Mail:   Phone: 1-360-276-8211 x7001


Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program

Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program | Quinault Fisheries Department
Quinault tribal members digging for razor clams

The Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program works collaboratively to restore marine habitat, water quality, and native species on the ocean coastline of the Quinault Indian Nation. We are committed to a vision of a clean and healthy ecosystem that is productive, full of life, and capable of sustaining us. The populations we rebuild to achieve that vision are key to maintaining ecosystem health.

Bivalve shellfish have provided sustenance to the Quinault tribe for thousands of years and figured prominently in tribal spiritual beliefs.  Symbolic of the cultural significance of shellfish is the phrase, ta’aWshi xa’iits’os, from the native Quinault language meaning “clam hungry.”

Improving Quinault Shellfish Recovery

Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program | Quinault Division of Natural Resources
Mussels are another coastal shellfish with water quality concerns

The Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program has focused on improving marine shellfish broodstock through selection in order to enhance commercial yields and other desirable traits, establish a broodstock management program for industry for sustainable, long-term improvements in commercial production, and maintain a repository.

Shellfish production requires a healthy, functioning ecosystem to provide safe water quality and appropriate quantities of phytoplankton for food. Scientific research indicates well managed shellfish habitat can improve water quality, species diversity, and habitat complexity. To enjoy the benefits of a thriving shellfish industry, from jobs in our communities to food on our tables, we need a healthy ecosystem.

Importance to Quinault Shellfish Recovery

Shellfish have been identified as providing:

  • Provisioning – Commercial, recreational and subsistence Fisheries
  • Regulating – Water quality, coastline protection, reduction of erosion, stabilization of submerged land
  • Habitat – Cycling of nutrients, nursery habitats
  • Cultural – Tourism and recreation, symbolic coastal heritage


Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program | Quinault Fisheries Department
Dungeness crabs are a Quinault delicacy and is of cultural significance

Aquaculture has been part of the Pacific Northwest landscape for thousands of years. It plays an important food producing role in our culture and is critically important to the Quinault people and to the economies of many coastal communities. Aquaculture is used to enhance shellfish on the Quinault Indian Nation which is done to support tribal and recreational shellfish harvest, restore populations and contributes to sustainable seafood, working waterfronts, and restoration and enhancement of marine species.

Ecology’s role includes protecting and restoring Quinault’s valuable aquatic resources for future generations. We work closely with our partners to better understand the relationship between aquaculture and the natural environment as well as neighboring communities. Ecology uses science as a foundation for policies and regulations. We are committed to wisely managing this water dependent use to ensure food and healthy waters are available for future generations, and doing so in an environmentally responsible way.

The Quinault Shellfish Recovery Program conducts research and outreach in numerous locations all along the coast of the Quinault Indian Nation. We also support scientific research to better understand the interactions among shellfish aquaculture, native plants and animals, and Quinault’s valuable aquatic ecosystems and use science as the foundation of our decisions.

Fisheries Senior Scientist, Larry Gilbertson  »  360.276.8215 x7261

Habitat Management Scientist, Bill Armstrong  »  360.276.8215 x7240

Marine Resources Scientist, Joe Schumacker  »  360.276.8215 x7327

Shellfish/Marine Biologist II, Scott Mazone  »  360.276.8215 x7576

Environmental Scientist, Mark Mobbs  »  360.276.8215 x7292

Marine Finfish Biologist II, Alan Sarich  »  360.276.8215 x7465

Additional Quinault Shellfish Recovery Resources:

Quinault Fisheries Department

Quinault Algal Bloom Project

Quinault Invasive Species Project

What is a Shellfish? (Wikipedia)

Shellfish Portal (NOAA)

National Shellfisheries Association