Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Government Operations & Elections Committee

SSB 6145

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Declaring the Ostrea lurida the official oyster of the state of Washington.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Governmental Operations (originally sponsored by Senators Hatfield, Roach, Chase, Sheldon, Fraser and McAuliffe).

Brief Summary of Substitute Bill

  • Designates the Ostrea lurida as the official oyster of the state of Washington.

Hearing Date: 2/25/14

Staff: Amanda Ondrick (786-7296) and Jasmine Vasavada (786-7301).


The bivalve mollusc known as Ostrea lurida, or more commonly the Olympia Oyster, is a native species that inhabits the Pacific coast of North America. The bivalve measures six to eight centimeters in length and lives in estuaries, streams, and small rivers. Like other bivalves, they are filter feeders and feed by filtering phytoplankton and bacteria from seawater. Large populations can reduce algae and control water quality. The Olympia Oyster is popular as a cocktail oyster and overharvesting and pollution have caused the species to experience a severe decline.

Summary of Bill:

The Ostrea lurida is designated the official oyster of the state of Washington.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.