Harvest Your Own

Looking for the freshest oysters imaginable?

 

You can harvest and shuck your own at the Nahcotta Tidelands. Sweeping views of Willapa Bay add a little romance to this otherwise messy endeavor. The fog rising up from the foothills in the distance is nothing short of dreamy if you come at just the right time. While you can harvest oysters year round, most people prefer to do so in the cooler months (months with an "r" as they say) to get plumper, firmer oysters.

What you need:

 

  • A shellfish license - You can buy a shellfish license online or view a full list of vendors here.

  • An oyster knife and gloves- You can get your gear at Dennis Company in Long Beach or Raymond as well as Jack's Country Store in Ocean Park.

 

 

What you should know:

 

  • Each harvester can only take 18 oysters as a daily limit.

  • Each harvester must carry their own container.

  • Only harvest oysters that are at least 2½ inches measured across the longest distance of shell.

  • You are required to shuck the oysters you harvest on site and return the shells to the tideland and tide height where you found them. If you've never shucked an oyster, here's the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's guide.

  • For more information, visit the WDFW's website.

Finishing touches:

 

Bring along a folding table and chairs to enjoy your oysters and the view after you're done with the hard work.

 

 

Garnish and Condiment Ideas

 

If you like a little extra flavor with your raw oysters, here are a few ideas ranging from the classic to more experimental.

 

  • Fresh lemon or lime

  • Tabasco sauce

  • Cocktail sauce

  • Soy sauce, fresh ginger, and green onion (maybe throw in some wasabi)

  • Raspberry vinaigrette and chopped shallots

  • Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper

  • Chopped bacon and diced jalapeno

  • Chimichurri sauce

  • Pesto

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Horseradish

If you're feeling ambitious, make your own mignonette to bring along. There are countless recipes to choose from. Here are a few to get you inspired.

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