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Public Health News

Posted on: June 5, 2020

Recreational Shellfish Harvesting to Open


June 5, 2020
For Immediate Release 
Contact: Michael Dawson
Water Quality Manager
Jefferson County Public Health
(360) 385-9444 ext. 301


Port Townsend – As part of Safe Start-Washington’s Phased Reopening plan, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will open recreational shellfish harvesting on June 8, 2020, for most beaches. Beaches are being monitored for shellfish biotoxins and recreationalists are reminded to check the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) Shellfish Safety Map for updated information. Jefferson County Public Health has posted shellfish signs throughout the county to reflect current shellfish safety warnings and closures. Discovery Bay is closed to all species due to Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (see our press release of May 22) . Hood Canal has a Vibrio Warning to cook all shellfish.

Every summer, DOH issues a Recreational Shellfish Harvest Advisory for Hood Canal. 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.

Check the clickable map at or call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State. For the latest information on regulations and seasons, go to the WDFW website at or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline 1-866-880-5431.

Jefferson County is now in Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Reopening Plan. This phase allows for outdoor recreation involving 5 or fewer people outside your household, and travel within the proximity of your home to participate in these activities. On May 28, 2020, Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County Public Health Officer, issued a directive that all individuals must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths when they will be at outdoor public locations and cannot maintain distancing of approximately six feet from another individual who does not share their household. Wearing cloth face coverings does not mitigate the necessity for maintaining social distances whenever possible.



Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community


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