Searching for Shellfish

The traditions of clam digging and oyster harvesting run deeply through the historical veins of the Olympic Peninsula. As one of the most bountiful places in the country when it comes to sea-fare,a visit compels us to unearthing our boots, shovels, and spades from the back of the garage.

With a thirst for adventure and a hankering for the freshest seafood around, we'll bee-line to our favorite digging grounds and want to take you with us as we embark on the adventure.



Caffeination Station |  9am

To get the most out of your endeavors, hitting the beach for the hour and a half before and the hour and a half after low tide is optimal. While it fluctuates over time, and you should always check the tide chart before heading out. If its morning, stop by Urraco Coffee Co. for an in-house roasted bean and a fresh baked goodie. Lounge on the dog friendly garden patio and be sure to take a bag of one of their deliciously gourmet beans with you.


Hitting the Beach

A short ten minute drive from Urraco takes you to the Oyster Reserves of Oakland Bay. Digging for both clams and oysters are permitted year-round. Most outdoor supply stores and even gas stations in the area will sell one, two, three day, or annual shellfish licenses for reasonable prices. Don't get caught without one! Don your rubber boots and your gloves, grab a bucket (regulations require that each adventurer has his own), and a clam rake and get to it! 

Oakland Bay’s bounty is easily harvested at higher tides and requires little need to venture into the thick mud at the lowest point on the beach. Manila clams can be found in abundance and oysters can be spotted around every corner. Be sure to know the regulations of any site you visit.

Remember: the eats are only good if the creatures are alive and remain so until you are ready to throw them down the hatch. This means you should avoid broken shells or shells that aren't tightly closed. Leave damaged specimens in the ground, and keep up with current beach closures due to red tide and other harmful toxins here.



Enjoy the Harvest

 Leisurely evenings in Hood Canal are second-to-none and that’s before you have a pot of Manila clams bubbling away in a savory sauce made with Hoodsport Winery riesling in front of you. There are a myriad of ways to prepare your shellfish harvest, but the experts from Taylor Shellfish Farms have a few tried-and-true recommendations that you can find here.


 As the sun slowly sets on Hood Canal, remember that we love to see it all from your point of view. Share with #explorehoodcanal #hoodcanal and #wildsideWA and keep up with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more adventure around the Olympic National Park. Happy gathering!


Urraco Coffee Co.

Monday – Friday: 6am to 7pm 

Saturday:  7am to 7pm 

Sunday:  7am to 5pm


Oyster Reserves of Oakland Bay

Rules (species specific)

Tide Chart

Tips for Shellfish Harvesting

WA State Shellfish Licensing Information