Clam, mussel, and oyster harvest

NOTICE June 11, 2024: The Washington Department of Health (DOH) has issued a biotoxin notice closing recreational bivalve shellfish gathering throughout Washington’s Pacific Coast, as well as other areas. For more information, please visit DOH’s latest news release, Biotoxin Bulletin, and the Shellfish Safety Map.

The closure does not affect crabs or shrimp.

Several areas have also been closed to commercial shellfish harvesting. Unless officially announced otherwise by the DOH or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), commercially produced shellfish from Washington is safe to eat. DOH regularly tests shellfish and prevents farms from delivering to suppliers if shellfish test above a certain biotoxin level.

clams on a beach
Photo by WDFW

Clam, mussel and oyster harvesting seasons vary by beach. For size and harvest limits, please see statewide shellfish and seaweed rules.

For at-a-glance, site-specific harvest seasons, please see the two-page 2024 Puget Sound clam, mussel, and oyster season (PDF) guide. Beach seasons can also be found by using the search tool on this page.

A list of the tides in the Puget Sound region that favor good harvest results can be found in the one-page 2024 best clam and oyster harvest tides (PDF) chart. 

Harvesting shellfish legally and safely

WDFW works closely with DOH to ensure safe, legal harvest of shellfish on state beaches. 
In order to safely and legally harvest shellfish for human consumption, both the DOH health status and the WDFW season for a beach must be OPEN.

DOH statusWDFW seasonHarvest status
OpenOpenSafe and legal
ClosedOpenNot safe
ClosedClosedNot safe and illegal

Current water quality information, beach locations, harvest seasons, and health advisories can be found by searching for the beach name in the search tool on this page, or by visiting the Department of Health's (DOH) shellfish safety interactive map. Identical information is found on WDFW beach pages and the shellfish safety map, but it may be easier to search geographic areas of interest using the map tool. The shellfish safety map also provides links to the detailed WDFW page for each beach.  

Shellfish gathering tips and identification

Learn more and find shellfish gathering tips, including gear lists, in this 5-part blog series:

For help identifying clam, mussel, and oyster (bivalve) species, download our shellfish identification chart (PDF).

More detailed information about clam and oyster species may be found by visiting the Species in Washington section of this website. 

Shellfish Treaty Rights FAQ

Visit the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission’s frequently asked questions page for information regarding tribal rights to harvest naturally occurring shellfish on public and private tidelands in the Puget Sound and Hood Canal regions.

Find a beach

To find a beach to harvest clams, mussels, and oysters, enter all or part of a beach name and/or select a county from the dropdown menu below.