Principles For Negotiating State/Tribal Shellfish Management Agreements

Policy number
Effective date
Signed by
Signed by: Lisa Pelly, Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair
  • Management plans must be consistent with our mandate to preserve, protect and perpetuate the resource.
  • Management plans must be consistent with the provisions of the federal court's implementation plan and other applicable law.
  • For clams and oysters, the state has developed a list of artificial beds the tribes are not entitled to fish on. Regional management plans include only natural beds. Disputes over which beds are artificial will be resolved in a separate process and not be included in the 1996 harvest planning process. Resources on artificial beds may be used in cases where resource trades result in increased non-Indian harvest opportunities or other measurable benefits.
  • For clams and oysters, the tribes must agree to the provisions of the Puget Sound Management Agreement before the state will agree to a commercial tribal harvest.
  • WDFW will not agree to the tribes engaging in enhancement activities on public property except when it will significantly benefit non-Indian fisheries.
  • For underutilized species, the state will promote common regulations and passive management strategies to govern tribal and non-Indian harvest activities.
  • Harvest management plans should generally avoid interannual equitable adjustments.
  • The state will only consider state/tribal trades of shellfish species when the benefit to the state is deemed to be equal or greater than the benefit to the tribes. The state will focus on trades that result in increased recreational harvest opportunities on State Parks and other popular beaches.