Washington Coast Shellfish Aquaculture Timeline

Welcome to the Washington Coast Shellfish Aquaculture Timeline. This project is part of the Washington Coast Shellfish Aquaculture Study project, which is an effort to improve the long-term sustainability of shellfish aquaculture in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor under changing environmental conditions.

The study is coordinated by Washington Sea Grant and advised by a team of independent scientists and a diverse working group representing owners, managers, and regulators of tideland resources in the two estuaries. This study is intended to provide solutions to current challenges and support the creation of an ongoing structure to facilitate problem-solving as challenges continue to arise in our region for shellfish growers.

The timeline is a working document intended to provide an overview of the history of shellfish aquaculture and its challenges, and give a sense of the major events related to shellfish aquaculture, specifically in the Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor estuaries of Washington State from 1850 to the present.

As a working document, we are continually adding content and updating information to the timeline. If you have content to contribute, please contact Brent Vadopalas, Washington Sea Grant aquaculture specialist, at brentv@uw.edu. This project was funded in part by the Governor’s Office, the Washington State Legislature, and Washington Sea Grant.

Washington Sea Grant created this timeline using the best available records, including Washington State Session Laws, peer-reviewed scientific literature, historical accounts, federal and state agency reports, and historical newspapers. Additionally, we added verified information from personal communications that were made available. In particular, we relied on information provided by Brady Blake, a shellfish biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, whose in-depth knowledge of shellfish harvest and culture history was critical to the project.

2020
2020
Coast Shellfish
Ecosystem-based Management Project

 

April

Working group webinar 3: Synthesis report and historical shellfish aquaculture timeline (Workshop 2 postponed due to COVID-19)

2020
Coast Shellfish
Ecosystem-based Management Project

 

February

Working group webinar 2: Updates from science partners

2019
2019
Coast Shellfish 
Ecosystem-based Management Project

 

October

Working group webinar 1: Orientation and ecosystem-based management primer October 2019 – Workshop 1: State-of-the-science presentations and information needs identified

2019
Coast Shellfish
Ecosystem-based Management Project

 

September

Working group formed

2019
burrowing shrimp

 

Settlement agreement to drop the appeal given support or research projects to develop the IPM plan. WGHOGA, WDOE.

2019
major anthropogenic physical disturbance 

 

Columbia River: rehabilitation of South Jetty commenced

2018
2018
Coast Shellfish
Ecosystem-based Management Project

 

Fall 

Washington Coast Shellfish Aquaculture Study initiated

2018
burrowing shrimp

 

Supplemental Final Impact Statement (SFEIS) for the use of imidacloprid to manage burrowing shrimp was released. Revised imidicloprid permit application denied. WDOE. Permit denial decision appealed to the Water Pollution Control Hearings Board. WGHOGA.

2018
major anthropogenic physical disturbance 

 

Columbia River: rehabilitation of North Jetty commenced

2018
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

Revised imidicloprid permit application denied.

2018
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Non-native snail Batillaria attramentaria reported (Grason et al. 2018)

2017
2017
major anthropogenic physical disturbance 

 

Columbia River: rehabilitation of Jetty A completed

2016
2016
burrowing shrimp

 

Revised imidicloprid permit application submitted.

 

A Preliminary Aquatic Risk Assessment (RA) to Support the Registration Review of Imidacloprid was released. USEPA.

2015
2015
burrowing shrimp

 

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the use of imidacloprid to manage burrowing shrimp was issued, followed by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Waste Discharge Permit (WDOE). Permit for imidacloprid application requested, denied (Doenges et al 2018). The NPDES permit was withdrawn after intense media coverage. WGHOGA.

2015
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

Permit for imidacloprid application requested, denied (Doenges et al 2018).

2014
2014

500-acre trial of imidacloprid in Willapa (Doenges et al 2018). National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit application for imidacloprid for burrowing shrimp submitted (Patten, pers. Comm.)

2013
2013
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

 Burrowing shrimp control with carbaryl discontinued

2013
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit work on imidacloprid for burrowing shrimp initiated (Patten, pers. comm.)

