Shellfish closure extended Monday to other areas of Whidbey Island

The closure now includes almost all of the west side of the island due to marine biotoxins.

The marine biotoxin warning that shut down the shellfish harvest on the west side of Whidbey in August has been extended.

As of Monday, the closure extends from Maxwelton in the north to Ala Spit in the east, and still includes all of Deception Pass, according to the state Department of Health.

In August, the closure was located only from Fort Casey to Ala Spit.

Clams, mussels, oysters, geoducks and other shellfish should not be eaten if harvested from the affected waters. Crab is OK so long as it is thoroughly cleaned of its guts (also known as the “butter”) and are thrown away.

Cooking affected shellfish will not rid it of the toxin and can lead to adverse health effects like tingling of the lips and mouth, difficulty breathing, nausea or a sense of floating.

Symptoms can progress to loss of control of limbs, paralysis of the muscles used to breathe, or even death.

A type of phytoplankton is linked to paralytic shellfish poison, and although it is naturally occurring, it can rise to unsafe levels for humans. Affected water can still run clear although the condition is sometimes referred to as “red tide.”

It will be safe to eat shellfish from the affected areas once the advisory is lifted, as clean water will flush out the toxins in time.

The Department of Health’s shellfish closure does not have an end date yet, and seafood lovers should check its website before getting ready to crack a few shells.

More in News

Oak Harbor councilman ‘embarrassed’ about city permit snafu

A youth sailing club has had trouble constructing a storage shed.

Park board discusses pool maintenance projects

Improvements for the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool came up at a recent meeting.

Recent rain lowers county’s fire danger

Recreational fires are now permitted.

Suit accuses Oak Harbor mayor, city administrator of unethical conduct

The public works director and a former city engineer have filed a lawsuit against city leaders.

WhidbeyHealth says employee tested positive for COVID-19

All elective surgeries have been postponed until Oct. 7.

Van fire damages nearby car, apartments

The van fire is considered suspicious, police say.

Couple on the run as boat floats away

The boat was left floating in Penn Cove, but ran aground last week.

Oak Harbor Police investigating faux bomb

Police are investigating the faux bomb as a criminal case.

Most Read