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  • Safe Shellfish Program

    We make sure you know when it’s safe to harvest and eat shellfish.

    Puget Sound is home to crab, clams, oysters, mussels and other seafood. We make sure you know when it’s safe to harvest and eat them in Pierce County.

    Sometimes these areas are temporarily closed. Reasons include:

    • Shellfish contain biotoxins that can kill you.
    • Reported illnesses due to Vibrio.
    • To prevent over-harvesting.
    • Water quality concerns.

    Check these maps:

    What causes poor water quality?

    Some common causes of poor water quality are:

    • Failing septic systems.
    • Poor animal-keeping practices.
    • Stormwater runoff.

    We partner up to fix it

    We work with community partners to identify pollution sources and correct them. 

    We are a member of South Sound Clean Water Partners, which protects and improves water quality in areas with shellfish.

    Other members of the team include:

    View contact information for Shellfish Protection Districts.

    For more information:

    Commercial shellfish protection

    Pierce County has four Shellfish Protection Districts. They were formed after several acres were closed due to poor water quality:

    Do you want to know what is happening in your bay? Join a water quality team meeting in your area. Each shellfish protection district has a team that meets quarterly. South Sound Clean Water Partners discuss water quality and their current work in that area. They coordinate to improve water quality. You can find the most recent meeting notes and current water quality conditions at the bottom of this page.

    Want more information?

    Contact us via email or at (253) 649-1420, (press 7).

    Resources

    Water Quality Team Meeting Notes and Water Quality Data

    Burley Lagoon
    Burley LagoonPublication Date
    Burley Lagoon WQ Data 11-202311/01/2023
    Burley Lagoon WQ Data 2-202302/01/2023
    Burley Lagoon WQ Data 10-202210/01/2022
    Burley Lagoon WQ Data 8-202208/01/2022
    Burley Lagoon and Filucy Bay Water Quality Team Notes 8-202208/01/2022
    Burley Lagoon WQ Data 5-202205/01/2022
    Burley Lagoon WQ Data 2-202202/01/2022
    Vaughn Bay
    Vaughn BayPublication Date
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 11 202311/01/2023
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 10 202210/01/2022
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 8 202208/01/2022
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 5 202305/01/2023
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 5 202205/01/2022
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 2 202302/01/2023
    Vaughn Bay WQ Data 2 202202/01/2022
    Rocky Bay Minter Bay And Vaughn Bay 8 202208/01/2022
    Rocky Bay
    Rocky BayPublication Date
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 11 202311/01/2023
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 10 202210/01/2022
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 8 202208/01/2022
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 5 202305/01/2023
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 5 202205/01/2022
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 2 202302/01/2023
    Rocky Bay WQ Data 2 202202/01/2022
    Rocky Bay Minter Bay And Vaughn Bay WQ 8 202208/01/2022
    Filucy Bay
    Filucy BayPublication Date
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 8 202208/01/2022
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 5 202305/01/2023
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 5 202205/01/2022
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 2 202302/01/2023
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 2 202202/01/2022
    Burley Lagoon And Filucy Bay WQ 8 202208/01/2022
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 11 202311/01/2023
    Filucy Bay WQ Data 10 202210/01/2022
    Minter Bay
    Minter BayPublication Date
    Rocky Bay Minter Bay And Vaughn Bay 8 202208/01/2022
    Minter Bay WQ Data 11 202311/01/2023
    Minter Bay WQ Data 10 202210/01/2022
    Minter Bay WQ Data 8 202208/01/2022
    Minter Bay WQ Data 5 202305/01/2023
    Minter Bay WQ Data 5 202205/01/2022
    Minter Bay WQ Data 2 202302/01/2023
    Minter Bay WQ Data 2 202202/01/2022
    Water Quality Team Notes
    Water Quality Team NotesPublication Date
    2024 February Water Quality Team Meeting Notes02/08/2024
    2022 February Water Quality Team Meeting Notes02/01/2022
    2022 May Water Quality Team Meeting Notes05/01/2022
    2022 November Water Quality Team Meeting Notes11/01/2022
    2023 February Water Quality Team Meeting Notes02/01/2023
    2023 May Water Quality Team Meeting Notes05/01/2023
    2023 November Water Quality Team Meeting Notes11/07/2023