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Thread: Red Tide warning for Prince of Wales Island

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default Red Tide warning for Prince of Wales Island

    Just got back in from town (craig & klawock) and I guess there will be no fresh Oysters from up on the North End for the Veterans Day weekend. The Oyster sales have just been stopped because of PSP tested in the shellfish.

    I have noticed that there were posters around that were posted last fall or so warning of the Red Tides and PSP. Last season was so hot and warm there was quite a bit of Red Tide in the bays last season when I was Charter fishing out of Ketchikan, that I noticed. I guess the big Island had their share also. Plus the unseasonably warm weather we just had in late April and early May must have pushed levels over the top.

    On my last Bear hunt I did notice lots of pollen and algae growth on top of the water in some areas. Some was really foaming up with bubbles.

    I was hungry for Oysters on the Barbie ......

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    Where do you check for red tide warnings in Southeast before harvesting shellfish? Is there any reliable internet source for this; like through the ADFG site?

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    They don't give reports/warnings for PSP in sport harvested shellfish. The only reason they reported PSP is because the oysters being tested were commercial and going to be sold. They only gives warnings reports/when testing commercial geoducks/scallops/oysters etc... or if someone has become sick with PSP.

    It's a bummer, We have them shipped up to us in Sitka from there in POW, and they are great oysters!

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    The old rule of thumb was if the month contained the letter "R" in it you were GTG. So, from May to August you should stay away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    The old rule of thumb was if the month contained the letter "R" in it you were GTG. So, from May to August you should stay away.

    Unfortunately, PSP doesn't follow that old rule of thumb. Got to learn alot about it last June when my brother got himself a mild case from eating clams he dug up near Ketchikan. Had a fun night staying up & making sure that he didn't stop breathing in his sleep.

    Found out afterwards that a woman had been hospitalized for PSP about a week prior from shellfish she got from Gravina Island.

    Nasty stuff with no antidote.

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Unfortunately, PSP doesn't follow that old rule of thumb.
    Let's see, we're talking about osyters w/PSP in May and clams w/PSP in June. Seems like the rule is working just fine . . .

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    Forgive me, I did not state that very well. When this happened, one of the phone calls I made was to the health dept in Alaska (dept of 'epidemiology'). They were very emphatic that this can and does happen year-round.

    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    Let's see, we're talking about osyters w/PSP in May and clams w/PSP in June. Seems like the rule is working just fine . . .

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    Here is a great article with FAQs about PSP, and a list of the bivalves in Alaska. Also has two charts; one with PSP outbreaks monthly on a year basis, and another with a list of all the bivalves in order from the highest PSP ever found in each species. It's very informative and an awesome read! According to the chart, the only month withouth a PSP outbreak is December; although the data is from years 1973-1994 I still think it is an accurate representation of PSP in Alaskan shellfish. PSP outbreaks can potentially happen during any month, the algae (red tide) blooms in the summer time, but some shellfish can take a long time to purge themselves of the toxin after the initial ingestion. I pay extra attention when harvesting shellfish that are high on the PSP concentration chart.

    http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/aku/akug98002.pdf

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    I found the attached link from ADFG informative. Over the last 30 years I've done a fair bit of littleneck clamming in Washington and Alaska without paying any PSP consequences; most of it in June, July and August. Now I'm worried that maybe I'm due for a dose.

    I've always remembered the old rule of thumb on harvesting during months with an "r" as well; although the latest information I've looked at on the web basically says it can happen at any time. I just saw a post about several PSP cases in Juneau in March and April of this year.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-sf...shellClams.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    Here is a great article with FAQs about PSP, and a list of the bivalves in Alaska. Also has two charts; one with PSP outbreaks monthly on a year basis, and another with a list of all the bivalves in order from the highest PSP ever found in each species. It's very informative and an awesome read! According to the chart, the only month withouth a PSP outbreak is December; although the data is from years 1973-1994 I still think it is an accurate representation of PSP in Alaskan shellfish. PSP outbreaks can potentially happen during any month, the algae (red tide) blooms in the summer time, but some shellfish can take a long time to purge themselves of the toxin after the initial ingestion. I pay extra attention when harvesting shellfish that are high on the PSP concentration chart.

    http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/aku/akug98002.pdf
    Great resource! Thanks for that. Makes me a little more comfortable with the littlenecks at least.

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