For more information on species & ecosystem science:

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Fish Science

Habitat Science

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Marine Beach Spawning Fish Ecology

2014 Beach Surveys

Beginning in June 2014, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will survey public and private beaches around south Puget Sound to document the spawning areas of forage fish.

The surveys are designed to determine where and when forage fish, such as surf smelt and Pacific sand lance, spawn in southern Puget Sound. Both species generally spawn during high tides and incubate their eggs on beaches with sand and gravel.  

During the surveys, WDFW crews will collect sediment samples to test for fish spawn, photograph beach conditions and take measurements at beaches in parts of Thurston, Mason and Pierce counties. Beach surveys generally take no more than one hour per location.

Landowners who want to deny access to their beach properties can opt out of the surveys by filling out this online form or by calling (360) 902-2552. Anyone who chooses to opt out will need to provide his or her name, property address and parcel number.

Photo of two researchers conducting a beach survey.
Photo of surf smelt in gloved hands of researcher.