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Washington

Fishing

Shellfish Safety Information

Eating contaminated shellfish or seaweed can cause serious illness or death. The only way to be safe is to "Know Before You Dig". Always check for current beach closures and advisories related to biotoxins, pollution, or other human health concerns the same day you plan to harvest: www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety (clickable map), or call the Department of Health at (360) 236-3330 or the local county health department. For biotoxin information only, call the toll-free Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632. In addition, some beaches may be posted with warning signs — look for signs as you access the beach.

Always check both the current wdfw season and the doh health closure status before harvesting any public beach.

Biotoxin Closures

Don't harvest in areas with marine biotoxins, also known as "Red Tide". You could get sick or die.

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) & Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) & Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP):

  • Can make you sick or cause death
  • Can't be destroyed by cooking or freezing
  • Are produced by algae and do not always turn the water red
  • Can remain in butter and varnish clams longer than in other shellfish species

Pollution Closures

Don't harvest in areas that are polluted. You could get sick.

Pollution can come from many sources like sewage drain pipes, failing septic systems, farm practices, boats, and pet waste. Some closures and advisories are listed below. Visit www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety for the current beach status.

Vibrio Warnings

Be aware of Vibrio Warnings. You could get sick.

Vibrio Bacteria:

  • Cook all shellfish thoroughly to kill bacteria and to avoid getting sick
  • Highest risk from May-September, especially in Puget Sound and Hood Canal
  • Are naturally occurring bacteria that can multiply rapidly in warm conditions

Help Keep Our Waters Safe and Clean

Human and pet waste can make people sick and cause harvest closures. Please do your part to protect our waterways and shellfish beaches:

  • Use public toilets. Scoop, bag and trash human waste if no facilities are available.
  • Scoop, bag, and trash your pet's waste.
  • Pump, don't dump! Use pumpout stations to dispose of boat sewage. Visit https://pumpoutwashington.org.

Don’t Relocate Shells or Shellfish!

Like humans and other animals, shellfish can get sick. It is illegal to move shells and shellfish from beach to beach or between state waters without a transfer permit. When you move animals and shells from one area to another, you can accidentally introduce or spread harmful pests and diseases. These movements include activities like:

  • Transferring shellfish to seed your beach
  • Putting used oyster shells on beaches
  • Storing shellfish harvested from other areas or bought from the store on a beach or off a dock
  • Releasing any aquatic animals into state waters for any reason.

Help safeguard Washington shellfish. For additional information, visit https://invasivespecies.wa.gov/priorityspecies/infectious-shellfish-diseases/. To apply for a transfer permit visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/fishing/shellfish-import-transfer.

Year-Round Closures — Clams, Oysters, and Mussels

Closures may be subject to change. Always check current WDFW season and DOH water quality status the same day you plan to harvest at https://wdfw.wa.gov/shellfish-beaches/places-to-go or http://www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety

Beach Name

County

Alki Park

King

Alki Point

King

Bay Center Oyster Reserve (Willapa Harbor reserves)

Pacific

Bay View State Park

Skagit

Blaine Marine Park (formerly Semiahmoo)

Whatcom

Blake Island State Park Marina

Kitsap

Blowers Bluff North

Island

Brown's Point Lighthouse

Pierce

Budd Inlet, south of Burfoot County Park

Thurston

Cama Beach State Park

Island

Camano Island State Park

Island

Chuckanut Bay

Whatcom

Coupeville

Island

Cultus Bay

Island

Dave Mackie County Park

Island

Deception Pass State Park, Rosario Beach tidepools only.

Island

Des Moines City Park

King

Discovery Park

King

DNR-142

Island

DNR-144 (Sleeper)

Island

Dockton County Park

King

Dosewallips State Park South (defined by posts on the beach)

Jefferson

East San de Fuca

Island

Eld Inlet Oyster Reserve (Mud Bay reserves)

Thurston

English Camp (formerly Garrison Bay)

San Juan

Evergreen Rotary Park (Port Washington Narrows)

Kitsap

Fay Bainbridge Park

Kitsap

Fudge Point State Park

Mason

Gertrude Island

Pierce

Golden Gardens

King

Graveyard Spit (Dungeness Bay)

Clallam

Guillemot Cove Nature Preserve

Kitsap

Guss Island (formerly Garrison Bay)

San Juan

Howarth Park/Darlington Beach

Snohomish

Joemma Beach State Park

Mason

Kayak Point County Park

Snohomish

Kitsap Memorial State Park

Kitsap

Lent Landing (Port Washington Narrows)

Kitsap

Lincoln Park

King

Lions Park (Bremerton)

Kitsap

Lofall

Kitsap

Long Island Slough Oyster Reserve (Willapa Harbor reserves)

Pacific

Long Point West

Island

Lower Roto Vista Park

Kitsap

March Point Recreation Area

Skagit

McNeil Island

Pierce

Meadowdale County Park

Snohomish

Mee-Kwa-Mooks Park

King

Monroe Landing

Island

Mukilteo

Snohomish

Nahcotta Tidelands (closed for clams year-round, oysters open year-round)

Pacific

Nemah Oyster Reserves (Willapa Harbor reserves)

Pacific

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Thurston

North Beach County Park

Jefferson

Oak Bay County Park

Jefferson

Oak Harbor

Island

Oak Harbor Beach Park

Island

Oak Harbor City Park

Island

Oak Harbor (north of WINAS-Maylor)

Island

Old Mill County Park (Silverdale)

Kitsap

Olympia Shoal

Thurston

Pat Carey Vista Park

Kitsap

Picnic Point County Park

Snohomish

Pitship Point

Clallam

Pitt Island

Pierce

Pleasant Harbor State Park

Jefferson

Pleasant Harbor WDFW Boat Launch

Jefferson

Point Defiance

Pierce

Port Angeles Harbor

Clallam

Port Gardner

Snohomish

Port Townsend Ship Canal/Portage Canal

Jefferson

Post Point

Whatcom

Priest Point County Park

Thurston

Rat Island (south of Fort Flagler State Park)

Jefferson

Retsil

Kitsap

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park

King

Salt Creek Recreation Area (DNR-419)

Clallam

Saltair Beach (Kingston Ferry Terminal)

Kitsap

Saltwater State Park

King

Samish Bay (southwest portion)

Skagit

Scenic Beach State Park

Kitsap

Seahurst County Park

King

Semiahmoo County Park

Whatcom

Semiahmoo Marina

Whatcom

Silverdale Waterfront Park

Kitsap

Sinclair Inlet

Kitsap

Skagit Wildlife Area

Skagit

South Carkeek Park

King

Southworth

King

Stuart Island State Park - Reid Harbor (South Beach)

San Juan

Taylor Bay

Pierce

Totten Inlet Oyster Reserve (Oyster Bay reserves)

Thurston

Walker County Park

Mason

West Pass Access

Snohomish

Willapa River Oyster Reserve (Willapa Harbor reserves)

Pacific

Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area

Thurston

Harvest Advisories — Clams, Oysters, and Mussels

The Department of Health (DOH) has harvest advisories or closures on the following beaches. An advisory is placed on a beach that MAY be subject to periodic contamination from pollution sources or MAY intersect polluted areas. Before harvesting shellfish check the Department of Health's website www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety, call (360) 236-3330, or contact the local county health department. For beach-specific information and other harvest rules and information, check the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/shellfish-beaches/places-to-go.

Beach Name

County

Anna Smith Children's Park

Kitsap

Blake Island (avoid marina and mooring buoys)

Kitsap

Brownsville

Kitsap

Copalis Beach (Oyhut Beach Approach)

Grays Harbor

DNR-34

Mason

Duckabush

Jefferson

East San de Fuca Boat Ramp

Island

Inspiration Point Natural Area

King

Jarrell Cove

Mason

Larrabee State Park (north end)

Whatcom

Liberty Bay

Kitsap

Madrona (Penn Cove)

Island

Port Gamble Heritage Park (consumption advisory)

Kitsap

San de Fuca

Island

Seabold

Kitsap

Silverdale Shoal - Clam Island

Kitsap

Spring Beach (Vashon Island)

King

Twanoh State Park

Mason

West Dougall Point

Mason

West Penn/Twin Lagoons

Island

WINAS-Maylor Pt East (inside Crescent Harbor)

Island

WINAS-Maylor Pt West (inside Oak Harbor)

Island

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