OUTDOORS: Most Peninsula beaches open to shellfish harvesting

OUTDOORS: Most Peninsula beaches open to shellfish harvesting

OLYMPIA — Shellfish harvesting in Clallam and Jefferson counties will reopen with few exceptions on Monday.

Discovery Bay is closed for all species harvesting because of a high level of paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Sequim Bay is closed to only butter clams and varnish clams. Pacific Ocean beaches are now in a seasonal closure.

Salt Creek Recreation Area is permanently closed to harvesting of any form of marine life. Tongue Point is designated a marine sanctuary.

Hood Canal has a warning to cook all shellfish. This is due to the presence of vibrio bacteria in shellfish, which causes the intestinal disease vibriosis. The advisory instructs harvesters that all shellfish recreationally harvested from May through September should be cooked thoroughly to avoid illness.

Beaches are being monitored for shellfish biotoxins and people are reminded to check the Washington State Department of Health’s Shellfish Safety Map at www. fortress.wa.gov/doh/ biotoxin/biotoxin.html for updated information.

Both North Olympic Peninsula counties are now in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start plan.

This phase allows for outdoor recreation involving five or fewer people outside a household and travel within the proximity of a person residence to participate in these activities.

In Jefferson County, Dr. Tom Locke, public health officer, has issued a directive that all individuals must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while at outdoor public locations and cannot maintain distancing of about 6 feet from another individual who does not share their household.

Hoh River closed to fishing

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed the Hoh River and the South Fork of the Hoh River to all fishing through September 15.

All fish, including salmon, are included in the closure, which runs in the Hoh River from the Olympic National Park boundary near the river’s mouth upstream to the park boundary above Morgans Crossing boat launch. The South Fork of the Hoh River is closed from the mouth upstream to the Olympic National Park boundary.

The WDFW took this action to support the conservation of wild summer-run Chinook and it took effect on Saturday. It will be reflected in the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet beginning on July 1.

Preseason forecasts for the Hoh River summer-run Chinook a run size of 804 fish, which is 96 short of the escapement goal for this run. This year is expected to be the seventh time in the last 10 years that wild summer-run Chinook have not met escapement goals.

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