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WDFW revokes a Port Gamble dock permit
PORT GAMBLE — Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife revoked its previous hydraulic project approval permit required for building a dock in Port Gamble.
The 160-foot dock — proposed by town owner Olympic Property Group (OPG) — is an ongoing source of controversy between the company and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, which sought the WDFW appeal. Friends of Port Gamble Bay has also thrown its support behind the tribe.
Without an HPA permit, dock construction cannot proceed, said Greg Huekel, assistant director for WDFW habitat program.
Huekel said the decision was based on new information presented back in November 2007, when the tribe appealed the permit.
Huekel said the tribe presented sufficient evidence to show Port Gamble Bay is the central spawning site for its herring stock — the second largest herring stock in Washington.
WDFW managers revoked the HPA permit after determining OPG intended to allow moorage at the dock, creating a marina. The Washington Administrative Code, however, prohibits constructing marinas on or over herring spawning beds to prevent negative impacts on fish habitat.
“As long as there are herring spawning grounds there, an HPA permit will not be granted,” Huekel said. “Our laws will not allow construction of a marina on or over documented herring spawning grounds.”
Jon Rose, president of OPG, was unable to return phone calls prior to press time.