocal minority opposed to driving on our wide and sandy coastal beaches, but the majority of people in this state like to be able to drive on the coastal beaches. I sure do like to drive and scout the beach when I'm searching for new surf perch troughs and holes after a period of big surf.
 
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