2012
2012
burrowing shrimp

 

 Burrowing shrimp control with carbaryl discontinued. Field trials of imidacloprid were detailed in a Sampling and Action Plan (SAP). WSU, UW, PSI, WGHOGA, and WDOE.

2012
Shellfish and Cultivation

 

Zostera japonica regulated as Washington State noxious weed on aquaculture beds permit for chemical control with imazamox

2010
2010
burrowing shrimp

 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit work on imidacloprid for burrowing shrimp initiated (Patten, pers. Comm.). Burrowing Shrimp Integrated Pest Management Plan updated. WGHOGA. Crop Profile for Bivalve (Oysters, Manila Clams, Geoduck Clams and Mussels) Aquaculture in Washington was developed. WSU, WGHOGA. The Pest Management Strategic Plan (PMSP) for Bivalves in Washington and Oregon was the primary outcome from a planning workshop that was attended by primary stakeholders from all growing regions in Washington and Oregon. Western IPM Center at Oregon State University.

2008
2008 – 2011
burrowing shrimp

 

Federal and State Experimental Use Permits were issued for large scale (50+ ac) field trials of granular and liquid formulations of imidacloprid to assess efficacy, fate and transport, and impacts on sturgeon, crab, and benthic invertebrates. USEPA, WSDA.

2007
2007
burrowing shrimp

 

Burrowing Shrimp Integrated Pest Management Plan updated. WGHOGA. Studies to measure residues of the insecticide imidacloprid (Nuprid 2F) in oyster meat following field applications were begun under the Inter-regional Research Project #4 (IR-4) program for registration of pesticides in minor crops; and using certified Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) personnel and protocols. WSU.

2005
2005
burrowing shrimp

 

Imidacloprid studies conducted for control of burrowing shrimp (Patten, pers. Comm.)

2005–2014
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

Imidacloprid studies conducted for control of burrowing shrimp (Patten, pers. comm.)

2005
shellfish and cultivation

 

43 non-native species reported from Willapa Bay (Wonham and Carlton 2005)

2003
2003
burrowing shrimp

 

The Willapa Bay Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) agreed to settle a legal challenge of the use of carbaryl by successively reducing on the amount of carbaryl applied per year with full termination by 2012. Signatories were the Toxics Coalition, the Ad-hoc Coalition for Willapa Bay, several state agencies, and the WGHOGA. Burrowing Shrimp Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan released. WGHOGA

2003–Present
spartina

 

Coordinated Imazapyr treatment for Spartina control

2002
2002
burrowing shrimp

 

Imidacloprid residue study conducted in Willapa (Felsot and Ruppert, 2002). The Willapa Bay Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) was required to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for applications of carbaryl to Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. WDOE.

2002
burrowing shrimp

 

Imidacloprid residue study conducted in Willapa (Felsot and Ruppert, 2002)

2001
2001
burrowing shrimp

 

The Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) voluntarily entered into Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with several groups to develop an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for burrowing shrimp. An IPM Coordinator was hired and an IPM Committee was formed. WGHOGA, WSDA, WDFW, WDOE, Washington State University (WSU), Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration (WSCPR), Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA), Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI), the Toxics Coalition and the Ad-hoc Coalition for Willapa Bay.

2000
2000
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: 2000s–main channel deepened to 13 m

2000
shellfish and cultivation

 

Eastern softshell clam deposits/death assemblages remain in Grays Harbor south channel, prominent feature alongside oysters and eelgrass (Palacios et al. 2000)

1998
1998
spartina

 

 Imazapyr tested for efficacy on Spartina (Patten 2002)

1998
shellfish and cultivation

 

Non-native green crab Carcinus maenas reported in WB and GH

1997
1997
burrowing shrimp

 

A study commissioned by Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recommended that an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan for burrowing shrimp be developed.

