Red tide warning
Whatcom County Health Department has advised recreational shellfish harvesters to avoid digging, collecting, or eating shellfish from any beach between Sandy Point and the Canadian Border due to the threat of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning, or “Red Tide.” This includes Drayton Harbor which was closed last week. Tests conducted by Washington State Department of Health show that the amount of toxin in the shellfish exceeds safe levels. Mussel samples taken from Birch Bay on Monday, May 16 contained toxin levels that had risen to nearly five times what is considered safe in just five days. The sudden rise in toxin levels is a concern and, the recent wet weather may send toxin levels even higher. This could increase the risk of illness for people who eat shellfish harvested from these areas.