Our Famous Oysters and Clams
You can gather your own shellfish in season here! See links below. We have abundant Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula), and our treasured Quilcene and Dabob Oysters for you to enjoy. Low tides expose hundreds of acres of intertidal lands packed with clams and oysters.
Scroll down for safety info and videos below.
Both Dabob Bay and Quilcene Oysters (Crassostrea gigas) are said have a briny, light and clean flavor with a sweet finish. They are both generally harvested at a young age to stay small and perfect for those who enjoy oysters eaten raw off the half shell. Left to grow larger, the oysters are still very tender and succulent, and lend themselves to barbecuing, grilling or deep-frying.
If you want to collect your own oysters from the shore, it is advised that you bring proper shucking tools, sturdy gloves for safety, nets and scrub brushes. Oyster shells have very, very sharp edges! Otherwise, check into any of our local eateries and you will surely find delicious fresh oysters on the menu.
Beach cultured oysters are accustomed to fighting the tides, clamping tightly shut during low tides to preserve their liquor and to protect themselves against predators. Because of this tough life, our local oysters are hearty. Their meats are firm. Beach grown oysters have hard, sturdy shells which shuckers like to work with. And their ability to close tightly, coupled with their hard shells, gives them a longer shelf life.
Be careful where you collect them; most tidelands in Hood Canal are private. Oysters are usually open to harvesting from mid-September to mid-July.
Suggested local public places to collect your own oysters:
- Quilcene Public Shellfish Gathering Grounds at Linger Longer
- Point Whitney Beach and Shellfish Lab in Brinnon
For a great overview of the local shellfish industry that we are so proud of, read this great article from Living on The Peninsula Magazine, “Still Waters Run Deep: Agriculture Under the Sea” (PDF file.) Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate.
Safety, Rules and Regulations:
For fishing, oysters, crabbing, shrimping and clamming, please familiarize yourself with this information:
- Recreational Shellfishing: Public Clam and Oyster Beaches
- Razor Clamming Info from WDFW
- Shellfish Safety, Dept of Health
- “Redtide” Hotline 1-800-562-5632
- Shellfish Harvest Regulations
- Sport Fishing Seasons and Regulations
- Crabbing Regulations
- “You Should Know” on this website (Tide info and more)
Note the use of a proper shucking knife (not a kitchen or pocket knife) and thick gloves in the first video!
Dabob Bay is a large and pristine salt water inlet in the north part of Hood Canal, just east of Quilcene Bay.
Read more at Trails.com: Central Hood Canal: Quilcene and Dabob Bays, Dosewallips, Pleasant Harbor, and Scenic Beach