Shellfish Monitoring

Recreational Shellfish Safety

Jefferson County also assists the State Department of Health in monitoring the safety of shellfish. Recent closures are posted in our news section. Signs are also posted at public beaches.

Harmful algae blooms (sometimes referred to as "red tides") can produce dangerous toxins. Seven cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning occurred in Jefferson County in September 2012 when a party harvested and ate mussels in a closed area. This poisoning resulted in hospitalization for several members of the group. In July 2012, Jefferson County experienced its first-ever closure for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison (DSP).
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For more details about biotoxins and shellfish consult the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) website.

Before Collecting Shellfish for Recreation

Additional Resources


Harmful algae blooms are showing up in places they have not been seen before, such as Hood Canal. Clara Hard gave this presentation on biotoxins (PDF) at the Quilcene Community Center on May 14, 2015.


Washington State DOH has prepared a study of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (PDF) including environmental monitoring and illness investigations.

Laura Johnson gave this presentation on Vibrio (PDF) at the Jefferson County Public Health Department on February 19, 2015.