The Skagit County Health Department has announced the closures of area shellfish harvesting following samples taken showing an increase in paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins.
South Skagit, Similk Bay and Deception Pass are affected by the closures, as wells as other areas in Whatcom, Island and Snohomish counties. Up-to-date closure information can be found by calling 1-800-562-5632 or on the Shellfish Safety Map at doh.wa.gov/communityandenvironment/shellfish/recreationalshellfish.
Clams, mussels, oysters, scallops and other shellfish are affected by the toxins, which are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. Crab meat is not affected, but the toxin can be stored in its entrails. Numbness, dizziness and nausea are among the symptoms, which can set in as early as 30 minutes within consumption.