SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. (AP) – The Washington state Department of Ecology has fined Skagit Valley Farm $267,000 for irrigating 348 acres without having water rights.
The crops unlawfully irrigated in 2021 were in the lower Skagit and Samish watersheds.
The agency says the violations occurred during a drought and just after a historic heat wave when low stream flows threaten endangered salmon species.
Irrigating fields without water rights hurts farmers who comply with water rights laws and salmon that need stream flows to be at a certain level.
Skagit Valley Farm has 30 days to appeal the fine to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.