The Chinook Observer reports on the dredging just begun to deepen the Ilwaco Channel in order to keep south Pacific County’s maritime link to the Columbia River. The dredging is part of $1.2 million received in federal aid funding for channel maintenance announced last spring.
Federal funding for dredging and channel maintenance is largely determined by the amount of annual commercial catch delivered at a particular port.
The Port of Ilwaco and Port of Chinook account for the second largest port district of landed fish in the state of Washington only behind Westport, according to an economic impact report by Martin Associates in February 2019.
In the ten years of data, Ilwaco and Chinook account for nearly twelve percent of landed pounds of fish in the state of Washington. Westport averaged roughly sixty percent and Bellingham, the third highest, averaged eight percent in the state of Washington. Ilwaco and Chinook are in the top five value of landed fish behind Westport, Shelton, Bellingham and Seattle. Over the same ten years, Ilwaco and Chinook averaged roughly $21 million of landed fish per year, the report found.