1996
1996
burrowing shrimp

 

Studies with imidacloprid initiated to control burrowing shrimp (Doenges et al. 2018)

1996
spartina

 

Application of IPM strategies to Spartina control

1995
1995
spartina

 

WA Department of Agriculture appointed to manage Spartina

1994
1994
legislative action

 

“Rafeedie Decision” affirming tribal shellfishing rights and co-management responsibility to signatory tribes in WA

1993
1993
spartina

 

Publication of the Noxious Emergent Plant Management EIS for Spartina

1992
1992
burrowing shrimp

 

Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued for the use of carbaryl. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE). The Burrowing Shrimp Control Committee (BSCC) was formed through the Washington State legislature to develop a plan for continued control and IPM development. The membership consisted of agencies, legislators, tribes, and shellfish farmers.

1990
1990–2003
spartina

 

 Spartina control was attempted via mowing, covering, digging, crushing, disking, tilling, and spraying with glyphosate (Patten 2002). Pacific County, DNR, and WA Sea Grant conduct workshop on Spartina control.

1989
1989
burrowing shrimp

 

Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued for the use of carbaryl. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE)

1989
spartina

 

Spartina listed as noxious weed in WA (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board)

1988
1988
spartina

 

 Spartina Working Group formed via Washington Sea Grant.

1985
1985
burrowing shrimp

 

Final Environmental Impact Statement issued for the use of carbaryl. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE)

1984
1984
major anthropogenic physical disturbance 

 

Columbia River: Revelstoke dam (3rd highest at 152 m) completed

1984
burrowing shrimp

 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement issued for the use of carbaryl. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE)

1983
1983
legislative action

 

State-funded oyster larvae and spatfall monitoring discontinued; Condition Index monitoring continues

1981
1981
burrowing shrimp

 

A Washington State Special Local Needs Permit (24(c)) was included as an additional requirement. Issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)

1979
1979
spartina

 

WA Dept. of Wildlife recommended eradication of Spartina (Hedge et al. 2003)

1977
1977
shellfish and cultivation

 

Successful hatchery production of oyster larvae; seed imports end from Japan (White et al. 2009)

1974
1974
legislative action

 

“Boldt Decision” affirming tribal fishing rights and co-management responsibility to signatory tribes in WA

1973
1973
burrowing shrimp

 

Additional permits for the use of carbaryl against burrowing shrimp on selected acreage were issued. WDF

1973
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: Mica dam (highest at 243 m) completed

1971
1971
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: John Day dam completed

1970
1970
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: main channel deepened to 12 m

1969
1969
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: 56 more pile dikes completed

1968
1968
shellfish and cultivation

 

The eastern softshell clam widely distributed in Willapa Bay (Kincaid 1968).

1965
1965
shellfish and cultivation

 

Japanese oyster drill (Ocinebrellus inornatus) established on several beds in Willapa Bay despite seed inspections at the point of packing in Japan; Eastern oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea) also present.

1963
1963
burrowing shrimp

 

The use of carbaryl to manage burrowing shrimp on selected acreage in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor was reviewed and approved. Washington Department of Fisheries (WDF), Washington Department of Agriculture (WDA), and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

1961
1961
burrowing shrimp

 

The carbamate insecticide carbaryl was selected as the primary tactic for burrowing shrimp control in the coastal estuaries of both Washington and Oregon. Pacific Coast Oyster Growers Association.

1960
1960
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

Burrowing shrimp rendered over 15000 acres unusable for oyster culture (Lindsay 1961). WDF initiates burrowing shrimp control experiments with Sevin (carbaryl), furnace (fuel) oil, orthodichlorobenzene, lindane (gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane) (Lindsay 1961).

1959
1959
burrowing shrimp

 

Initial harrowing and rolling trials to crush shrimp and their burrows were conducted in Willapa Bay. John Wiegardt Jr.

1957
1957
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: The Dalles dam completed

1954
1954
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: McNary dam completed

1949
1949
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

 The “edible clam law” is repealed by the legislature.

1947
1947
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

Oyster reserve management shifts from Olympia to Pacific oysters (Dumbauld et al. 2011)

1942
1942
Major anthropogenic physical disturbances

 

North Jetty Grays Harbor reconstructed.

 

Columbia River: Grand Coulee dam (2nd highest at 168 m) completed.

1941
1941
SPARTINA

 

Spartina alterniflora positively identified from Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (Sheffer 1945).

