Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Mussel Harvesting Closed on Part of Oregon Coast Due to Biotoxin: Cape Lookout to Seal Rock

Published 5/23/24 at 8:55 p.m.
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

(Oregon Coast) – A sizable area of central and north Oregon coast is closed to mussel harvesting after wildlife experts found unsafe levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) said test results required the closure from Cape Lookout State Park (near Oceanside) down through Seal Rock State Park (just south of Newport). (Photo ODFW)

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

This closure affects the areas in and around Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport and South Beach. It is effect as of Thursday, May 23.

ODFW said PSP is a naturally-occurring maine biotoxin, and it has nothing to do with the apparent oil spill issue happening somewhere in the region (which has not been pinned down yet).

“The mussel closure is not related to the oil event currently happening along the northern Oregon and southern Washington coasts,” ODFW said.

Meanwhile, the harvesting of mussels remains safe from Cape Lookout to the Washington border and from Seal Rock south to the California border.

ODFW said the tests done by ODA showed PSP levels rising in recent weeks. The latest test showed them over the safety threshold.

ODA said PSP is sometimes produced by some species of microscopic algae – not unlike the way domoic acid affects offshore wildlife and clams. PSP is quite serious: consuming it can cause severe illness. It's extremely poisonous, with as little as one milligram (0.000035 ounce) able to kill an adult.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Cooking does not get rid of the biotoxin, and experts say you cannot smell or taste PSP in seafood.

Meanwhile, razor clamming is open in most areas, except for the stretch of south Oregon coast from Cape Blanco (near Port Orford) to the California line.

Seal Rock - Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Crabbing and harvesting bay clams are still open along the entire coastline.

“ODA will continue testing for shellfish toxins at least twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit,” ODFW said.

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin hotline at (800) 448-2474, the ODA Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures Webpage.

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits. More photos below:

Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - South Coast Hotels - Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


Cape Lookout

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Discovering Spring, Summer Along Central Oregon Coast: Hints from Pacific Cit...
A kind of summer preview from Pacific City, Newport, Depoe Bay, Yachats, Florence

Space Station Will Put On A Show in May Above Oregon, Washington, Coastlines
ISS is going to have some pretty decent flyovers. Sciences

Lincoln City's Guided Exploriences of Cascade Head Dig Deep Into Wilds of Ore...
First one starts May 1 and run through Oct. Lincoln City events

Central Oregon Coast Delays: Beverly Beach Reopening Pushed Back a Month
Some extensive remodeling and upgrades this year. Newport, Depoe Bay, Waldport

Waldport's Beach, Bike 'n Blues Fest Slams Into Central Oregon Coast in May
May 4: a festival that's grown by leaps and bounds. Waldport events, Yachats events, Newport events

Oregon and Washington Coasts Shut Down All Shellfish Due to 'Historic Levels'...
All beaches, bays on PNW coasts are closed to harvesting. Marine sciences

Adrenalinized Bike Races Hit Much of Oregon Coast Soon: Ride the Dirt Wave Ki...
First near Seaside June 8 - 9, then Bandon, Newport events; Bandon events, Seaside events

Full Fourth of July Events for Oregon Coast, 2024
S. Coast events, Astoria events, Seaside events, Cannon Beach events, Manzanita events, Rockaway Beach events, Tillamook events, Garibaldi events, Oceanside events, Pacific City events, Lincoln City events, Depoe Bay events, Newport events, Waldport events, Newport events, Yachats events, Florence events

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright © Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted