of Whatcom County
Shellfish are an important resource. In 1999,
almost 44 million pounds of shellfish, valued at $79 million, were
harvested commercially from Washington waters. The term shellfish
encompasses a broad group of organisms including oysters, clams, crabs,
shrimp and mussels.
are numerous shellfish in the Puget Sound waters. Here is just a
partial listing of some of the shellfish that can be found in Whatcom
County's coastal waters:
Native littleneck clams
Red rock crab
For more information on the shellfish in our
waters, check out the Marine
Fact Sheets or check out the shellfish
harvesting rules so you know what you can harvest and when
and where it is legal to harvest.
Many areas around Washington state, as well as
around the country, have been closed to the harvesting of shellfish due
to declines in water quality over the shellfish beds. The State Department of Health provides information on closed recreational shellfish beds.
Whatcom County currently has two areas that
are closed to commercial shellfish harvesting due to degraded water quality. Drayton Harbor has a seasonal closure for a portion of the harbor from November through January each year with the other portion of the harbor closed to shellfish harvest year round. Birch Bay is closed to shellfish harvest year round at the mouth of Terrell Creek. Portage Bay is currently threatened with a shellfish closure due to elevated bacteria levels at five marine monitoring stations.
Whatcom County Public Works - Natural Resources
322 N. Commercial St, Suite 110, Bellingham, WA 98225 USA
(360) 676-6876 • Office Hours M-F 8:00a.m. to