OLYMPIA – Officials with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) credit the volunteer efforts of anglers and a local landowner in improving sanitary conditions on the Skokomish River.
The cooperative clean-up effort last week by WDFW employees, anglers and Hunter Farms–a private landowner–increased the number of portable toilets and trash receptacles in the area, and removed human waste and trash from the banks of the river.
The results of the clean-up prompted the state Department of Health (DOH) to reopen the nearby shellfish harvest area in the river delta on Wednesday. DOH had closed the area to shellfishing Aug. 18 because of the potential for human waste to contaminate the shellfish.
“The hard work put in by all these volunteers really turned the situation around, as evidenced by DOH’s decision,” said Phil Anderson, WDFW interim director.
“We appreciate anglers’ cooperation and we’re pleased that personal behavior has changed dramatically,” Anderson said. “Continued angler cooperation in maintaining sanitary conditions will help preserve fishing opportunities on the river.”
Anderson said WDFW will continue monitoring the river for fishing violations and angler use of waste-disposal facilities.
The Skokomish River is open for recreational salmon fishing seven days a week from the mouth of the river to the Hwy. 101 Bridge.