Olympia Oyster Restoration in North Puget Sound

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Long-term goals and strategies for Olympia Oyster Restoration throughout their historic range in Puget Sound were developed by interested parties in 2009 with a tentative goal to enhance 60 acres of oysters in Puget Sound to a density of 75 oysters/m2. The goal for the north part of Puget Sound is to achieve this enhancement density for 10 acres of beds.

In Anacortes, WA, a restoration project began in Fidalgo Bay in 2002, a cooperative work between theSkagit County Marine Resources Committee (Skagit MRC), Puget Sound Restoration Fund and other partners to establish several native oyster beds. Subsequent to successful planting of seed oysters in 2002 and again in 2003, 2004 and 2006, survival rate, growth and natural recruitment have been deemed high and additional natural recruitment has been seen in Fidalgo Bay at areas outside the seed planting sites. In 2012, a “wide area” survey of Fidalgo Bay was undertaken in addition to yearly monitoring of the original trestle seeding site. The trestle area around the original seeding plots was extensively surveyed beyond normal yearly efforts and an additional three sites were examined for native oysters and substrate composition: Weaverling Spit, Crandall Spit and the rip rapped west end of the trestle structure. Shell cultch bags deployed around Fidalgo Bay in 2011 were collected in 2012and assessed for natural recruitment.

Map of North Puget Sound showing the location of Fidalgo Bay

Project Objectives

  • Define the current and historic range of native oysters
  • Develop native oyster genetic integrity guidelines for artifical stock enhancement
  • Define habitat requirments and contemporary habitat limiters
  • Identify areas for protection and restoration
  • Define site-specific habitat limitations and species interactions that would affect native oyster stocks
  • Restore and protect stocks as needed to achieve the stock rebuilding goal

Olympia Oyster Field Guide

Skagit MRC


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