BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Once again, Samish Bay is closed to shellfish harvesting due to high pollution levels.
Goskagit.com reports the state Department of Health closed the bay to commercial and recreational shellfish harvest as a precaution June 17th, because of high river flows and the associated risk of pollution.
The state extended the closure when testing showed high levels of fecal coliform in water samples.
This week's closure is just one of more than eight bay closures since March 1st.
Skagit County Natural Resources Division manager Dan Berentson attributes the high levels of bacteria in the water to runoff from unusually high spring rainfall.
Berentson says the closure is a setback for the agencies who launched the Clean Samish Initiative a few months ago.
He adds they will just have to work harder and hope they can make progress again.
Berentson reminds residents to check their septic systems, keep livestock out of waterways and take extra care when spreading manure.