PORT TOWNSEND — The Department of Health has opened Discovery Bay from Diamond Point to Fort Worden and Admiralty Inlet including Fort Flagler for recreational harvesting of all shellfish species.
Lab results from recent butter clam samples indicate that levels of the biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning have dropped below the closure limit.
Signs have been posted at public access points indicating this change.
Discovery Bay was closed in July to shellfish harvesting due to high levels of marine biotoxins discovered in shellfish samples.
In Clallam County, beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Cape Flattery east to Lyre River/Low Point are closed to the recreational harvesting of all species of shellfish East of Lyre River to the Jefferson County line. Beaches are closed to harvest of butter clams and varnish clams only.
In Jefferson County, Port Ludlow and Mats Mats are closed to the harvesting of butter clams and varnish clams.
All species means clams (including geoduck), oysters, mussels and other invertebrates such as the moon snail.
Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels, authorities say. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter).
To find out which areas are safe to harvest shellfish in Washington and the state Fish aand Wildlife harvesting rules, check the map at www.doh.wa.gov/ShellfishSafety.htm or call the botoxin hotline at 1-800-562-5632.