Kaitlyn’s notebook: Planting geoduck and Case Inlet dissections

Planting Geoduck

Before dawn (5AM), Roberto and I packed up the geoduck to head up to Sequim from Pt.Whitney for outplanting. Half of the geoduck stayed behind in their corresponding treatment groups. 6 icepacks were placed on the bottom of a styrofoam cooler and a small cardboard box was folded to go over the ice packs; There were about 4 layers of cardboard between the ice and the mesh bags filled with geoducks. We left Pt. Whitney at 5:45 on the dot.

We arrived at the administrative offices of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and met with Brent, StevenKelly who took us to Littleneck Beach where we met Jim, Clara, Luke and Kurt. 12 mesh tubes were tagged with each sample color. Note that light blue became purple since the zip ties went missing.

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 purple
  • 6-H2-B: red

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We walked out to the beach and found a spot right on the boundary line of the clams and oysters where the ground was somewhat firmer. First, we laid out 2 posts that were marked at 1ft increments. This created an 8×12 grid that was the same as the plot map Brent created. We used smaller posts to mark A-H and 1-12. Once the grid was laid out, Steven and Brent began digging holes on opposing sides while Kurt and Roberto placed the mesh tubes in the holes. Kelly, Jim, Clara and I picked colors according to the plot. The tide was perfect although the area still held a little water. Clara and I tried to fill and tubes that had water sitting on the tube so the geoduck would land on the mud first.

Once we found scissors, the mesh nets were opened to plant the geoduck. However, this experiment is looking at growth rates between hatchery reared or outplanted geoduck so we needed measurements of these juveniles. Therefore, Steven took a photo of them spread out on the back of the map plots with some of the plot showing. This can be measured in the future as a reference measurement in ImageJ so I can measure the larvae.

The green and yellow zip ties were very difficult to tell apart. There was some mix up while setting the geoduck in:

  • 8D was originally green, however yellow geoduck were set in,
    • therefore 8D became YELLOW.
  • 2A and 7G were originally yellow on the plot map, but green geoduck were set in.
    • therefore 2A and 7G became GREEN

Ignore checks and lines crossing out the numbers- they were only done to when I was double checking the nets to find errors.

Dots indicate that 3 geoduck were placed in that group (H1, G1, D1 and D10), however this was only done for the green and yellow groups.

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Several zip ties were used to close most of the mesh nets due to concerns about crabs and other predatory animals getting in to the nets. Zip ties no longer correlate to the grid color consequently, however the plot map is still correct other than the above changes. Many of the year old geoduck tubes were filled with crabs as well as all the oyster bags nearby the planted geoduck, so hopefully the mesh nets are closed tight enough to keep them out or they stay away.

Roberto and I found a total of 4 geoduck that had washed out of the mesh bags while closing them. We placed them back in the nearest mesh bag. This may prove to be a problem when the tide comes in.

After finishing up with the geoduck, we visited the floating upwelling systems (FLUPSYs) at the John Wayne Marina nearby. We saw their sorter machines  that Kurt says they import from France there. The FLUPSYs are able to hold denser numbers of oysters because of the amount of water moving through them. Kurt said the fouling at the marina doesn’t seem to bother them and they grow very well there. They can go into these upwelling systems at only 5mm (2080 um screen size). We also saw some of the scallops that Amy works with. I didn’t take any photos unfortunately (no pockets).

We all headed out after lunch at the longhouse (thanks Steven!), and Roberto and I drove straight onto the ferry!

Case Inlet Dissections

Micah and Emily were about halfway finished when I arrived. They didn’t have any extra hands helping them yesterday so I jumped right in and starting massing and measuring the small oysters.

Survival was much better in these groups compared to the Fidalgo Bay group! Fewer worms were found, although tube worms were still prevalent. I preserved both types of worms we found in/with the oysters. They are labeled: Worm CI 20180907 and are preserved in 200 proof (100%) EtOh. They are in the tube rack in front of the Nanopure. Also, all the shells and small oysters were put in the -20C in 209 in labeled zip locks bags as before.