Washington’s Limitless Bays
Puget Sound with over 10,000 streams, 15 major rivers and 19 major watersheds all feeding into the Puget Sound. Hence, there are countless areas to go bay clamming. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have over 400 areas listed for bay clams on their website at www.wdfw.wa.gov. These are grouped into seventeen marine areas. All with varying regulations and season schedules, many times differing by certain locations and species.
This doesn’t include the Indian Reservations, National Parks and many private lands. Some with their own regulations and season schedules. If you are new to Washington clamming because of the limitless options, it’s best to spend some time on their website. There pick up the WDFW seasons and regulations handbook.
Willapa and North Bay
There are two ocean bays in Washington. However, both North Bay and Willapa Bay. Consequently, Willapa Bay is located near the Oregon boarder only 35 miles from Seaside, Oregon. Willapa Bay is unique in one respect! There is really good ocean beach Razor Clamming. Then, on the north end of the Long Beach, Washington peninsula and it’s only a 10-minute drive to the east side of the peninsula (Willapa Bay’s edge). Here harvesting oysters can be done directly after limiting out on Razor Clams. There you will find Oysterville, where oysters take very little effort to find and harvest. In fact, they are just lying on the sand, all you have to do is pick them up!
Harvest Buckets Of Cockles In Minutes On Whidbey Island
The Puget Sound area also has a plethora of spots on private bays. If you’re lucky like my nephew, who’s in-laws own a vacation beach house on Whidbey Island. All you have to do is take a few steps from your deck to reach a clammers paradise.
Not only is there great fishing, crabbing and clamming here. Since it’s a private bay and there are only a few neighbors (that rarely go clamming), there is an abundance of clams. These cockles took just a couple minutes to limit out and some were huge. Last trip, we took 120 cockles in fifteen minutes. For the kids, it’s unforgettable memories. Actually, none of us will ever forget this place!
At any one given time, the WDFW can have some fifty plus areas listed for closure or advisory of potential closures caused by pollution or harmful toxins. It’s always a good idea to check to see if the area you are planning to clam has been tested for safe consumption.
List to Consider
Washington has an overwhelming list of choices, especially if you’re going for the first time, or you’re trying to find a good spot for catching your first almighty Geoduck. To make things a bit easier, I’ve narrowed a list down to sites with these attributes:
- Open To The Public
- Easy Access
- No Boat Required
- Well Managed By The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Have An Abundance of Clams
- Enhanced By The WDFW Clam & Oyster Enhancement Program