810 acres of Dayton Harbor opens to shellfish harvest

Winter shellfish harvesting is now allowed on 810 acres of Blaine’s Drayton Harbor after more than two decades of work to clean up the water.

The Bellingham Herald reports that the seasonal ban in the southwest portion of the harbor was lifted Thursday after tests showed water quality had improved.

The entire harbor was closed to shellfish harvesting in 1999 because of poor water quality. In 2004, part of the harbor was re-opened to seasonal harvesting after federal, state, local and tribal agencies worked to clean up the bacterial pollution.

Until Thursday, the 810 acres in Drayton Harbor had remained closed to shellfish harvesting November through January, during the wettest months, because of high levels of fecal coliform bacteria washing into the harbor.