1940
1940
Major anthropogenic physical disturbances

 

South Jetty Grays Harbor reconstructed.

 

Columbia River: 79 more pile dikes completed.

 

1939
1939
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: North Jetty rehabilitation completed; Jetty A completed to a length of 1.6 km

1937
1937
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: Bonneville dam completed

1936
1936
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: South Jetty reconstruction completed, 1 km shorter than length in 1913 (Hickson and Rodolf 1950)

1935
1935
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

Bush-Callow Acts are repealed by the legislature (no additional lands sold).

1930
1930
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Eastern oysters still exist in small numbers in Willapa (Hopkins 1946). 15 growers importing Pacific oyster seed from Japan (Kincaid 1968).

1929
1929
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Baypoint Oyster Farms and three other growers plant Crassostrea gigas in Willapa (Kincaid 1968).

1928
1928
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: 81 more pile dikes completed

1928

“Oyster growers have tried various means of defense against these persistent burrowers. But there seems to be as yet no really adequate and at the same time practical method of coping with the marine ‘crayfish.’”

1928
BURROWING SHRIMP

 

Burrowing shrimp are described as a problem for oyster growers; it was hypothesized that the removal of ‘cultch’ substrate during early oyster harvest exposed mud that was subsequently colonized by burrowing shrimp. ‘Boarding’ was used to prevent burrowing shrimp on native oyster Ostrea lurida ground.

1928
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Long Island Oyster Co. imports C. gigas to Willapa Bay.

1920
1920
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: 17 pile dikes completed

1919
1919
LEGISLATIVE ACTION

 

The ‘edible clam law’ is passed to allow growing shellfish other than oysters on Bush/Callow lands.

1919
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

WDF identifies excess oysters in reserves to sell; oyster growers successfully halt sale from reserves (WDF 1920, Washington State Fish Commissioner Annual Reports, per Brady Blake). Eastern oyster culture crashed, no causative agent found (Kincaid 1968).

1917
1917
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: North Jetty completed to a length of 4 km

1916
1916
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

 North Jetty Grays Harbor completed.

1915
1915
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: Celio Canal opened

1913
1913
major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: South Jetty extended 4 km (Hickson and Rodolf, 1950)

1913
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

 Willapa oystermen request that reserves not be open for harvest (WDF 1919, Washington State Fish Commissioner Annual Reports, per Brady Blake).

1912
1912
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

20,000 Japanese oysters planted in Hood Canal (Smith, 1914)

1911
1911
SPARTINA

 

First observation of what was likely Spartina off Oysterville (Sheffer 1945).

1904
1904

“Japanese oysters are to be experimented with by local oystermen. A shipment of 100 pounds came on the oriental liner Nicomedia consigned to A. L. Bush & Sons of Bay Center, Wash. They came from Japan, and are known as the Kanagawa variety.

Officials of the Portland and Asiatic Steamship company state that the firm procured the oysters with which to make an experiment…J.W. Ransom procured some of the same sort of oysters last year, and they were planted in Shoalwater bay by an oysterman of that place. As yet he has not heard the results of the experiment, but he states that fully 50 per cent of the oysters lived and grew….”

 
The Oregon Daily Journal, Nov. 14 1904. 
1904

 “A few more or less successful attempts have been made to introduce the Japanese oyster into our waters.”

 

Kershaw, 1904

1903
1903

“The Nahcotta Point Oyster company has been organized in this city with Spokane, Seattle and Rossland capital. The company owns 160 acres of oyster beds on Willapa harbor near Oysterville, Pacific county, this state. Heretofore the seed oyster has been shipped from New Haven, Conn., and transplanted on the coast. It Is the purpose of the new company to import the seed direct from Japan. Dan P. Bagnell of this city is one of the directors.”

The Spokane Press, Number 248, 22 August 1903

1903

“It is reported that during the past winter a considerable consignment of oysters from Japan was planted in Washington waters.”

Bowers, 1905. Company Is Formed to Raise Oysters.

1903
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

20,000 gallons of eastern oyster seed shipped to Willapa Bay.

