OLYMPIA ¾ Marine biotoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) have been detected at dangerously high levels in shellfish samples collected from north Puget Sound. The so-called “red tide” toxin levels have been as much as 100 times higher than the closure level.
The state Department of Health has closed several areas to recreational shellfish harvest because of these dangerous toxin levels. All of Whatcom County and all of San Juan County, Deception Pass, Fidalgo Bay, Samish Bay, Sinclair, and Cypress Islands in Skagit County are closed. The northern part of Whidbey Island, from Keystone Harbor on the west to Strawberry Point on the east including Deception Pass, is also closed to recreational shellfish harvest.