The state has just announced that a part of the Dosewallips State Park tidelands is being opened for recreational and treaty tribes’ commercial shellfish harvest for the first time in more than 20 years.
The newly opened 70 acres of tidelands was closed for shellfish harvest in 1987 due to elevated levels of bacteria from the large numbers of seals on the Dosewallips tidelands, said the news release.
Seals don’t appear to be impacting marine water quality in the area now, and other pollution sources have been cleaned up. The area that is being re-opened is marked by orange plastic stakes. State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Skokomish Tribe will survey clam and oyster populations on the newly opened area this summer to plan for the 2011 shellfish season.
The area near the mouth of the Dosewallips River will remain closed because of high bacteria levels that occasionally flow down the river. Delays in improving the wastewater treatment system at Dosewallips State Park are also a concern around the mouth of the river.