Currently, the beach is OPEN. Shellfish may be taken from the beach but must be cooked! As always, take at your own risk.
Please note: We perform our own testing of clams and oysters, so there may be occasions where state beaches are closed and ours may remain open.
Latest beach testing results:
The Board has the right to suspend membership, if a member fails to comply with established rules.
Below is a reply from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to a member's question about the need for a shellfish license when taking clams or oysters from private tidelands. The short story is that the state game wardens expect us to have a valid license, and may enforce this at their discretion, so your board recommends complying with the requirement.
Thank you for contacting the Department with your question. The Fish Program forwarded your message to me for a response.
RCW 77.12.047 says that the Department does not have the authority to regulate the times, areas, gear, methods, size, sex, and species of private tideland owners or lessees and their immediate family members when they take or possess oysters, clams, cockles, borers, or mussels, excluding razor clams. However, it does not restrict the Department’s authority to regulate the taking of crab, other shellfish not listed above, or fish harvested in state waters over private tidelands. You may view that RCW here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=77.12.047. The same information is available in the fishing regulation pamphlet. If you do not have a copy of that, you may download it here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
As you will see, this applies to all privately owned tidelands, whether owned singularity or by a group. Additionally, this RCW does not exempt private tideland owners from the requirement of purchasing as license to harvest the shellfish listed in RCW 77.12.047. All harvesters, regardless of land ownership, 15 years of age and older are required to have either a shellfish or combination license. If you are not the land owner, lessee, or member of that immediate family, then all rules apply – including daily limits & shucking regulations. Everyone harvesting shellfish in excess of the daily limit from private beaches for presumed commercial purposes needs a shellfish certification from the Department of Health.
It is important to reiterate that the exceptions to the limits and other requirements for owners/lessees/immediate family apply only to shellfish (except razor clams) buried in the tidelands. Crab are not stationary on the beach and come and go, usually with the incoming and outgoing tides in order to feed, and are not a resource belonging to any one individual’s property. A private landowner may have tidal rights to whatever is in the tidelands, but they do not own the water and whatever happens to be in that water (crab, fish, etc.).
Please note that, while WDFW closures do not apply to private tideland owners, you should always check with the Department of Health to ensure the shellfish you harvest are safe for human consumption. Washington State Department of Health (DOH) closures due to pollution and/or marine biotoxins are available by following this link: health restrictions. You may also access this information via the DOH Marine Toxins PSP Hotline at 1-800-562-5632. When there are concerns regarding human consumption, DOH is the state agency responsible for testing and certifying all public beaches for pollution and/or biotoxin safety.
I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact WDFW should you have additional questions.
Joanna Eide, WSBA #44854
Criminal Justice Liaison/Regulations Coordinator
Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Phone: (360) 902-2403
Fax: (360) 902-2155
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