Shellfish closure issued for Grays Harbor

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed all of Grays Harbor to the recreational harvest of shellfish due to recent shellfish samples testing high for the biotoxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). 

The Grays Harbor County Environmental Health team has posted signs at key recreational shellfish harvesting locations, including Damon Point and the North Jetty in Ocean Shores. 

Signs have also been posted in the Westport area by our partners at DOH and the Washington State Parks. 

The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and other species of mollusks. 

Crabs are not included in the closure. 

Continued sampling will determine when closures will be lifted or expanded. 

Commercial shellfish are sampled separately and should be safe to eat. 

 Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning can be fatal. A person cannot determine if the toxin is present by visual inspection. PSP can only be detected by laboratory testing. Illness is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from the naturally occurring marine plankton Alexandrium. Biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing contaminated shellfish. Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue, moving to the hands and feet, followed by difficulty breathing and paralysis. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms after consuming shellfish should go to the Emergency Room immediately or call 911.

Recreational shellfish harvesters are advised to call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 or access the Washington Shellfish Safety Map to check the safety conditions before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Grays Harbor.

For the latest information on regulations and seasons, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website at or call the Shellfish Rule Change Hotline at 1-866-880-5431.