Argyle Lagoon Marine Preserve is a small, intertidal bay that is owned by the University of Washington and its Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL). The lagoon connects to North Bay, an extension of San Juan Channel through a narrow channel that also serves a boat ramp. A fence surrounds the lagoon and is well-signed as a University of Washington Biological Reserve. Upland shores comprised of sand with riparian vegetation give rise to an intertidal flat made of mud. A tidal channel drains the mudflat into the larger channel. A county park borders the southern and western edges of the lagoon.
WDFW manages the site as partially-protected marine reserve for non-tribal citizens. WDFW regulations prohibit commercial and recreational fishing for bottomfish and classified shellfish. Although recreational and commercial fishing can legally occur in the lagoon for the harvesting of salmon, trout, and some forage fishes, the small and limited habitat makes the occurrences of these harvesting activities unlikely. WDFW regulations allow the taking of unclassified fish and invertebrates by recreational fishers.
Most of the upland portions of the site is owned by the University of Washington through its Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL), and this institution can be considered as co-managers. The preserve was created at the request of FHL as a place for researchers to study and access marine organisms in a natural condition. The university has posted many signs in the upland habitat declaring it a biological preserve and has an agreement with WDFW to provide shore-based signs declaring a restricted fishing zone.
The enforcement of the harvest restrictions is primarily relegated to the Enforcement Program of WDFW. Information on the site boundaries and restrictions is found in WDFW's Sport Fishing Pamphlet and formal regulations are published at the State of Washington's Administrative Code available on the state's web site. WDFW is developing specific pamphlets describing its marine reserves and each specific site.
WDWF scientists do not actively study the organisms within the site, but students and researchers regularly collect and examine organisms at the site.