Oysters, clams and geoducks live in the coasts, bays and estuaries that make up a significant portion of the 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on behalf of the people of Washington. For centuries, these shellfish have comprised a significant portion of the Pacific Northwest diet and served as crucial components of ensuring the health of those ecosystems.
Through its Shellfish Program, DNR manages shellfish aquaculture, razor clam harvests and Washington's wild geoduck fishery. Revenue from those leases is used to fund projects that restore and protect habitat in aquatic lands.
DNR and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enter into annual management plans with Washington State Treaty Tribes on a regional basis to ensure treaty rights as outlined by federal courts in both geoduck and intertidal shellfish harvest on state-owned aquatic lands.
A December 20, 1994 U.S. District court decision (U.S. v. Washington, 873 F. Supp. 1422 W.D. Wa 1994) by Judge Edward Rafeedie affirmed and quantified the Puget Sound Treaty Indian Tribes’ (Tribes) right to 50% of the harvestable surplus of geoducks within their usual and accustomed grounds and stations. A subsequent federal district court order and judgement (U.S. v. Washington, 898 F. Supp. 1453 W.D. Wa 1995) confirmed the Tribes’ management role.

Management Plans

 Inter-Tidal Shellfish