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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: December 6, 2023

Emergency Temporary Shellfish Closure Until December 11 for Drayton Harbor Due to Heavy Rainfall

Drayton Harbor have been closed to shellfish harvest by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) due to recent heavy rainfall. An emergency temporary closure to shellfish harvest for Drayton Harbor Bay is effective December 5, 2023 until December 11, 2023. Recent heavy rainfall resulting in over 2 inches of rain in 24-hours has increased risk of pollution with runoff. 

Shellfish harvesters are advised to “Know Before You Dig.” Always check for current biotoxin and pollution closures at the DOH website: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/biotoxin/biotoxin.html or call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State.

Molluscan shellfish include clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. Pollutants, and algae that contain marine biotoxins, cannot be seen and must be detected by laboratory testing. During a pollution or biotoxin event, mussels and varnish clams usually contain the highest toxin concentration. Butter clams and varnish clams often retain toxins longer than other species. 

Shellfish sold in restaurants and retail markets have been tested before distribution and are safe to eat.

Learn more about preventing shellfish-related illnesses here:  Prevent Shellfish-Related Illnesses | Washington State Department of Health.

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