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Biotoxin Closure Alert

The following area has been closed for recreational harvest of  shellfish due to dangerous biotoxin levels.

  • Port Susan

This includes clams, geoduck, scallops, mussels, oysters, snails and other invertebrates (not crab or shrimp - clean crab well and do not consume the guts/butter).

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 Mariner's Cove Park and Utsalady Bay)
  • Holmes Harbor
  • Penn Cove
  • Possession Sound

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 Shellfish Safety Information web site for a current status of a beach before harvesting.

During the months of June through October, the Washington State Department of Health 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