March 2024

Vol. XXVI, No. 2
Muckleshoot indian reservation, wash.
March 2024

Vashon Clam Digging Open & Oyster Permits Available

It’s springtime and the Muckleshoot Fisheries Division is pleased to announce that the Tribe’s Vashon Island tidelands are OPEN for Clam Digging and Oyster Harvest Permits are now available at the Fisheries Office. 

To harvest oysters, Tribal members – 18 years or older – must first obtain an Oyster Harvest Permit from the Fisheries Office in the Philip Starr Building. Each permit allows the subsistence harvest of 60 oysters on three separate occasions – no commercial harvest is allowed. 

Fisheries staff routinely collect the clams and oysters at the tidelands and subsequent analysis by the Department of Health has shown that the level of the toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning – also known as red tide – is not present. Harvest of all bivalve species at the tidelands is allowed. Check the Fisheries hotline (1-800-FISH-NOW option 3) to get the latest update.

For individuals who cannot walk the 1/4-mile trail down to the Tribe’s beach, special oyster requests from Tribal Elders and disabled Tribal members can be made at the Fisheries office or by telephone 253-876-3335.

The natural populations of butter clams, little-neck steamers, cockles, and horse clams at the tidelands are in excellent condition, see the accompanying harvest information or contact Andy Dalton (253-486-3926) about harvesting opportunities. Please remember to always check the hotline (1-800-FISH-NOW, option 3) in the morning before going clam digging.

Things You Should Know About Clam Digging

Beware: You can get sick from clams harvested at Adelaide Beach, Alki Beach, Redondo, Lincoln Park, Salt Water State Park and all other beaches between Seattle and Tacoma. They are all potentially polluted and are closed by the Department of Health.

Tribal members can dig clams at the Tribe’s property on Vashon Island. There are lots of butter clams and some steamers, horse clams and cockles at the beach. Driving directions are provided at the end of this list.

Fisheries staff will be routinely testing the clams at the Vashon beach for “red tide” to insure the clams are safe to eat. Always check on the Fish Hotline (1-800-FISH-NOW) and press option three (3) for Shellfish for results to see if the Vashon tidelands are open.

Use a small clam shovel (not a fork or garden shovel). The Vashon tidelands are rocky and digging clams is more difficult than at sandy beaches. A clam shovel works best.

If you want to go to the property by personal boat, the Fisheries Division will provide you with a chart to locate the tidelands and a good place to anchor or beach your boat.

For driving directions on Navigation Apps use: 13060 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon Island, WA.

The driveway at the property has a locked gate so call the Fisheries Division: 253-486-3926 to get the combination to the locked gate and updated red tide results. 

Check the ferry schedule that is printed here with the tide charts. There is a fee for the ferry from either West Seattle (Fauntleroy) or Pt Defiance (Tacoma) to Vashon Island.

There are various shellfish enhancement projects going on at the Tribe’s tidelands. Do not harvest any of the shellfish in areas marked with RED stakes

Tribal members, 18 years and older, can get an Oyster Harvest Permit from the Fisheries office. Permits are not issued at the beach.

Clam Digging Tides - Vashon Island

April - May 2024

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Vol. XXVI, No. 2

March 2024

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About the Muckleshoot Messenger

The Muckleshoot Messenger is a Tribal publication created by the Muckleshoot Office of Media Services. Tribal community members and Tribal employees are welcome to submit items to the newspaper such as news, calendar items, photos, poems, and artwork.