Federal and State determination of “fish windows” – the periods when construction on or near the water does not pose harm to fish health and reproduction – appear to be misaligned, slowing the permitting process for construction on a new dock at Hidden Cove.
State permits allow for construction to happen between August and mid-February, while federal guidelines state that construction can occur from mid-July to the end of August.
A middle ground is being sought by the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District which would restore the in-water construction window following a fish spawn study prior to the beginning of construction.
There appears to be federal consensus around this solution as it is consistent with other in-water work permitted in the area. A decision is expected to be reached by the first week of August.
In the meantime the park district will continue to make intermittent repairs to the dock at Hidden Cove, which sees heavy use in the summertime.
The park district has applied for an extension of the $300,000 State Recreation and Conservation Office grant for the project and hopes to move forward with the project by fall.