No motorized watercraft on wider Curley Creek
January 27, 2012 · 1:20 PM
Independent staff report
Better access to the Curly Creek waterway won’t mean an open invitation for Jet Skis and small motorized watercraft.
Kitsap County commissioners voted Monday night in favor of amending county code restricting motorized vessels in certain waters to include Curley Creek. The amended ordinance means Jet Skis and small, motorized boats will not be allowed in the waterway running underneath the new Southworth bridge.
The county’s engineer, Jonathan Brand, said the county is only now amending its waterway code to include Curley Creek because before the bridge replacement, it was almost impossible to get into the creek on a motorized boat.
“Before you could only access it at the highest tide,” Brand said. “It wasn’t really possible.”
The amended ordinance will help protect vital fish habitat, Brand said. It will also protect unruly boaters from getting hurt in the shallow, rocky waters around the new bridge.
“We are trying to prevent kids or somebody from screaming up their on their Jet Skis,” he said. “If they did, they could easily harm themselves, or harm the environment.”
Brand doesn’t see the ordinance change affecting many people. The amendment passed unanimously, and no one from the public got up to speak about the bill at the county commission meeting.
“These are small areas,” he said. “Nobody in their right mind would want to bring a boat into the creek, anyway.”
Before Monday, the ordinance included Buck Lake, Wye Lake and Island Lake. Carpenter Creek in North Kitsap was also added to the list of waterways restricting motorized access. Non-motorized boats like canoes or kayaks are still allowed, Brand said.