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June 29, 2022

Health Department issues Recreational Shellfish Harvest Closure for northern beaches in Skagit County

A shellfish sample from Samish Bay this week had dangerous levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) toxin. A sample of Samish Bay - West oysters collected on 6/27 had a PSP toxin result of 274 micrograms of toxin. The Washington State action level for harvest closures is any sample with PSP toxin in exceedance of 80 micrograms/100 g. 

As a result, northern Skagit County beaches, including Samish Bay, Sinclair Island, Cypress Island, and Guemes Island except the southern shoreline from Kellys Point east to Long Bay are closed to recreational harvesting of all species of shellfish. 

The northern Skagit beaches will be closed to recreational shellfish harvesting for all species of shellfish until further notice. Continued sampling will determine when closures will be lifted or expanded.

Early symptoms of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning can set in within 30 minutes of shellfish consumption and may include: numbness and tingling around the lips/tongue, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, numbness in arms/legs, muscular paralysis or coordination loss, dizziness and incoherence, headache, rapid pulse, and/or respiratory distress.  If you experience any of these symptoms after eating shellfish, have someone take you to the Emergency Room immediately or call 911 for assistance.

For complete shellfish harvesting beach closure information call the Marine Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 or visit the Shellfish Safety Map. For questions, please contact Samantha Russell at srussell@co.skagit.wa.us or call (360) 416-1500.