Several beaches reopened to shellfish harvest

The state has reopened shellfish harvesting on beaches from the Lyre River to the Jefferson County line.

Those beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca were closed Sept. 12 because of a high level of toxins, the state Department of Health said.

The changes in status was announced Thursday.

Still closed to harvesting of all species of shellfish are Sequim Bay in Clallam County and Fort Flager State Park, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay in Jefferson County.

Discovery Bay beaches in both counties are closed to harvest of only butter clams and varnish clams.

Ocean beaches are closed for sport harvesting from April 1 to Oct. 31 each year.

Shellfish harvested commercially are tested for toxin prior to distribution and should be safe to eat, the state said.

Toxins cannot be detected by sight or smell. Neither cooking nor freezing destroys biotoxins.

Recreational shellfish harvesters can get the latest information before they leave for the beach by visiting www.doh.wa.gov or calling 800-562-5632.

The emergency regulation hotline is 866-880-5431.

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