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Mussel harvest closure extended along Oregon Coast

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have extended the closure of all mussel harvesting from the Yachats River in Lincoln County to the California border. The closure is due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and includes mussels on all beaches, rocks, jetties, and bay entrances in this section of the Oregon Coast.

The original closure was ordered August 9 and covered the south coast from Cape Arago to the California border.

All areas on the Oregon Coast north of the Yachats River to the Columbia River remain open to all recreational and commercial shellfish harvesting.

Shellfish contaminated with PSTs can cause minor to severe illness or even death. The symptoms usually begin with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean.

ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.

Media Contact: Alex Manderson at (503) 842-2607.

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