Steve and Karen Walz were out fishing for late fall fish in Tillamook Bay. They saw lots of wildlife, but caught no salmon this time around. Buffleheads and numerous other ducks, bald eagles and sandpipers kept the Walzes company. The sandpipers were “least sandpipers” (calidris minutilla), the smallest of the sandpipers, also called “Peeps.” Peeps settle on the banks of the river or on the beach; they blend in and you can't see them until they suddenly take flight. A sturgeon jumped up and gave Karen the “fish eye” as they trolled past Memaloose boat launch. Steve wonders why we don't have sturgeon retention days in Tillamook Bay, as they do in the Columbia River. Any answer, readers?

Big news: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded the contract for the construction of the Cape Meares Loop Road to M.A. DeAtley Construction. According to Chris Laity, Tillamook County Director of Public Works, tree falling will occur this winter to avoid impacts to the marbled murrelet. Construction will begin in the spring of 2022 and is expected to be finished by late summer 2023. FHWA announced that John Henderson will be the project engineer, and that he has taken residence in the Oceanside-Netarts area. Henderson will prepare and distribute weekly project newsletters; these newsletters will be available to the public at https://www.co.tillamook.or.us/publicworks/page/county-road-department.

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