Safe Shellfish Program

Current Surface Water Advisories

Our local beaches and waterways along Puget Sound give us the opportunity to harvest crab, clams, oysters, mussels, and other foods from the sea. We make sure you can safely harvest and consume shellfish in Pierce County.

There are many recreational shellfish areas in Pierce County (see map for information on each beach). Some may close on a temporary basis due to high concentrations of shellfish biotoxins like Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) or illnesses due to Vibrio. Some may close to prevent over-harvesting. Some have experienced a decline in water quality, limiting the ability to harvest clams and oysters. The decline in water quality of these growing areas can be caused by failing septic systems, poor animal keeping practices, or stormwater runoff.

We are a member of the Pierce County Shellfish Partners team that protects and improves water quality in the shellfish watersheds. Other members of the team include:

  • Pierce County Surface Water Management
  • Pierce Conservation District
  • Harbor Wildwatch
  • Citizens for a Healthy Bay
  • Many other government agencies and organizations.

The Shellfish Partners work is detailed in the:

The Partners’ efforts have helped improve water quality in a number of shellfish areas in Pierce County. See more here.

The Health Department works to identify and correct failing septic systems and takes many water samples to help identify other problem areas.

Get Shellfish Advisory Alerts by Email

Click here and select the Surface Water and Shellfish Advisories list and other subjects you may be interested in.

Shellfish Protection

Pierce County has four Shellfish Protection Districts: Rocky Bay, Vaughn Bay, Burley Lagoon and Filucy Bay. Each Shellfish Protection District has a Water Quality Team that meets quarterly to discuss activities occurring in these areas directed at improving water quality. See links to meeting notes below.

Water Quality Meeting Notes

Burley Lagoon

 October 2016  April 2016  October 2015  April 2015
 July 2016  January 2016  July 2015  

Filucy Bay

 October 2016  April 2016  October 2015  April 2015
 July 2016 January 2016  July 2015  

Rocky Bay

October 2016
August 2016

Vaughn Bay

October 2016
July 2016

 

Washington Department of Health Shellfish Water Quality Data

Burley Lagoon
December 2016

Filucy Bay
December 2016

Rocky Bay
December 2016

Vaughn Bay
December 2016

Want more information? Call us at (253) 798-6470 extension 7, or email us.

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