Grays Harbor dredging begins April 5

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to conduct Grays Harbor maintenance dredging in the Outer Harbor starting on April 5, with the USACE hopper dredge vessels Yaquina and Essayons.

The Yaquina is expected to start dredging in the outer harbor of Grays Harbor around April 5 and will dredge approximately 11 days. 

The Essayons is also expected to start dredging in the outer harbor April 5 and will dredge approximately 22 days. 

All work will be concluded no later than May 30, 2023.

Dredging work will be performed continuously, 24/7, in shoaled areas of the Bar, Entrance, Pt. Chehalis, and South reaches. 

Photo by Nicole Celestine – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District

According to the Corps, the goal is to dredge approximately 1,000,000 cubic yards, with 600,000 CY placed in the South Beach Beneficial Use Site (SBBUS). 

The remaining material will be placed in either the Half Moon Bay Beneficial Use Site (HMBUS) or the Pt. Chehalis Disposal Sites (PCDS).

Officials say that there are usually a significant number of crab pots in the South Beach Beneficial Use Site (SBBUS) and access lane. 

The Army Corps of Engineers is asking fishermen and crabbers to move their boats, pots, and gear to avoid having it damaged. 

All dredge work areas, including the navigation channel, access lane and target placement sites, need to be kept clear of fishing and crabbing activity and gear during the dredging.

They note: All of the navigation channel, placement/disposal target areas AND access lanes will be used by the hoppers.

Fishermen, crabbers, and recreational boaters are encouraged to position themselves and/or their pots and gear at least 300 feet from the navigation channel, placement/disposal areas, or access lane boundaries to provide a buffer zone to allow for the boats and gear drifting into the area used by the hoppers.

Boats and gear that drift into the navigation channel, access channel, and/or target placement/disposal areas may be damaged or destroyed.