State: Inspection finds maintenance flaws at Atlantic salmon net pens off Bainbridge Island

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State officials say an inspection has found maintenance issues at Cooke Aquaculture’s farmed salmon operation off Bainbridge Island.

The state Department of Natural Resources on Monday issued a default notice and gave the company 60 days to fix the problems.

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said in a statement that they need to make sure Cooke’s salmon farms are structurally sound given the Aug. 19 collapse at its Cypress Island facility. Tens of thousands of non-native Atlantic salmon were released into Puget Sound.

A contractor hired by DNR found issues at Cooke’s farms in Rich Passage, including a hole in netting and severe corrosion on floating piers. DNR says companies that lease state aquatic lands must maintain property in good order.

Another state agency approved a permit last week for Cooke to stock its net pens with 1 million juvenile Atlantic salmon.

Cooke did not immediately respond to a request for comment.