At the end of Eld Inlet, this area supports broad oyster beds where the famous Olympia oysters, of exceptional delicacy and small size, are grown. These are Washington’s only native oysters.
Seldom more than an inch-and-a-half in diameter, Olympia oysters have always been a very popular treat. Due to overharvesting and water pollution, however, oyster stocks in both Willapa Bay and the Puget Sound were significantly depleted by the mid-twentieth century. To augment the supply, oystermen began importing the larger and faster-growing Japanese or Pacific oyster, which soon displaced the native variety. Although Olympia oyster stocks in Washington have never fully recovered, water quality improvements have helped sustain small populations, which are still harvested in places like the Totten Inlet, just north of Mud Bay.