Shellfish Advisories

Biotoxin Closure Alert

The following areas have been closed for recreational harvest of butter and varnish clams only:

West Whidbey Island

  • Admiralty Bay
  • Useless Bay
  • Saratoga Passage (including Utsalady Bay)
  • Holmes Harbor
  • Possession Sound
  • Port Susan

Shellfish Advisories

Island County has 212 miles of shoreline with 57 public beaches and 22 private beaches.  Always check the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Shellfish Safety Information web site for a current status of a beach before harvesting.

From June through October, the DOH advises that all shellfish recreationally harvested in all marine water, should be cooked thoroughly to avoid illness due to vibriosis.

Beaches may be closed, or have a harvest advisory, for the following reasons: 

  1. Marine Biotoxins, such as Paralytic Shellfish Poison. 
  2. Pollution: Bacterial, Contamination, Oil Spills, Flooding, Wastewater Treatment Plant overflows, and Preemptive Closure Zones around Treated Wastewater Discharges. These include Oak Harbor, Crescent Harbor, Penn Cove and Langley.
  3. Illness: Vibrio parahaemolyticus also known as “vibriosis”. 
  4. Resource Closures by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Helpful Resources

  • Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Hotline - 800-562-5632
  • Washington State Fish & Wildlife - Recreational Shell fishing in Island County
  • Washington State Department of Health - Shellfish Saftey Map 
  • Washington State Department of Health - Vibriosis in Shellfish