Briefs Feb. 20, 2014

By Triplicate Staff February 21, 2014 01:31 pm

Sinkhole on Highway 101

An active sinkhole on U.S. Highway 101 south of Crescent City has Caltrans staff constantly monitoring the situation in case it becomes something bigger.

The sink area is at mile post 17.7, roughly 2.6 miles south of the entrance to the Mill Creek Campground.

“Caltrans has made temporary repairs to the highway, and we have begun developing a long-term repair strategy.  We ask drivers to please slow down; the surface will remain rough for some time before better repairs can be made,” said Phil Frisbie Jr., a Caltrans spokesman.

Crash on 199 after trailer gets loose

A trailer that broke from a truck caused an accident on U.S. Highway 199 on Wednesday morning.

Del Norte County sheriff’s Sgt. Gene McManus was driving around a corner on U.S. Highway 199 near mile marker 10.5 around 5:50 a.m. when his vehicle struck a travel trailer stopped in his lane, said California Highway Patrol Officer Brandy Gonzalez.

The owner of the trailer had been trying to get it back to his truck, which was parked on the right shoulder of the highway, Gonzalez said. The man went back to the shoulder when he heard McManus’ truck coming around the corner.

After colliding with the trailer, McManus’ truck went over an embankment, sliding down until its back end landed in the Smith River, Gonzalez said.

McManus was able to climb out of his vehicle, Gonzalez said.

McManus suffer minor injuries, she said. He is expected to be out of the office for a while, sheriff’s Commander Tim Athey said.

The CHP and Del Norte Search and Rescue returned to the crash scene around 9 a.m. when it was lighter outside to shut down the highway for about 30 minutes while McManus’ truck was towed up the side of the embankment, Gonzalez said.

Fish hatchery benefit events

The Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery is holding its inaugural Feed the Fishery community dinner and fundraiser Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Tolowa Event Center in Lucky Seven Casino.

The dinner is in conjunction with the 32nd annual Steelhead Fishing Derby running from today through Saturday on the Smith and Chetco rivers, and it will be the major fundraiser for the hatchery this year.

Feed the Fishery features a prime rib buffet dinner, live music and a live and silent auctions with prizes that include a Willy drift boat and NBA tickets to Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors games. Tickets cost $50 and are available at Del Norte Office Supply. Tickets will not be sold at the event.

“Our goal as always, will be to continue to provide you with an atmosphere of camaraderie, amazing rivers, lots of fish and tall tales from the time you arrive on Thursday afternoon until you depart on Sunday,” said the Rowdy Creek’s website regarding this year’s derby.

For more information, contact 707-954-2260.

Beachgrass party planned for lagoon

Redwood National and State Parks is seeking volunteers interested in meeting in the park for the Beachgrass Bash at Freshwater Lagoon, an effort to remove invasive exotic plants.

Volunteers will meet at 9  a.m. Saturday at the Kuchel Visitor Center, one mile south of Orick on Highway 101, where they will share a snack with park staff, get organized and head down to the beach.

After a couple hours of beachgrass pulling, the group will have lunch and take a walk along the beach to identify native beach plants, some of which have bloomed early with the unusually warm winter.

“European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) is an aggressive and invasive exotic pest that displaces native dune plants, fills in areas once used for nesting by snowy plovers, spreads by sending out underground shoots, and is targeted for removal in the parks,” according to a parks press release.

“Freshwater Lagoon is the only location in RNSP of beach layia (Layia carnosa), a federally listed endangered plant. Removing European beachgrass will help ensure its survival.”

Volunteers are asked to bring a bag lunch, drinking water, work clothes (with layers for changeable North Coast weather conditions), and work gloves if they have them. If needed, gloves and other equipment will be provided by the parks. Heavy rain would cancel the event.

For more information, contact Renee Gibbs at 707-465-7765.