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fishing, please contact the
WDFW Fish Program.
Fish Program District Biologists

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Bringing home your catch

Go Fishing!

Now that you’ve landed a fish or gathered some shellfish, proper handling and preparation will ensure the best and safest eating experience. Freshly caught seafood should be kept cold at all times, handled carefully to avoid bruising and damage, and cleaned as soon as possible. Time and heat can rob your catch of its freshness and flavor.

The following links include more information about techniques and equipment for handling, transporting and preparing your fresh-caught seafood.


Shellfish must be kept alive until you’re ready to clean and prepare them. The shells of live oysters, clams or mussels indicate their condition. If shells are open, tap them lightly with your finger. If the shell closes, the animal is alive. If the shell is gaping open or does not close after tapping, the animal is dead and should not be eaten.

It’s strongly recommended that all shellfish be cooked before eating.