|The tip of Dungeness Spit is a traditional haul-out and pupping site for the harbor seal. The haul-out sites are traditional sites, used year after year when seals leave the water and form colonies. During these essential periods, the seals rest, sleep, mate, give birth, and nurse their pups. Harbor seals and their pups are very sensitive to disturbances at these sites.
Up to 600 harbor seals have been recorded on Dungeness NWR in recent years, and up to 78 pups have been produced there in some years. The tip of Graveyard Spit was once a traditional haul-out site, but is no longer used because of human disturbance, it is believed. In general, seal numbers are decreasing at the refuge, and it is believed that these declines are caused by increased human activity on the spits.
A few northern elephant seals occasionally haul-out and may molt on the tip of Dungeness Spit.
Fish and Shellfish
|Dungeness Harbor is an important nursery habitat for a variety of types of fish, including pink, chinook, coho, and chum salmon. It is especially important for the dwindling wild population of Dungeness River pink salmon. The eelgrass beds and shoreline provide escape cover for juvenile salmon. Other fish that use the harbor as a rearing area include: steelhead, cutthroat, lingcod, and Dolly Varden.
Littleneck and manila clams occur along the inside of Dungeness Spit. Other species occur in the upper portions of Dungeness Harbor. Dungeness Crab are found throughout the harbor area, east of Graveyard Spit and along the outside of Dungeness Spit.