Community

No motorized watercraft on wider Curley Creek

The Southworth Bridge replacement project has created wider access into Curley Creek, but an amended county ordinance restricts motorized watercraft from passing under the bridge.  - Andy Cloward photo
The Southworth Bridge replacement project has created wider access into Curley Creek, but an amended county ordinance restricts motorized watercraft from passing under the bridge.
— image credit: Andy Cloward photo

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.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.