Henderson Inlet shellfish harvest threatened by pollution, state says

Henderson Inlet pictured in 2008.
Henderson Inlet pictured in 2008. sbloom@theolympian.com

Henderson Inlet north of Olympia is one of 18 commercial shellfish harvest areas in Washington threaten by pollution, according to the state’s Department of Health’s annual water quality evaluation.

The area currently meets water quality standards but could face restrictions in the future due to bacterial pollution, according to the state.

Other areas now listed as threatened include Annas Bay, Hood Canal near Union, North Bay, Oakland Bay and Pickering Passage in Mason County, and Poverty Bay near Dash Point, Henderson Bay, Vaughn Bay and West Key Peninsula in Dutcher Cove in Pierce County.

The evaluation found part of Port Susan in Snohomish County does not meet public health standards and harvesting will be restricted there.

A year ago, shellfish harvesting was restricted in Henderson Inlet as well as portions of Grays Harbor County near the Elk River because of bacterial pollution, which is caused by septic systems, pet and livestock waste, and boat and recreational vehicle waste.