Local beaches reopen for shellfish harvesting

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 12/1/20

The marine algae in shellfish that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) are declining in many areas of Jefferson County and health officials recently lifted bans on recreational shellfish …

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Local beaches reopen for shellfish harvesting

Posted

The marine algae in shellfish that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) are declining in many areas of Jefferson County and health officials recently lifted bans on recreational shellfish harvesting beaches in some places.

The biotoxin closure has been removed in Oak Bay, Squamish Harbor, and Dabob Bay, officials with Jefferson County Public Health have announced.

Recent tests indicate those beaches can be reopened to shellfish harvesting.

In Quilcene Bay, officials said harvesting butter and varnish clams is still restricted because the PSP toxins persist in these species longer and shellfish from the bay  are unsafe to eat.

Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing, and people can become ill — and even die — from eating shellfish contaminated with the naturally occurring marine algae containing toxins harmful to humans.

Public access points are posted with warning signs in areas that remain closed to shellfish harvesting.

The state Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map shows up-to-date information for recreational shellfish harvesting; it can be found at www.doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm. 

Recreational harvesters should also check Fish and Wildlife regulations and seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish, or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline 1-866-880-5431.

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