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Clallam County closes Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches to shellfish

The Clallam County Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Division announced late last week closed recreational shellfish harvest of all shellfish in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Low Point/Lyre River to Discovery Bay due to the presence of biotoxins.

The status of other beaches in Clallam County includes:

Sequim Bay — Closed to butter and varnish clams only.

Discovery Bay — Closed to butter and varnish clams only.

Dungeness Bay — All species closed.

Ocean beaches — All species closed.

All species includes clams (including geoducks), oysters, mussels and other invertebrates such as moon snails. All areas are closed for the sport harvest of scallops. These closures do not apply to shrimp. Crabmeat is not known to contain biotoxins, but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, people should clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts.

It is important to know the difference between butter clams and other species of clams. 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.