Nanoose Bay Recreational Shellfish Reserve

The Nanoose Bay Recreational Shellfish Reserve is located on the south side of Nanoose Bay parallel to Highway 19. It is located approximately 27 kilometers north of downtown Nanaimo.

This shellfish reserve covers approximately 23 hectares and is very productive supporting an abundance of shellfish species. The more significant and important species include Manila and littleneck clams, cockles and oysters. Butter and varnish clams can also be found as well as other minor species.

Access Point:

To access this recreational reserve you must turn right from Highway 19, near the head of Nanoose Bay onto Arlington Road. Follow Arlington onto Nanoose Beach Road to the head of Nanoose Bay. Public parking is found at the end of Nanoose Beach Road. (Google maps)

The recreational reserve can be reached by walking about 1.5 kilometers back towards the mouth of the bay along the south shoreline.

Special Concerns:

  • To access this Shellfish Reserve you must cross over private property that is an active shellfish farm. This private section is just west and adjacent to the reserve. 
  • The property owners have permitted public access across their beach and have asked the public to keep to the upper intertidal area so as not to disturb culturing activities.& Please respect their rights and heed any signage or directions from workers that you may encounter.
  • While much of Nanoose Bay is under commercial tenure for shellfish aquaculture, there remain significant recreational opportunities outside the tenured areas on vacant Crown land.
  • Harvesters that choose not to walk the distance to the recreational reserve may wish to harvest clams closer to the parking area. The beach here contains a similar concentration of shellfish with the exception of oysters that can only be found in abundance at the shellfish reserve.
  • You must always observe the location of commercial tenures as the shellfish on these tenures is private property. You can distinguish the corners of these commercial reserves as they are marked by red concrete markers.