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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 4, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Volunteers step up to clean the banks of the Skokomish River

The reaction about the negative news of sport anglers mucking up the Skokomish River gave way to a positive effort by a volunteer group of anglers and local landowners as well as state Fish and Wildlife employees who stepped up to the plate to help improve sanitary conditions along the highly popular sport fishery area.

According to a news release a cooperative clean up effort by State Fish and Wildlife employees, sport 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 Skokomish River.

The results of the clean up prompted the state Department of Health to reopen the nearby shellfish harvest area in the river delta on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The area had been closed the to shellfishing back on 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,” Phil Anderson, the state Fish and Wildlife interim director said in a news release.

“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 state Fish and Wildlife 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.

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