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Shellfish closures announced
Local fisherman should be aware of recent closures in the Puget Sound.
Crab fishing is now closed in the northern portion of Marine Area 7, located north of Bellingham Bay and Orcas Island.
The closure is due to a high mortality rate for soft crab emerging from their molt after being handled.
All other marine areas in Puget Sound are currently closed to sport crabbing. Shell condition testing began this week for the Everett portion of Marine Area 8-2.
For information on this topic call Steven Burton, Don Velasquez or David Meister at the regional office for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (425) 775-1311.
Other important information about local shellfish include the closure of clamming season at Camano Island and Potlach state parks.
There has been an unexplained die off of clams in the Port Susan/Saratoga Passage area. It is also shut down for conservation purposes, due to the low populations of legal-size clams available for harvesting.
Potlach is, however, still open for harvesting oysters through June 30. The state would like to remind the public to fill their holes and while harvesting oysters leave the shells where they were found.
Before hitting the beaches open to harvesting, the state recommends the public take measures. Call the Department of Healths hotline at (800) 562-5632 or call the Department of Fish and Wildlife at (360) 902-2200 for other important information.