County closes clamming beaches


Clallam County announced this week the closure of shellfish harvest on several area beaches has been ordered by the Washington Department of Health.


On the West End, the county is extending the closure of clamming for all species on ocean beaches, along with beaches along the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Pillar Point west to Cape Flattery.


In eastern Clallam County, Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches from Pillar Point east to the Jefferson County line are closed to butter and varnish clams. Discovery and Sequim bays are also closed to butter and varnish clams.


All species means clams (including geoduck), oyster, mussels and other invertebrates such as the moon snail. 


All areas are closed for the sport harvest of scallops. 


The closures do not apply to shrimp. 


Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels.  To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts.


It is important to know the difference between butter clams and other species of clams, the county said in its alert. Butter clams have the ability to retain toxins for a very long time — up to a year or more.  Areas may be closed for the sport harvest of butter clams when all other species are safe and open.


For more, call the Marine Biotoxin Hotline at 800-562-5632, or visit the Department of Health’s Marine Biotoxin Website at


For additional information call Jessica Pankey with the Clallam County Environmental Health Food Safety Program at 360-417-2418.
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