Late summer and early fall is when you’ll see the most people fishing in the area and that’s when the Salmon runs are the best. We have Chinook, Pink, and Sockeye salmon. You can also go fishing for halibut and lingcod in the early summer. Birch Bay is part of “Marine Area 7” and you can visit the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife website for more information.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has designated Birch Bay as part of Marine Area 7 or often referred to as N7 (North 7) or North – Gulf of Georgia. The area extends from Lummi Island in the south all the way up to the Canadian Border and West to the middle of the Strait of Georgia.
While Marine Area 7 also includes a south area most visitor to Birch Bay remain in the North section.
Anyone age 15 and over is required to have a fishing license.
There are multiple type of fishing licenses –
Combination License: Allows you to fish in freshwater and saltwater, and harvest shellfish (including razor clams) and seaweed (optional catch record card included)
Freshwater License:Allows you to fish in freshwater areas only (optional catch record card included)
Saltwater License:Allows you to fish in saltwater areas only(optional catch record card included)
For full details review the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife annual phamplet.
Birch Bay State Park has a large (8,255 feet of shoreline) and very productive beach, flanked by a low bank and wetlands. The park is located a few miles south of the Canadian border and is very popular with recreational clam harvesters. The clam band is a wide stretch of sand and gravel extending from the drift line down to low water. There is good digging for native littleneck clams and Manila clams in the sandy gravel of the upper intertidal and you will find butter clams, cockles and horse clams on lower tides.
This is a good beach for oysters. WDFW has planted oyster seed in an enhancement plot located on the northeast end of the beach. Oyster Information.
CLAMMING & OYSTERS
Birch Bay State Park is one of the most popular places for shellfishing in Northwest Washington due to it’s easy access and shallow waters. You can literally park just steps from the beach and be digging in the sand in less than a minute.
Shellfish harvesters are strongly advised to check all Washington State reports for closed beaches and Biotoxin alerts before harvesting.