Puget Sound has over 1000 areas available where the public can
harvest shellfish recreationally. While this is a great resource,
people need to educate themselves and follow a few simple rules
in order to insure that the resource continues to be available and
to protect their own health and safety.
Washington State requires that anyone harvesting from these public
areas obtain a license to harvest. The license must be worn when
As a recreational harvester, it is your responsibility to:
Know What You Can Harvest
Check the regulations for:
Recreational Shellfish Harvesting Fact Sheet
Know Where You Can Harvest
Know When You Can Harvest
Know How to Preserve the Resource
- Replace undersized shellfish properly, to insure their survival.
- Harvest shellfish using the proper tools and techniques.
- Carry out any trash.
- Tread carefully in fragile marine ecosystems.
- Don't take undersize (smaller than regulation size) shellfish
or exceed your daily limit--this depletes the growing stock.
Know How to Protect Your Health
- Fill your holes when you are finished digging (open holes present
a tripping hazard).
- Keep your shellfish chilled.
- Cook all shellfish thoroughly to kill bacteria.
- Don't harvest shellfish from areas closed due to pollution or
marine biotoxins. Eating shellfish from these areas can result
in illness or even death.
- Do not consume shellfish that does not close up its shell when
alive or does not open its shell during the cooking process.
Marine Biotoxins Could Ruin Your Shellfish
Private Tideland Owners
Owners of tideland property and their immediate family members
are not required to obtain a license to harvest shellfish from their
private tidelands. There is also no daily limit set on harvesting
from your own tidelands.