BOW — Samish Bay was reopened to shellfish harvest Wednesday by the state Department of Health.

The shellfish beds had been closed as a precaution June 17 because of high river levels and the associated risk of pollution. Health officials closed the bay when unsatisfactory levels of fecal coliform, a type of bacteria present in human and animal waste, were detected in water samples.

The bay was reopened when water samples confirmed it was safe to harvest.

That closure was the most recent of more than eight bay closures since March 1, according to information from Skagit County, and was attributed to runoff from unusually high rainfall this spring.

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