Washington closes shellfish harvesting areas
The Washington State Department of Health has closed six shellfish harvesting areas because of high bacteria levels.
The six closed areas include: Hood Canal near the Duckabush River (Jefferson County), Annas Bay (Mason County), North Bay (Mason County), Rocky Bay (Pierce County), Swinomish (Skagit County), and Port Susan (Snohomish County).
“We need clean water for safe shellfish harvesting,” said Rick Porso, director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for WSDH, in a statement. “Protecting and improving water quality is important for public health and our state’s economy.”
An additional 16 of the state’s 105 commercial shellfish areas meet quality standards, but are threatened with closure “due to periodic bacteria pollution,” according to the statement.
The threatened areas include: Grays Harbor County – Grays Harbor, Pacific Coast; Island County – Penn Cove; Jefferson County – Hood Canal #3; Kitsap County – Dyes Inlet; Mason County – Annas Bay, North Bay; Pacific County – Bay Center, Naselle River; Pierce County – Burley Lagoon, Rocky Bay, Vaughn Bay; Snohomish County – Port Susan, South Skagit Bay; Thurston County – Eld Inlet, Henderson Inlet.
“State health officials are working with local public health and county partners as well as shellfish growers to implement plans to find and fix pollution problems in these areas,” WSDH said.