1903
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

 Washington State Oyster Commission established.

1903
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

12 carloads of Japanese oysters and 1 of eastern oysters planted in Puget Sound; 21 carloads of Eastern oysters planted in Willapa (Kershaw 1904). Japanese oysters planted in Willapa (Smith, 1914)

1902
1902
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

4000 gallons of eastern oyster seed imported to Willapa. State fish commissioner calls for consideration of importation of Japanese oysters (Kershaw 1902). Washington State Fish Commissioner reports that eastern oysters will not propagate in WA due to temperature after a series of experiments (Doane, in Kershaw 1902). Eastern oysters successfully propagated in Willapa Bay in the vicinity of the Naselle River (Kincaid 1928).

1902
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

 South Jetty Grays Harbor completed.

1901
1901
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Splash dams are considered ‘a menace’ to salmon. State Fish Commissioner asks for a legal provision to control introductions of nonnative fish (Little 1901).

1900
1900

“An Effort Also to be Made to Introduce Japanese Oysters on the Pacific Coast, as They Are More Congenial to the Cold Waters.
Special Dispatch to the Post-Intelligencer WASHINGTON, June 26. 
Representative Jones has been for some time working on Fish Commissioner Bowers regarding the introduction of lobsters and Japanese oysters into the waters of Washington, and directly after the passage of the bill providing for an appropriation of $1500 for an investigation of the coasts of Washington and Oregon, with a view to the establishment of a marine biological and experiment station at some suitable point, he again brought these matters to the commissioner’s attention….
In regard to the experiment of planting Japanese oysters on the coast of Washington, strongly urged by Mr Jones at the Instance of interested parties In Washington, the commissioner said that the idea of this experiment originated with the commission, and that several planters on Willapa Bay had been advised that it would be worth their while to obtain small shipments of the hardy Japanese species, which might perhaps be better adapted for the cold water of the Washington coast than Is the oyster of the Atlantic seaboard. It is understood that these gentlemen have already been in correspondence with the Japanese authorities. and with the United States consul at Yokohama with a view to obtaining a cargo of oysters from Akishl bay on the northern coast of Japan. Nothing further, however, has been heard of it by the department.”

The Seattle Post-intelligencer, Volume XXXVIII, Number 42, 27 June 1900

1900

“Fish Commissioner A.C. Little and Prof. R.W. Doane, of the State Agricultural College, are making arrangements to secure a colony of North Japan oysters for a trial at the oyster experimental station at Dogfish Bay. The oyster is a hardy bivalve and Mr. Little thinks it would increase wonderfully on the Sound.”

Seattle Daily Times, April 3, 1900

1900
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

Under direction from US Commissioner Bowers, biologist Bashford Dean sent to Japan to report on oyster culture; Dean recommends transplanting to the US Pacific coast from northern latitudes, similar salinity, and in sufficient numbers to ensure survival (Dean, 1902).

 

In April, 1900 John B. Allen, US Senator (WA) petitions T.C. Mendenhall, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey to officially change the name of Shoalwater Bay to Willapa Bay. The official decision was made by the U.S. Geological Board in October 1900.

1899
1899
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Washington State Commissioner of Fisheries inquired to Dr. K. Mitsukuri, Dept. Zoology, Imperial University regarding which species of oyster to import to WA from Japan; Mitusukuri suggested Ostrea [now Crassostrea] gigas (Kincaid 1968).

1899
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

WA legislature appropriates $7500 for eastern oyster culture, and approves dredging of subtidal cultivated oysters.

1898
1898
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

WA Fish Commissioner A.C. Little advocates for laws to protect natural beds of oysters and clams because they are being severely depleted.

1898
MAJOR ANTHROPOGENIC PHYSICAL DISTURBANCE

 

Little notes that extensive logging and splash dams are destroying salmon runs and stream beds.

1898
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Attempts to propagate eastern oysters to date were failures due to the Palix River planting experiment having been buried by sediment from the river (Little, 1901). Growers suggest natural bed closures be adjusted to March 15- June 15. In Willapa, 2200 acres are under cultivation (Little, 1898).

