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Growing Your Own Shellfish

IMG_0913 2 copyHundreds of shoreline landowners around Puget Sound grow their own clams, oysters, and geoducks on their beaches, or mussels from their docks. Seed and equipment are sold by commercial shellfish growers and other organizations in our region a few times each year. Do not buy shellfish seed off the internet, and never buy shellfish at the grocery store to transplant on your beach. These practices are prohibited by both federal and state regulations. WDFW regulates the movement of shellfish to protect Washington waters from the spread of diseases and dangerous non-native pests like the Japanese Oyster Drill and the European Green Crab.

When purchasing seed, make sure it comes from a pest and disease free area and is unrestricted for planting in all areas of our state. WDFW guidelines for importing and transferring shellfish in Washington State, can be found on the WDFW website. Other resources for purchasing and planting seed include the Pacific Shellfish Institute, Washington Sea Grant, and the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, which holds an annual seed sale on Bainbridge Island.