Kaitlyn’s notebook: Prepping geoduck for outplanting

After dissecting oysters, Roberto and I headed to Pt.Whitney. We barely missed the 355 and caught the 445 instead. The lines quickly grew behind us and it was clearly rush hour. Once we arrived, we chatted a bit with Matt and Brent and started working.

Originally, the plan was to screen the geoduck and select half to go into a container for the night before transport. However, because of divider in the heath tray it would be nearly impossible to keep them separate while screening. Instead the geoduck were randomly hand selected out of the tray. They were placed in fine mesh bags that Matt provided since the bags Brent gave me were too large. The bags were the cut corners of larger bags so they were triangular in shaped. I used a sharpie to write the label on, and then vigorously scrubbed and rinsed the label with saltwater so the geoduck wouldn’t be exposed to any chemicals.


25 geoduck were placed in each mesh bag and closed with a heavy duty zip tie woven between the mesh (except one that is very, very snug). The colored zip ties were added onto the mesh nets at the top, and the colors were selected according to the plot maps.

Colors for each group:

  • 3-H1-T: pink
  • 5-H2-T: green
  • 8-H3-B: orange
  • 2-H0-B: grey
  • 1-H0-T: yellow
  • 7-H3-T: dark blue
  • 4-H1-B: light blue
  • 6-H2-B: red


Closed nets were placed back in the trays. Any mortality we found while selecting geoduck was recorded (although we weren’t searching for mortality). Dead geoduck were usually a millimeter or less in length, so they clearly never grew as the live ones were around 5-8mm.

Number found dead in the order sampled:

  • 3-H1-T: 1
  • 5-H2-T: 3
  • 8-H3-B: 0
  • 2-H0-B: 6
  • 1-H0-T: 3
  • 7-H3-T: 3
  • 4-H1-B: 3
  • 6-H2-B: 2

The geoduck looked very healthy across all trays. Here is an example of some in group 7.


However, the final tray on the bottom was very dirty with lots of algae/other accumulation compared to the rest of the tanks. It was difficult to find living geoduck towards the end, let alone dead ones. This is a photo about halfway through (it looks better on camera than in person).


Because of this, we switched the trays around as randomly as you could with 4 trays. Here is before and after:


More photos of us prepping!