1896
1896
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: Cascades canal opened

1896
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

 Signs of seed settlement from eastern oysters (Crawford 1896).

1895
1895
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: South Jetty completed to a length of 7.25 km (Hickson and Rodolf, 1950)

1895
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

“Bush Act, Callow Act.” Dredging of oysters from natural beds prohibited; no harvest of natural beds between June 15-Oct 31. Prior occupancy given right to purchase. “An act to protect eastern oysters” on state lands for 5 years (to allow introduction success/establishment of the species). Repeal of the “Act of March 26, 1890.”

1895
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Palix River eastern oysters in good condition (Townsend, 1896).

1895

“The difference between the titles of the Bush Act and the Callow Act is that the State can only retake the land under the Bush Act title when as an established fact the land has ceased to be used for oyster culture, whereas under the Callow Act the state can take them back at any time.”

Senate Journal of the Legislature of the State of Washington, 1911. P. 606.

1894
1894

“The [Grays Harbor] district has been settled since 1855, and it is today one of the richest parts of the state of Washington”

Jones, 1894

1894
Legislative actions

 

WA fish commissioner Crawford calls for laws to protect the transplanted eastern oysters.

1894
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Razor clams and eastern softshell clams abundant in Willapa Bay at Sealand, south of Oysterville (Jones 1894). 80 barrels of eastern oysters from NY, NJ, and Chesapeake Bay moved to Bay Center (Smith, 1895), specifically Palix Channel, over approximately 5 acres (Crawford, 1894). The Palix Channel was chosen by U.S. Fish Commission naturalist Townsend and Washington Fish Commissioner Crawford due to the firm substrate, extensive native oysters, close proximity to town to prevent poaching, a subtidal depth of 2.44 m to avoid freeze mortality, few seastar predators, and potentially warmer waters (Townsend, 1896). Amounts were 10 barrels of wild set, 12 from Chesapeake, 8 from Newark Bay, 14 from Princes Bay, 23 from Key Port, and 13 from East River (Crawford, 1894), 14,152 kg shipped at a cost of $785.

1893
1893
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

WA Fish Commissioner Crawford expressed great interest in growing eastern oysters in Willapa. WA Senator Allen lobbied the U.S. Commissioner of Fish Fisheries to bring eastern oysters in, he agreed to establish an ‘experimental station’ in Willapa but this was delayed due to insufficient funds (Crawford 1892).

1893
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

 First Crassostrea virginica, the eastern oyster, transplants to Willapa (Civille et al. 2005).

1892
1892
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: dredging 2 m deep channel from Portland to Lewiston completed

1892
Shellfish and cultivation

 

WA Fish Commissioner Crawford expressed great interest in growing eastern oysters in Willapa (Crawford 1892).

1891
1891
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

“An Act relating to tide and shore lands”: state owns natural oyster beds, which cannot be sold or leased. Oyster reserves were established, private ownership prior to statehood reaffirmed.

1890
1890

“About sixteen years ago [1874] he [Captain Simpson] planted a few barrels in Shoalwater Bay, and six years later [1880] a dozen barrels more. These have thrived most wonderfully, and now are found over the entire bay and in the southern portion of Grays Harbor.”

Crawford, 1890

1890
Legislative actions

 

An act for the appraising and disposing of the tide and shore lands belonging to the State of Washington, also known as the “Act of March 26, 1890” or “The Tide Land Bill” (Crawford, 1890). This act states any person who, prior to the passage of the act, has planted oysters in an area other than where they naturally occur has the exclusive right to purchase that land with ‘perfect title’ (up to 80 acres). An Act to Protect Lobsters (transplants from east coast)

1889
1889
legislative actions

 

 November 11: Washington achieves statehood.

1888
1888
shellfish and cultivation

 

Soft-shelled clam (Mya arenaria) abundant in Grays Harbor.

1885
1885
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: First pile dikes installed on lower Columbia River

1884
1884
shellfish and cultivation

 

 Mya arenaria abundant in Willapa, transplanted from SF Bay (Stearns, 1895).

