Search and Rescue Report

SW Washington
By Andrew Bland

The original date of our trip was postponed until January 22nd due to freezing rain in the area. Low tide for the day was at 9:45am so we got an early start. We met up with Bill and Andrew on our way and made it to the parking area around 8am. The weather was threatening rain but the skies cleared as we worked our way through the morning.

After a 300-yard bushwhack we made it to the beach on the Columbia River. This area is littered with concretions that come from either the Astoria (Miocene) or Lincoln Creek (Eocene) formations. Most of us where after the nautiloid Aturia and this is one of the most productive areas for them. The majority of what is found is the mud shrimp Callianassa clallamensis and after an hour everyone seemed to have a few in their backpack.

Over the next few hours everyone seemed to spread out over the mile stretch of beach. Andy Berkholtz found the first Aturia. This of course got many of us excited and we continued to break concretions. After another hour I found a nice little 1.5" Aturia myself along with a few gastropods and a chunk of Teredo wood. Teredo wood is the fossilized casings from the Teredo marine clam, when in its larval form, ate its way through chunks of ancient wood.

The tide wasn't the best, which did limit the areas we could collect and cut our day short. I caught up with Aaron as we where getting ready to leave and one of the last concretions he popped produced a very nice calcite filled Aturia. He also found a very nice specimen of a glass sponge. Overall it was a good trip and we all had a day pack full of treasures.

Trip Participants: Aaron, Andy, Bill, Skip, Curt, Chris, Chuck, Steven, and Andrew