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DHS news release

Dec. 14, 2007

General contact: Bonnie Widerburg, 971-673-1282
Program contacts: Deanna Conners, DHS Public Health Division, 971-673-0444
Dawn Smith, Dept. of Agriculture, (503) 986-4720.

North and central coast open for recreational shellfish harvesting

The Oregon Department of Human Services has reopened areas of the north and central Oregon coast to recreational shellfish harvesting.

DHS closed recreational shellfish harvesting along the north and central coast on December 6 as a precautionary measure to minimize exposure to bacteria from potentially contaminated floodwaters. Tests have confirmed that water quality is at pre-flood-event levels, and the recreational closure for the north and central coast has been lifted.

Shellfish harvesters should be aware that the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) still has some areas North of Siletz Bay to the Columbia river closed for mussel harvesting because of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), a marine toxin produced by algae. The PSP closure has been in effect since October.

For more information, call ODA's shellfish safety information hotline at 800-448-2474, the Food Safety Division at 503-986-4720 or visit the ODA shellfish closures Web site.