According to the Washington State Department of Health’s annual water quality evaluation, Dyes Inlet is one of 18 areas in the state listed as facing possible shellfish harvest restrictions due to bacterial pollution.
One area, a portion of Port Susan in Snohomish County, already does not meet public health standards and commercial shellfish harvesting will be restricted as a result. The other 18 areas, including Dyes Inlet, are all currently threatened with commercial shellfish harvesting restrictions if conditions worsen. Dyes Inlet surrounds Silverdale, Chico, Tracyton and Port Orchard.
Nine counties are on the list of impacted areas:
- Clallam County – Makah Bay
- Grays Harbor County – Grays Harbor, Pacific Coast
- Jefferson County – Discovery Bay
- Kitsap County – Dyes Inlet
- Mason County – Annas Bay, Hood Canal near Union, North Bay, Oakland Bay, Pickering Passage
- Pierce County – Poverty Bay near Dash Point, Henderson Bay, Vaughn Bay, West Key Peninsula in Dutcher Cove
- Snohomish County – Port Susan, South Skagit Bay
- Thurston County – Henderson Inlet
- Whatcom County – Drayton Harbor
Residents can do their part by maintaining septic systems, picking up pet waste, using pump out stations for boats and recreational vehicles and managing animal waste from large and small farms, according to DOH. The Department of Health is responsible for the safety of commercially harvested shellfish statewide and uses standards to classify all 110 commercial harvest areas.