We make sure you know when it’s safe to harvest and eat shellfish.
Puget Sound provides opportunities to harvest crab, clams, oysters, mussels and other seafood. We make sure you know when it’s safe to harvest and eat shellfish from Pierce County beaches.
Sometimes Pierce County shellfish harvesting areas are temporarily closed. Reasons for closure include:
- Biotoxins in shellfish that can kill you.
- Reported illnesses due to Vibrio.
- To prevent over-harvesting.
- Water quality concerns.
Check these maps:
- For closures due to illness or biotoxins: DOH Safe Shellfish.
- To view harvesting seasons and find out about temporary closures due to over-harvest: WDFW Recreational Harvesting Areas.
What causes poor water quality?
Some common causes of a decline in water quality are:
- Failing septic systems.
- Poor animal keeping practices.
- Stormwater runoff.
How can we fix it?
Our staff identify and correct pollution sources and work with community partners to improve water quality.
We are a member of South Sound Clean Water Partners that protect and improve water quality in areas with shellfish.
Other members of the team include:
- Pierce County Surface Water Management
- Pierce Conservation District
- Harbor Wildwatch
- Citizens for a Healthy Bay
- Community members
For more information, see our:
- Pollution Prevention, Identification and Correction Manual.
- Pierce County Shellfish Partners Strategic Plan.
Commercial shellfish protection
Pierce County has four Shellfish Protection Districts that were formed after several acres were closed due to poor water quality:
- Rocky Bay
- Vaughn Bay
- Burley Lagoon
- Filucy Bay
Each Shellfish Protection District has a Water Quality Team. They coordinate activities to improve water quality.
Water quality meeting notes
Washington Department of Health Shellfish Water Quality Data
Want more information?
Contact us at EHSurfaceWater-Shellfish@tpchd.org or (253) 798-6470 and press 7.