Peninsula: Some oyster fields reopened; most of Hood Canal shore still closed

HOOD CANAL — Cooler weather is improving conditions for oysters in some of the Hood Canal and Puget Sound areas closed in July due to a bacterial outbreak.

Quilcene Bay and Mystery Bay in Jefferson County, Samish Bay in Skagit County, Hood Canal’s Annas Bay and some other Canal growing areas have been reopened by state health officials for commercial harvesting under special testing criteria.

Mystery Bay remains closed to other shellfish harvesting.

The newly reopened growing areas have been closed to all oyster harvesting since July as a precautionary measure because of an outbreak of vibriosis related to eating raw oysters that sickened more than 100 people.

Oyster harvesting remains closed for all recreational beaches and commercial growing areas in most areas of Hood Canal including Port Gamble, Dabob Bay, Oakland Bay, Skookum Inlet, Hammersley Inlet and Totten Inlet.

“Cooler fall weather reduces the growth rate for the vibriosis bacteria,” said Maryanne Guichard, director of the department’s Office of Shellfish and Water Protection.

“It should allow us to open more oyster harvesting areas fairly soon.”

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