1880
1880
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Twelve barrels of eastern softshell clams transplanted to Willapa from SF Bay (Crawford, 1890).

1879
1879
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Relaying of wild oyster seed from lower Willapa to upper Willapa (Blake et al. 2016).

1879
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

Act to disallow dredging of oysters above “lowest ebb tide”, restrict harvest between May 15 and September 1, and prohibit leaving culls on the beach. The act stipulated that small oysters must be returned to natural or cultivated beds.

1877
1877
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS 

 

 Act of 1873 amended to increase to 20 acres statewide (Abbott, 1892).

1875
1875
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: dredging of 5 m deep channel to Portland completed, deepening to 7 m commences

1874
1874
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Mya arenaria, the eastern softshell clam, introduced to Willapa Bay from SF Bay. (Crawford, 1890)

1873
1873
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: First dam on Columbia watershed: Willamette Falls Locks

1873
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS 

 

Act of 1861 amended to increase land acquisition to 20 acres in Shoalwater Bay (Abbott, 1892).

1872
1872
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: dredging 2 m deep channel from Portland to Lewiston commences

1868
1868
Major anthropogenic physical disturbance

 

Columbia River: dredging 5 m deep, 177 km channel to Portland commences

1866
1866
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS 

 

Shoalwater Tribe reservation established by US presidential executive order.

1864
1864
Legislative Actions

 

Washington Territory repealed “An Act for the Preservation of Clams, Oysters, and Other Shellfish.”

 

Chehalis Tribe reservation established by U.S. presidential Executive order.

1861
1861

“Sec 1. Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Washington, that any person, being a citizen of this Territory, who has planted, or who hereafter may plant oysters in any bay or arm of the sea, where there are no natural beds of oysters, within or bordering upon this Territory, may acquire, by conforming to the requirements of this act, an exclusive right for such a purpose, to that portion of such bay or arm of the sea as he shall so occupy, not exceeding for any one person an area of ten acres. … Sec 3. The premises so taken shall, for the purposes aforesaid, belong to the person taking them, his heirs and assigns, so long as he or they shall so occupy them and no longer.”

1861
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

An Act to Encourage the Cultivation of Oysters. This act enabled the acquisition of up to 10 acres of tidelands. Act #711 passed Jan 16, 1861, Real Property Statutes of Washington Territory from 1843-1889 (Abbott, 1892).

1859
1859-1878
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

Relaying of wild oysters from lower Willapa to upper Willapa (Blake et al. 2016).

1856
1856
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

An Act to amend An Act for the Preservation of Oysters in Shoalwater Bay. This new act changed the harvest restriction to June 15-September 1 and outlawed the culling of oysters on land.

1855
1855
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

An Act for the Preservation of Oysters in Shoalwater Bay. This act required six months residency, prohibited harvest from June 1- August 1, excluding planted beds, outlawed dredge harvest, and required that “small oysters to be returned to the natural beds.”

1854
1854

The first mention of oyster cultivation (‘propagation’) in PNW.

“The method of propagating oysters is to dig them up with tongs formed like two rakes with the teeth parallel to each other, the handles being near the bottom, and so formed as to open or close on the oyster. When dug up, the oysters are separated from the mass and buried about the low watermark, or even high watermark, so that the tide can ebb and flow over them. Here they increase, and in oyster time, as it is called, are “tonged” up for use; then is the time to open up and preserve them, either for exportation or for use in the Territory.

Pioneer and Democrat, Vol 2, Number 51, August 26, 1854.

1854
SHELLFISH AND CULTIVATION

 

An Act for the Preservation of Clams, Oysters, and Other Shellfish, Washington Territory. Unlawful to take if resident for less than one month.

1853
1853
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

 

An act for the Preservation of Clams and Oysters. Oregon Territory (included what was to become Washington Territory in 1854). Unlawful to take during May, June, July, and August from territorial waters; also illegal to take if resident less than three months.

1850
1850 – 1859
Legislative Actions

 

Harvest and relocation of wild Olympia oysters in Willapa Bay (Blake & Zu Ermgassan 2015).